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Article 4 Directions – Exemptions for the Exempt

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This week, the City of London Corporation opened a consultation on a proposed non-immediate Article 4 Direction to remove the Class O permitted development right (change of use from office to residential) across the entire City. If approved, it will come into force on 31 May 2019, the day following the expiry of the City’s current exemption from the permitted development right by virtue of its status as Article 2(5) land – an ‘exempt’ status granted to only 17 local planning authorities.

If approved by the City’s members and assuming the Direction avoids a Secretary of State veto, it will mean a smooth transition from the exemption to a removal
of the right. The Article 4 Direction and its timing are no real surprise. Since the amendments to the 2015 General Permitted Development Order in April 2016 made the permitted development right permanent and signaled an end to the exemptions under Article 2(5) after 30 May 2019, it seemed obvious that local authorities would seek to replace the exemptions with Article 4 directions

Indeed the Mayor makes it clear that he supports Article 4 Directions in London ‘exempt areas’, noting:
To ensure that London’s key business locations are safeguarded, the relevant boroughs are developing a co-ordinated approach to introducing Article 4 Directions. The Mayor is providing strategic support to help the boroughs achieve this.
In fact, this is one matter on which the current and previous administration share common ground - Boris Johnson having assisted the Boroughs in achieving exempt status previously.

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