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Permitted development rights in conservation areas

Certain types of work can be undertaken without the need to apply for planning permission, this is as a result of ‘permitted development rights’ which are given through legislation.

However, within conservation areas permitted development rights are more restricted in comparison to non-designated areas. In the legislation that allows for “permitted development,” conservation areas are included in a group of designations referred to as Article 2(3) land.

Planning authorities also have the power to remove further permitted development rights by issuing what is known as an ‘Article 4 Direction’.  Article 4 Directions can be made on any land within a planning authority's area, but they are more likely to be imposed in conservation areas.  When a planning authority makes an Article 4 Direction, it has to notify all owners of land or buildings in the area.

Article 4 Directions can only apply to development which is proposed - they cannot apply to development which has been completed or is in progress.

Before undertaking any development, check with your planning department to see if any restrictions on permitted development have been made. This could impact on making changes such as the insertion of new windows or doors or altering gutters and downpipes.  In addition to Article 4 Directions, sometimes conditions on a planning permission that has been granted in the past can take away rights to carry out permitted development.

It is important to remember that the removal of permitted development rights does not mean that you (or anyone else) will not be allowed to make changes to your property. A planning application has to be made for it in the usual way. If a proposal only requires planning permission because of an Article 4 Direction or a condition on a planning permission, no fee is payable for the application.

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