Back

Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

PL
paul lewin, modified 1 Year ago.

Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 3 Join Date: 06/04/20 Recent Posts

Like many LPAs we'll need to consider whether to introduce Article 4s for E to C3.  We have two Article 4s currently that remove PD for change of use of office to residential.  These will benefit from the extension in the regulations to end of July 2022 which gives the potential to do a non-immediate to cover some or possibly all of their existing scope.  Existing Article 4s were done initially for all our designated industrial areas and Wembley growth area (covers town centres), we added a later one for the remainder of the borough.  We also did one for B8 and B1c to C3 in designated industrial areas whilst those temporary rights were in place.  We have a need to provide additional industrial space to meet needs, but no additional land on which to provide it, so have to intensify its existing use.  In light of the draft NPPF consultation text on Article 4s (national importance/ keeping to minimum geographical area, etc) and the SoS's words when introduced the permitted development rights are there any thoughts on the prospect of likely success of introducing Article 4s for E to C3?  Clearly the range of uses within E is wide with implications for the ability to positively plan for town centres, meeting industrial and employment needs and residents' access to local facilities.  To replace our existing Article 4 we have a choice of whether to focus on office only, some additional parts, e.g. light industrial and research and development or all class E.  Limiting the scope to parts of E and area to designated industrial areas reduces risk of SoS direction, but can be got around by moving to another use in E to allow the permitted development right.  There is also the issue of other existing E class uses currently in industrial areas.  It would also leave significant amounts of stock elsewhere potentially vulnerable.

Also in terms of protecting town centres through to possibly local retail parades, given that the SoS should have taken account of responses from such agencies as the BPF who had concerns about ground floor residential impacting town centres how realistic is it to expect the SoS to not intervene in Article 4s being made for these locations which clearly in most cases are unlikely to be of national importance?  We have positive policies to allow residential in secondary frontage and peripheral locations in town centre frontages and local parades where it meets a number of tests, e.g. unviable, reasonable alternatives close by, etc. so are not against units becoming residential, but just want it to be done in a planned manner....

There are mixed messages from Government on Article 4s - draft NPPF Vs opportunity for LPAs to revisit the existing B1a to C3 prior to August 2022.  Although different areas will want different solutions it would just be interesting to get thoughts on the scope of what others are thinking of doing....

GB
Garreth Bruff, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 5 Join Date: 07/05/21 Recent Posts

Paul, thanks for raising this. You summarise the issues really helpfully and demonstrate some questions that many authorties are likely to be dealing with. We are going to be doing some work on Article 4 directions and Class E for this very reason, woud you like to be part of that?

I would welcome a chat on it if you have time just get in touch (garreth.bruff@local.gov.uk)

AL
Alice Lester, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 9 Join Date: 21/10/16 Recent Posts

Bump. Really interested in hearing any other LPA views.

ES
Elizabeth Scott-Clarke, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 3 Join Date: 08/02/21 Recent Posts

Me too. Would be really interested to hear what other LPA's are considering, as my local authority are in the early stages (nearing Issues and Options consultation) of a Local Plan review.

GB
Garreth Bruff, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 5 Join Date: 07/05/21 Recent Posts

Thanks for picking this up Elizabeth, Alice - TBH  PAS are also at the stage of seeking LPA experience and identifying some good practice. However, as Paul's original post sets out, there are some questions to consider. Some of these can't be answered fuly until we get a fuller announcement from MHCLG in light of recent consultations. However, several authorities are progressing new A4d or seeking to refresh older ones in anticipation of PDR for Class E. Several of which will cover the Class E in full whilst others focus on the office element

Many are of these are London Boroughs, where the pressures are felt to be more immediate and that can be evidenced. They also have the benefit of working within London Plan policies and the GLA are looking to provide strategic evidence to support this. Some of the other places I havce spoken to are keeping a watchinbg brief in anticipation, but feel that they have a little more time - eg if there is scope for lower end office to be developed into resi and prime areas are not at risk.

It would be good to stay in touch on this so we can include you in future work and, if you get a minute, useful to have a quick chat on any options you are looking at. Do let me know if you have time for that over the next week or so. 

ES
Elizabeth Scott-Clarke, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 3 Join Date: 08/02/21 Recent Posts

Hi Garreth, Once its published in the next few weeks, I'll forward you a link to our Plan review Issues and Options stage report. In general, would still welcome any thoughts from any LPA's, particularly rural areas with market towns, on their thinking about the recent use classes changes and article 4 Directions - their general policy approaches/responses and aso as regards the impact on existing employment areas and allocations.

ES
Elizabeth Scott-Clarke, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 3 Join Date: 08/02/21 Recent Posts

Hi Gareth,   I haven't made much progress on the issue I'm afraid, as I've been dealing with other Local Plan related issues. I have been keeping an eye on what other LPA's are doing though. Regards, Elizabeth 

PL
paul lewin, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 3 Join Date: 06/04/20 Recent Posts

Hi Garreth, at Brent we've heard nothing back from SoS to date.  I am aware that the City of London's Article 4 for removing purely the office element of Class MA for the Central Activities Zone was not subject to any further requests for information from SoS, but that the other London Boroughs proposing article 4 directions to cover the CAZ have been subject to a recent generic letter seeking further justification that the direction applies to the smallest geographical location.  Decorum had a similar request once they confirmed their A4 some months ago, but from the look of their website this doesn't appear yet to have impacted on their final A4. Its not clear if they overcame that issue, or if it is still outstanding.  Similarly some West London LPAs including OPDC and Hillingdon have been asked to provide further justification, but as far as I know have not yet heard anything re: the need to amend scope or boundaries of the A4s.

MW
Mark Worringham, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Class E to C3 and Article 4s - What are people considering?

New Member Posts: 5 Join Date: 21/04/15 Recent Posts

Hi.  If it's of interest, at Reading Borough Council we made an Article 4 direction to remove class E to C3 permitted development rights in November 2021.  It also covered the various sui generis to residential PD rights as well as the top-hatting of residential on commercial buildings, and demolition and rebuild.  This would apply to our whole town centre, smaller district and local centres, core employment areas, other major commercial locations and the areas of poorest air quality.  The direction makes no distinction within the E use class, so applies to all E class uses.

We did get an acknowledgement from the SoS fairly quickly, together with a request for the GIS files.  They also asked for the justification, but we had provided that with the original notification anyway.

We are now just waiting to hear from the SoS before we go ahead and confirm the direction, with it due to come into force in November 2022.  All has been quiet for a few months now.  I take this to mean that they are giving our full and compelling justification the detailed thought that it deserves.  Obviously we are aware of the NPPF criteria and the need for the smallest geographical area possible (even though in our view the 'wholly unacceptable impacts' occur wherever this form of development occurs), and therefore alive to the possibility the SoS may have issues.

If anyone is interested, our evidence base document is here: https://images.reading.gov.uk/2021/11/Article-4-Evidence-Document-September-2021.pdf