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Permitted development

Information about what permitted development is, and when it is restricted or doesn't apply.

What is permitted development

Certain types of extensions and changes of use, subject to certain limits and conditions, do not require full planning permission from the council. These forms of development are called permitted development (PD) and are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the GPDO) and amendments. Details about these rights and conditions relating to their use can be found on the Planning Portal website.

The council has produced guidance about when you need planning permission, to help households and businesses understand permitted development rights for different proposals that can help a building become net zero.

Article 4 directions

An article 4 direction is an order made by a local planning authority to restrict and remove certain PD rights for part of, or all, their area.

In Islington article 4 directions exist to remove permitted development rights both in relation to conservation areas as well as in relation to some changes of use.

Article 4 directions in conservation areas

We have removed permitted development rights in 40 of Islington's 42 conservation areas by issuing an Article 4 direction to prevent some minor alterations in order to preserve the character and appearance of these areas. This means that you may need to apply for planning permission to carry out minor alterations or home improvements such as changing external doors and windows or painting brickwork on the outside of a property.

View our interactive map for conservation areas and to view the article 4 direction.

Class E to C3 article 4 direction

In April 2021, the Government amended Permitted Development Rights to add a new category: change of use from Class E business, commercial and service use to residential (Class C3).

Class E includes shops, restaurants, estate agents, offices, museums and indoor sports facilities.

Following the amendment, change of use from Class E to residential can be carried out without the need for planning permission. Instead, you need prior approval before carrying out works.

In August 2023, the council confirmed four article 4 directions to withdraw this permitted development right. The four directions, including maps showing the areas covered by the directions can all be viewed below:

Please note, the Article 4 Direction for the CAZ and CAZ Fringe has been modified by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, see below:

The council have also published a public notice relating to the confirmation of the directions.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities modified the CAZ and CAZ Fringe Kings Cross Direction to remove one site from the direction area, Angel Gate, Goswell Road, London, EC1V 2PT.

The modified Direction comes into force on 19 October 2023. The modified direction, including maps;

The council have published a notice relating to the modification of the CAZ and CAZ Fringe Kings Cross direction:

B1(c) to C3 article 4 direction 

The Government introduced a new permitted development right in 2016 which gives the right to change from B1(c) use (light industrial) to C3 use (residential). In November 2016, Islington Council made three article 4 directions to withdraw this permitted development right, relating to the Vale Royal / Brewery Road Locally Significant Industrial Site, the Central Activities Zone within Islington and other B1(c) locations across the borough.

On 28 July 2017 Islington Council confirmed the three article 4 directions. The directions came into force on 3 November 2017. From this date, light industrial uses (use class B1(c)) will need planning permission to change to residential use (use class C3). The three directions; maps showing the areas covered by the directions; and the public notice relating to the directions can all be viewed below. 

'Flexible uses' article 4 direction

On 11 July 2013, the council published an article 4 direction to remove PD rights which allow the change from A1 (shops), B1 (offices) and D1 (community uses) to temporary 'flexible uses'. On 17 October 2013 Islington Council confirmed this direction. The direction came into force on 15 July 2014 and applies throughout the borough.

View the notice of confirmation and the confirmed article 4 direction (PDF).

More information and advice

For more advice on these procedures, we offer a pre-application advice service.

You must make an application for prior approval before you can use the above PD rights for change of use. See details about how to apply for prior approval.

Certain forms of extension and changes of use will require approval or notification under the building regulations. For advice on this matter please see our building control web page

Community Infrastructure Levy and permitted development

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) applies to most new developments (new buildings or extensions) which involve creating 100 metres squared or more of gross internal floor space. Developments that create one or more dwellings will be chargeable, even where the additional floor space is below 100 metres squared.

See more information about CIL, eligibility and how to pay.

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