Last updated: 16 January 2024

Next review: 16 January 2025

Article 4 directions allow a local authority to remove permitted development rights.

This means you need permission for developments (or changes of use) that wouldn’t normally be required under national planning policy.

Article 4 directions in Waltham Forest

Article 4 direction relating to change of use from Commercial Business and Service (Class E) to Residential

Planning permission will now be required (from 29th June 2023) for changes of use from Commercial Business and Service (Class E) to residential in selected areas of Walthamstow Town Centre, designated employment areas, strategic industrial locations, locally significant industrial sites, district and neighbourhood centres and local parades as identified in the Modified Direction.

Article 4 direction for light industrial units

We introduced an Article 4 direction in November 2016 to remove permitted development rights to change use from light industrial (B1c) to dwelling houses (C3). This is borough-wide.

You can view a copy of the direction, including a map of the area covered  during normal office hours at The Magistrates, 1 Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow, London E17 4NX.

For more detail, see the Planning Policy Consultations webpage.

Article 4 direction for shops

You now require planning permission to change a retail shop (use class A1) to any of the following: financial and professional services (A2); restaurants (A3), dwelling houses (C3) or assembly and leisure (D2). This is borough-wide.

Confirmation of the Article 4 direction 

Background information 

Article 4 direction for offices B1a

We've removed permitted development rights for change of use from Class B1a (offices) to Class C3 (houses). This applies in Walthamstow town centre, designated employment areas and district and neighbourhood centres. Elsewhere, permitted development rights are in place.

You can view a copy of the Direction, including the map, during normal office hours at The Magistrates, Waltham Forest Town Hall Complex, Forest Road, London E17 4JF

Confirmation of the Article 4 direction

Consultation on the varied Article 4 direction

Background information

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

An HMO is a small shared dwelling house or flat which is the main home for three to six unrelated individuals who share amenities.

They fall within Use Class C4 of the government's Use Class Order.

Under national planning policy, a change of use from a dwelling house (C3) to a HMO (C4) is normally permitted development.

However, there is an Article 4 direction in place across the borough which means you’ll need planning permission for this change of use.

Confirmation of the Article 4 direction

Background information

Conservation areas

Article 4 directions also apply to conservation areas. Conservation areas have special architectural or historic interest. Their character is considered necessary to preserve or enhance the area. 

See our conservation areas page to find out:

  • where Waltham Forest's conservation areas are 
  • if a conservation area has an Article 4 direction attached to it
  • what an Article 4 direction means for proposed building works