StQW reponse to RBKC on a ‘Borough-wide exemption’ on Permitte Development Rights

Kensington and Chelsea Council has introduced an Article 4 Direction which removes national permitted development rights on change of use from commercial to residential use. This will take effect in 2022, if accepted by the Secretary of State.

The Council previously introduced a borough-wide Article 4 Direction removing PD rights on office-to-residential change of use. This further Direction applies to all E class commercial uses and is also proposed to cover the entire Borough.

The Forum argued back in 2017 that a complete ‘borough-wide’ approach is a blunt instrument and that there are some parts of the Borough which need these national planning flexibilities. Latimer Road is one of these areas, as a street where we feel that much needed new housing should be provided.

We take the same position on this latest proposal by the Council and have submitted a response to its recent consultation on this issue – as below.

We also think that the Council is ignoring national policy guidance that Article 4 Directions of this kind, if used, should be applied to the ‘smallest area possible’. We think that RBKC’s approach should have been more selective geographically, and that a ‘borough-wide’ direction will have increased the likelihood of intervention by the Secretary of State. It may be several months before we know whether the Council’s proposal will be allowed to stand.