Article 4 Directions are issued by the Council in circumstances where specific control over development is required, primarily where the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are therefore more commonly, but not exclusively, applied to conservation areas.
Such Directions are usually applied over an area rather than an individual property and are registered as a Local Land Charge; therefore you will normally be made aware of their existence when purchasing a property or land. A list of current Article 4 Direction areas can be viewed below.
Article 4 Directions in Conservation Areas
The effect of such a Direction is to remove permitted development rights and therefore special planning restrictions apply. If you live in an Article 4 Direction area, you will need planning permission for certain types of development and external alterations. One such example is to replace windows; please see the guidance leaflet Replacement of windows in flats, Article 4 direction areas and commercial premises. However, where a planning application is required solely because your property is in an Article 4 Direction Area, the Council will not charge a fee for this.
The two largest areas in the St Albans Conservation Area that have been chosen for protection by Article 4 status are:
• The area around Verulam and Fishpool Street.
• The area around Sopwell Lane and Albert Street.
Both Article 4 Directions came into effect on 5 July 1990 and were confirmed by the Department of the Environment on 2 January 1991.
Other conservation-related Article 4 Direction Areas in the district are:
• Cunningham Avenue
• Three Directions in Childwickbury: Childwick Green, Childwickbury Stud/Ayers End Lane and Beeson End
You can find out if you live in an Article 4 Direction Area by using the Planning Constraints under Map Layers at our Local Information Service.
Other Article 4 Direction Areas
There are a number of other Article 4 Directions across the District, for instance there are several aimed at preserving the appearance and green belt function of the land by controlling development such as enclosures, others aimed at preserving the 'open plan' appearance of an area, and some restricting the use of land. For more information about these restrictions, please contact the Planning Department.
In addition, the Council are proposing a number of Article 4 Directions to protect important employment locations in the District.