Article 4 Directions

Article 4 Directions Consultation

The Council is consulting on proposals to confirm two Article 4 Directions to remove permitted development rights.  One is for change of use from office and light industrial to dwellings.  The other is for change of use of dwellings to houses in multiple occupation.

Office and light industrial to residential – remainder of the borough

Currently some offices and light industrial premises can be turned into residential properties without the need for planning permission.  The Council is concerned about the impact that these permitted development changes of use are having and potentially will have on its ability to effectively plan the area.  It has already introduced an Article 4 direction to remove these permitted development rights to the Alperton and Wembley Growth Areas, Strategic Industrial Locations and Locally Significant Industrial Sites.  It is now seeking to apply the same rules to the remainder of the borough.

There is evidence that the change of offices in particular to residential and light industrial to residential through permitted development/prior approval is having a significant adverse economic impact.  It is now resulting in many fully occupied offices being subject to such change.  This and the change of use of light industrial is displacing small businesses and impacting on the economic base of the area.  Brent has also been designated as a ‘provide capacity’ borough for employment floorspace in the emerging London Plan.  This has a requirement to increase the amount of this type of floorspace.

As such the Council wants to be able to manage the development of office and light industrial floorspace and consider whether proposed losses are acceptable.  Requiring planning permission will help in doing this.  It will ensure that business occupiers do not continue to be displaced where their accommodation is viable for its continued use.  It will also prevent wider industrial areas being compromised.  It will also prevent planned developments identified in the Development Plan potentially being undermined.

Residential dwellings to houses in multiple occupation

Currently dwellings can be turned into smaller houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without the need for planning permission.  HMOs are small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.  There are currently about 17,000 HMOs in the borough.  The Council recognises the importance that they have in meeting housing needs.  They provide accommodation that is more affordable for some people.  Nevertheless, when there are significant concentrations of HMOs it can cause issues.  They change the character of an area and result in adverse impacts, for example higher amounts of anti-social behaviour.  They also reduce the amount of larger family homes (3+bedrooms) that are available for families.

As such the Council wants to be able to manage the development of HMOs and consider whether change of use from dwellings is acceptable.  Requiring planning permission will help in doing this.  It will ensure that there is not an over-concentration of uses and address elements that might impact on anti-social behaviour (such as waste management).  It will also allow the Council to ensure a reasonable amount of larger homes for families remain available.

We are inviting comments on the two Article 4 Directions identified below from Thursday 24 October to Thursday 5 December 2019 (5pm)

The Article 4s can be found on the links below and during the consultation period will be available for inspection at Brent public libraries.

Article 4 Direction for Offices (B1a) and Light Industrial (B1c) to C3 dwellinghouses – Remainder of the Borough Consultation

Article 4 Direction for C3 dwelling houses to C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation Consultation

How to comment

Any person may make representations about the guidance. Representations should be made by;

The deadline for comments is 5pm Thursday 5 December 2019.

If you have any questions or would like any further information please email planningstrategy@brent.gov.uk

Existing Planning Policy Article 4 Directions

Office, Light Industrial and Storage or Distribution Centres to residential

The Council wants to be able to manage the development of office, light industrial and storage and distribution premises in some designated Growth Areas and industrial estates. This will ensure that business occupiers do not continue to be displaced where their accommodation is viable for its continued use. It will also prevent wider industrial areas being compromised. It will also prevent planned developments identified in the Development Plan potentially being undermined.

It confirmed two Article 4 Directions on 3 July 2018

An overview map shows their locations in the Borough. 

Wembley Growth Area Article 4 Direction for B1a (offices) to C3 dwellinghouses

Alperton Growth Area, Strategic Industrial Land and Locally Significant Industrial Sites Article 4 Direction for B1a (offices), B1c (light industrial) and B8 (storage or distribution centre) to C3 dwellinghouses Consultation