East Herts District Council have moved to restict permitted development rights on a number of industrial areas in the town.
Earlier in the month, the Council’s Executive agreed to implement Article 4 Directions on 32 employment sites in the District. This will mean that permitted development rights no longer apply in these areas:
Permitted development rights were introduced by the government to accelerate housing delivery by allowing owners to convert types of commercial and industrial units to residential use without requiring planning permission.
Whilst in some cases this has sped up the delivery of much needed housing in the district, Executive Members have also been concerned that in some instances it has led to poor quality development and displaced viable businesses that provide services and local employment. Moreover, use of permitted development means that no contributions to the wider community or infrastructure (known as Section 106 contributions) or consideration of affordable housing is required.
Executive Member for Planning and Growth, Councillor Jan Goodeve said, "Introducing article 4 directions will ensure that anyone who wishes to convert employment land into residential has to apply for permission. This will allow the council to assess the overall impact on the local area before reaching a decision."