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Planning rules update to protect jobs and homes

Last Modified June 09, 2022
Further changes to local planning regulations are being introduced to help protect some of Hertsmere’s major employment sites and distinctive homes.

New ‘Article 4 directions’ are being rolled out by Hertsmere Borough Council in order to prevent buildings in designated employment areas in Borehamwood, Potters Bar, Shenley, Elstree and Bushey being converted into housing, without the need for planning permission.

Original Article 4 directions were confirmed just over two years ago, but changes in national legislation mean the directions have to be updated in order to protect against redevelopment or conversion of premises in business parks or industrial estates.

In addition, new directions are being implemented to protect a number of bungalows across Radlett, which are deemed of value in the recently adopted Radlett Neighbourhood Plan. This follows recent changes in national legislation which allow for an extra storey to be built on homes, without the need for planning permission, as long as it complies with certain criteria.

Cllr Dr Harvey Cohen, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “We are responsible for effective planning in the borough, and we want to maintain a balance between housing and employment within our built-up areas.

“As part of that, we have to protect our business parks and industrial estates because they generate many of the jobs and income which enable our businesses and communities to thrive.

“And we want to ensure new homes are delivered with the required amount of affordable housing, in the most appropriate locations, and that developers contribute to improvements in local infrastructure.

"We don’t want to see them springing up in former offices and other commercial buildings, without seeking planning permission.

“Following recent changes to legislation, there is a risk that such redevelopments or conversions could be allowed via permitted development rights, which would be a loss for us all.

"These new directions will enable us to better control the conversion or redevelopment of commercial premises into residential accommodation.”

Ross Whear, Head of Planning and Economic Development, said: “Planning permission is normally required to change the use of or to redevelop a building.

“However, sometimes a planning application is not required because of what is known as permitted development (PD) rights, which are set out in national legislation.

“In recent years, the regulations covering PD rights have been amended to enable business premises to be converted, and most recently, redeveloped into residential units, subject to certain conditions and limitations, without the need to submit a planning application.

“We’re updating the current restrictions to permitted development rights in order to protect the integrity of Hertsmere’s employment areas and the standard of residential accommodation available to our residents.”

A copy of the new Article 4 directions for employment areas and a set of frequently asked questions can be found here.

A copy of the new Article 4 directions for Radlett and a set of frequently asked questions can be found here.

The new directions will come into force in May next year. Until then all interested parties can give their views in a public consultation by emailing at local.plan@hertsmere.gov.uk.

Responses can also be submitted in writing to Planning department, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood WD6 1WA.

Posted on Thursday 9th June 2022

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