OPDC Article 4 Direction

Start date: 16 September 2016
End date: 31 October 2016

Offices, Storage or distribution centres to residential.

In May 2016, OPDC gave notice of its intention to withdraw some permitted development rights in the area.  Due to an administrative error, the previous ‘Article 4 Direction’ has been replaced with a new one, which has the same effect but with a later implementation date.  Please note that if you commented on the previous Direction, your comments will be considered as part of this consultation.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

Certain types of extensions to buildings and changes to the use of buildings, do not always require planning permission from the Local Planning Authority (which for this area is the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation). ‘Article 4 Direction’ is a technical planning term that means these forms of development, called ‘permitted development’, are no longer allowed without planning consent.

An Article 4 Direction is a special planning regulation that can be adopted by a Local Planning Authority in all or part of their area. When it is adopted, it removes permitted development rights from whatever is specified in the Article 4 Direction. This means that people and businesses can no longer remove, or add, extensions or change the use of their building, from say commercial use to residential, without going through planning application procedures.

The effect of OPDC’s Article 4 direction is that planning permission will be required for developments that would otherwise not require an application for planning permission.

This change will now enable OPDC to consider any such developments through a formal planning process to ensure that they accord with its policies.

For further information, the Planning Portal provides a useful summary of permitted development rights, Use Classes Order and provides links to related legislation which need to be referred to in applications.

What is changing?

Since 30 May 2013, government planning rules has meant that the conversion of offices (Use Class B1(a)) and storage and distribution centres (Use Class B8) to houses or flats (Use Class C3) does not require planning permission. A large proportion of the OPDC area is identified as Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) which is identified in Policy 2.17 of the London Plan as performing “a particular role in London’s industrial land supply in accommodating strategically important logistics, waste management and transport functions as well as meeting other and more local needs including provision of relatively affordable workspace”.

There are indications that the Old Oak and Park Royal regeneration area is coming under increasing pressure for changes of use from office and industrial uses to residential via permitted development.  This raises two specific issues:

  1. The unplanned conversion of office and industrial uses to residential at Old Oak could compromise delivery of the comprehensive regeneration of land around the Old Oak High Speed 2 station, thereby reducing the overall public benefits.
  2. The protection and regeneration of Park Royal as a strategic London wide important industrial area is a fundamental part of the overall planning strategy for the area. As the UK’s largest industrial park, retaining this reserve of industrial land is essential to mitigate the scale of release of Strategic Industrial Land at Old Oak. This industrial land is also necessary to accommodate the relocation of existing businesses from Old Oak. The introduction of residential uses within Park Royal, in an unplanned and uncontrolled manner using permitted development rights, has the potential to severely undermine the Mayor’s ability to deliver comprehensive regeneration at Old Oak and Park Royal.

On 12 September 2016, OPDC gave notice of the making of a non-immediate Article 4, which means a formal notice has been issued, to remove permitted development rights and to reintroduce the need for planning permission for the conversion of offices, storage or distribution centres to houses or flats within areas designated as Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) in OPDC's boundary. You can also view the map in further detail with street names and stations.

The intention of the Article 4 direction is not to halt all changes of use of offices or storage and distribution uses to residential use. Rather, the direction will give OPDC more control over change of use applications through the planning process, to help protect the existing office. It will also allow the consideration of other planning matters such as affordable housing or amenity space provision to be considered with change of use applications, which would not otherwise be possible with the permitted development rights in force.

When is it changing?

16 September 2016 is the start of a 6 week public consultation period. Once the consultation exercise has finished, OPDC will review all the representations it has received and make a decision whether or not to confirm the Direction. If the Direction is confirmed, it will come into effect on 22 September 2017.

What next?

If you wish to make any comments on the proposed Article 4 Direction you have until 5.00pm on Monday 31 October 2016 to do so.  You can email us or write to us at:

Article 4 Consultation,
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
PPA5A, City Hall
London SE1 2AA