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Alston conservation area - a guide to the article 4(2) directions

This brief guide explains the purposes and effects of the Article 4(2) Direction which we introduced in the Alston Conservation Area in 1996 and 2010.

The Direction

Planning legislation allows certain minor developments, including some alterations, extensions and improvements to buildings, to be carried out without the need for planning permission. Such work is known as 'permitted development'.

Within certain areas, including conservation areas and areas of outstanding natural beauty, these permitted development rights are automatically reduced so that more work requires planning permission. However, they are not removed altogether and a significant amount of development can still be carried out without the need for planning permission. Experience has shown that such work can have a significant impact on the character and appearance of conservation areas.

An Article 4 Direction can therefore be introduced to reduce permitted development rights further, and we have introduced such Directions in the Alston Conservation Area. The type of direction introduced, applicable only to conservation areas, is known as an Article 4 (2) Direction and takes away certain permitted development rights for works which affect the 'frontages' of properties. The result of the Direction is that any works covered by it will now require planning permission and the submission of a formal planning application. No fee is payable for planning applications required solely as a result of this Direction.  There would be the usual right of appeal against any refusal of permission, or the imposition of conditions.

The intention of the Direction is not to prevent all change, but to ensure that any significant changes are subject to planning control, thus allowing for public comment on the proposals and for us to assess their impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Examples of alterations which require planning permission as a result of this Direction

  • Alterations to windows, such as the replacement of timber sliding sashes, with mock sashes, casements, or uPVC;

  • Alterations to doors, such as the replacement of timber panelled or boarded doors, with an alternative design;

  • Alterations to roofs, including the replacement of natural stone flags, or slate, with concrete tile, or the insertion of roof lights;

  • The rendering, or re-rendering, of properties;

  • The erection of porches;

  • The replacement of cast iron guttering with plastic, or the addition of new guttering and downpipes;

  • The erection, or alteration, of fascia boards;

  • The alteration, erection, rendering, or removal, of chimneys;

  • The erection, alteration, rendering, or removal, of boundary walls, fences, or railings;

  • The external painting of buildings, which includes windows and doors.

This is not a comprehensive list, and other developments may still require planning permission, listed building consent and building regulation approval, as before. If you have any proposals for extensions or alterations, particularly to your property frontage, you should contact the Planning Services Team to ascertain whether any consent is required, or whether any fee is payable for your application.

This Direction applies only to dwelling houses, as flats, commercial premises, shops and offices, do not have the permitted development rights associated with dwelling houses. This Direction, therefore, will bring dwelling houses into line with other properties in the area. (A flat is defined as 'a separate self-contained set of premises constructed, or adapted, for the purpose of a dwelling and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally'.)