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Permitted development rights - Article 4 Directions

What are Article 4 Directions?

Properties in England and Wales are allowed minor changes without the need for planning permission from the local planning authority - known as 'permitted development rights'. Sometimes we will remove these rights to protect the character of an area. This might be, for example, to prevent an over-concentration of houses in multiple occupation or the loss of original features in a conservation area.

The application of an Article 4 Direction removes these 'permitted development' rights and is a way in which councils can control building works and changes of use which would ordinarily be 'permitted development'.

It is important to read the legal information accompanying each individual Article 4 Direction as each is different.

Article 4 Directions related to houses in multiple occupation

In combination, the following six Article 4 Directions take away the permitted development right to turn a dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) into a small house in multiple occupation (Use Class C4) across the whole of the Borough of Northampton.

Article 4 Direction for houses in multiple occupation – consultation on the introduction of the Direction on the remaining areas of the Borough

At its meeting on 4 March 2020, Cabinet agreed the confirmation of the Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction for houses in multiple occupation for areas of Northampton not previously covered by such a direction. This therefore removed permitted development rights for the change of use of dwellinghouses into houses in multiple occupation for 3 to 6 unrelated persons in the remaining areas of Northampton not covered by such a direction. The Direction came into force on 13 November 2020.

Links to the Notices, the Direction and a map of the areas affected:

Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction in Far Cotton and Delapre

We have made and confirmed a Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction for parts of Far Cotton/Delapre. The Direction came into effect on 29th September 2018. Those who own properties in the affected area will need to apply for planning permission if they wish to convert their properties from dwellinghouses (Class C3) to houses in multiple occupation (Class C4). Properties which have already been converted will not need to apply.

The Direction was made on 29th June 2017 and confirmed on 20th February 2018.  It came into effect on 29th September 2018.

You can download the Notice of Confirmation, the sealed Direction and a map of the Non-Immediate Direction area below.

Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction in Cliftonville

We have made and confirmed a Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction for parts of Cliftonville. The Direction will come into effect on 29th September 2018. Those who own properties in the affected area will need to apply for planning permission if they wish to convert their properties from dwellinghouses (Class C3) to houses in multiple occupation (Class C4).  Properties which have already been converted will not need to apply.

The Direction was made on 29th June 2017 and confirmed by us on 20th February 2018. It came into effect on 29th September 2018.

The Notice of Confirmation, the sealed Direction and a map of the Non-Immediate Direction area can be downloaded through the links below.

Immediate Article 4 Direction in parts of Far Cotton and Delapre

The council has issued an immediate Article 4 Direction for parts of Far Cotton and Delapre. This means that those who own properties in the affected area need to apply for planning permission if they wish to convert their properties from dwellinghouses (Class C3) to houses in multiple occupation (Class C4). Properties which have already been converted will not need to apply.

We confirmed the Direction on 7 July 2017.

Sunnyside and adjacent areas

In March 2011 an Immediate Article 4(1) Direction was imposed on an area contained within the wards of Sunnyside, St David's and Obelisk. This means that planning permission is now required by anyone wishing to change the use of a single dwelling into a "House in Multiple Occupation" (HMO, Use Class C4). Planning permission is required by anyone wishing to to change the use of a single dwelling into a "House in Multiple Occupation" (Use Class C4).

Northampton North and Central

On 14th March 2012, a Non-immediate Article 4(1) Direction was imposed on an area contained within the wards of Castle, Abington, Trinity, Phippsville, Semilong, Kingsley, Kingsthorpe, St David's, Sunnyside, Spring Park, Obelisk and Delapre and Briar Hill. This direction is to remove the permitted development rights in the defined area to change the use of a single dwelling into a "House in Multiple Occupation" (HIMO, Use Class C4). Planning permission is required by anyone wishing to to change the use of a single dwelling into a "House in Multiple Occupation" (Use Class C4).

Article 4(2) Directions

These apply to selected Conservation Areas.

They enable the local planning authority to better protect the important historic features and details of houses within the Conservation Area.

Article 4(2) directions only apply to single household dwellings, since, under the General Permitted Development Order 1995, other buildings (multiple households in one property, commercial or any other non-residential use) do not benefit from the permitted development rights single households enjoy.

A list detailing the types of alteration needing planning permission has to be provided as part of the Direction.

Article 4 (2) Directions currently in place in Conservation Areas in the borough