Under current planning legislation, permission is not normally required for changing windows, doors and other minor alterations to frontages within Conservation Areas. However, it is recognised that cumulatively, such minor alterations can have a marked and detrimental impact on the character and appearance of a Conservation Area.
Article 4 Directions are a method by which the Local Planning Authority can introduce specified planning controls on certain properties. These directions can be introduced on any property, however they are most commonly found on domestic dwellings located within Conservation Areas. When implemented, they withdraw certain permitted development rights.
What does it mean for me...?
If your property is covered by an Article 4 Direction, you will have been notified by the Council at the time of implementation, it will also be registered with land registry and should appear on any solicitor searches when purchasing.
Once an Article 4 Direction has been confirmed, planning permission is required for any works set out in the Direction. It should be noted that Directions only affect the elevations fronting a public highway or open space. The most common works covered are:
- Changing windows and doors (design & materials);
- Creating a driveway;
- Altering boundary treatments;
- Changes to roofs – i.e. dormers and roof lights;
- Painting or rendering a building;
- Building a porch.
Repairs and maintenance generally do not require planning permission. From the 17 January 2018 the Government made changes to the fee structure that allows Local Planning Authorities to charge for this type of application, this would fall within the Householder Application fee bracket and therefore a fee of £206 will be payable.
Article 4 Directions in East Cambridgeshire
East Cambridgeshire District Council currently has Article 4 Directions in four of its Conservation Areas: Burwell (x2), Ely and Soham.