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Article 4 Directions

Local authorities can make an Article 4 Direction to withdraw permitted development rights.

Permitted development rights let people make changes to their property without needing to apply for planning permission. This means a property which had an Article 4 Direction on it would need to apply for planning permission to carry out the development.

New Article 4 Directions

The Council has decided to adopt four new Article 4 Directions for the town centres of Baldock, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City and Royston in order to help protect the vitality and viability of these areas as the economic hubs of the towns. Maps of the properties affected by the new Article 4 Directions can be found at the bottom of this page.

Under government rules introduced in September 2021, the following types of properties can be changed into residential housing without needing planning permission from the Council:

  • Retail shops
  • Restaurants
  • Financial services
  • Professional services
  • Indoor sport, recreation or fitness places
  • Medical or health services
  • Creche, day nursery or day centre
  • Offices
  • Industrial units
  • Research facilities

The new Article 4 Directions now requires occupiers and land owners to apply for planning permission if they would like to convert the property into residential housing. The purpose of the new Article 4 Directions is to protect the vitality and viability of the District’s town centres.

The Article 4 Direction were made on the 5 October 2022 and confirmed on 13 February 2022.

Listed buildings are not included within the scope of the Article 4 Direction because Listed Buildings do not have permitted development rights; they are removed when the building becomes listed.

You can view the Notices of the Directions and accompanying maps by downloading the documents below.

Expired Article 4 Directions

Information on the Article 4 Direction relating to office and light industrial units in the district’s Key Employment Areas have been removed from the website because this Direction have now expired.

Hitchin and Knebworth Article 4 Directions

There are two Article 4 Directions located in Hitchin and Knebworth. You can find more information on these Article 4 Directions here: