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Protecting key employment sites

Last Modified May 14, 2019
We are introducing changes to local planning regulations to help protect some of the borough’s major employment sites, following agreement by the council’s Executive.

The ‘Article 4 directions’ will restrict permitted development rights which allow offices, light industrial and storage or distribution buildings to be converted into housing without the need for planning permission.

Mark Silverman, Planning Policy Team Leader, explained: “Permitted development rights were introduced nationally in 2013 and 2016 to allow the conversion of offices and other commercial buildings into housing through a ‘prior approval’ process. This move aimed to help meet the significant demands for housing nationally.

“However the prior approval process can lead to the displacement of existing businesses so, as a council, we’ve considered that proposals to convert commercial premises into housing should require the submission of a planning application at certain sites in the borough to help protect certain key sites.”

These directions will take effect in 12 months enabling a period of public consultation to be undertaken and for any possible changes that are suggested to be considered.

A copy of the Article 4 directions and a set of frequently asked questions can be found here. Responses to the consultation can be submitted until Friday 7 June via our consultation portal.

Responses can also be submitted in writing to Planning department, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood WD6 1WA.
Posted on Thursday 9th May 2019

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