top of page


Forward slashes small.png


Certain types of development is allowed to be carried out without the need for planning permission. These rights are granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and are known as permitted development. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) however, have the power to remove these rights through the use of Article 4 directions.

Artboard 3.png

Article 4 directions are made by LPAs under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. Once an Article 4 direction is made, certain types of the above mentioned permitted development rights are removed and will require planning permission to be undertaken.

Article 4 directions mean that the LPA have more control over the types of development that take place in the area. The most common example of this is removing the permitted development right to convert a house into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO). HMOs are houses or flats that are occupied by three or more people who are not members of the same household and share facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen. These properties are often used as student housing or rental accommodation for young professionals.

The use of Article 4 directions in relation to HMOs has been controversial, with some arguing that they restrict housing supply and make it harder for landlords to provide affordable housing. However, others argue that they are necessary to prevent the over-concentration of HMOs in certain areas, which can lead to problems such as noise and disturbance, parking issues, and increased pressure on local services and infrastructure.Whilst Article 4 directions are most commonly associated with preventing the conversions of houses to HMOs, it is important to note that an Article 4 direction can be used on any form of permitted development right. Each Article 4 direction implemented will be specific to the permitted development rights it has removed and so it is important you check exactly what area is covered and what rights are affected.

Other typical examples of development restricted by an Article 4 direction include changes to the front of a building, the installation of new windows or doors, the conversion of a building into flats, and the installation of new satellite dishes. These types of development are often considered to have a negative impact on the character and appearance of an area, and so an Article 4 direction will be used to ensure that they are not permitted without planning permission.

Article 4 Restriction - Changes in facade.png

1. Changes to the front of the building

Article 4 Restriction - Installation of new satellites.png

3. Installation of new satellite dishes 

Article 4 Restriction - New doors and windows.png

2. Installation of new windows or doors

Article 4 Restriction - Conversion of building into flats.png

4. Conversion of a building into flats

If you want to carry out development that is restricted by an Article 4 direction, you will need to apply for planning permission from the LPA. The LPA will then consider the application and decide whether or not to grant planning permission.


Gaining planning permission for something that is controlled by an Article 4 direction is not impossible but, you will typically need to construct a robust argument for why the change should be allowed and demonstrate how it will not detriment the local character of the area. With applications such as this which may be contentious, it may be best to employ the help of an architect and a planning consultant.

Anchor 1
bottom of page