Employment use to residential use - article 4 direction

Article 4 Direction Update

Change of use from B1(a) office and B1(c) light industrial to residential

As of 1 August 2022 these Article 4 Directions have lapsed.

On 1 August 2021, a new permitted development right from Class E (Commercial, Business and Service) to Class C3 (Residential) replaced the rights for change of use from B1(a) office and B1(c) light industrial to residential that these Article 4 Directions were made under. 

To enable  this the Government created a new Use Class MA. More information on the revisions can be found in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021

The Government legislated for limited transitional arrangements so that the Council's existing Article 4 Directions continued to have effect until 31 July 2022. However it has not allowed for the direct transfer of the Council’s B1(a) and B1(c) to residential Article 4 Directions into the new use classes. Therefore these Directions have ceased to be effective.

From 1 October 2019 planning permission is required to change the use of buildings from B1a  (office) or B1c  (light industrial)  to C3 (residential dwelling house) within specific areas across the London Borough of Barnet.

The making of these non-immediate Article 4 Directions were reported to Planning Committee on June 25 2018 and were confirmed at  Planning Committee on July 24 2019  the results of consultation were also reported as part of this report.

Article 4 Directions do not mean that planning consent would not be granted; it simply means that an application has to be submitted so that the Council can examine the proposal in detail.

A planning application for a conversion of employment uses to residential will be considered against policies in Barnet’s Local Plan in particular:

•CS04: Provided quality homes and housing choice in Barnet
•CS05: Protecting and enhancing Barnet’s character to create high quality places
•CS08: Promoting a strong and prosperous Barnet
•DM01: Protecting Barnet’s character and amenity
•DM02: Development standards
•DM08: Ensuring a variety of sizes of new homes to meet housing need and
•DM14: New and existing employment space.

Introducing an Article 4 Direction to manage conversion of employment uses to residential through the planning system supports the need to provide for employment opportunities in Barnet while ensuring that high quality housing is delivered. 

Further information

Planning Committee 25 June 2018

Planning Committee 24 July 2019


Article 4 Directions are intended for use in exceptional circumstances where it is necessary to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of an area Para 53, NPPF.

The Article 4 Direction can remain in place permanently once it has been confirmed. The Direction will be monitored in the Authorities Monitoring Report to make certain the original reasons for making the Direction remain valid. A Direction should be cancelled when it is no longer necessary.