Article 4 Direction: Office to Residential

5 Jun 2019

Due to the high levels of office to residential conversion within the Bath City area Bath and North East Somerset Council have implemented an Article 4 Direction.

Following the consultation in May 2018, Bath and North East Somerset Council have implemented an Article 4 Direction on Office to Residential conversations. This direction came into effect on 24th May 2019. The Article 4 Direction removes permitted development rights for change of use from offices to residential within the central area of Bath.

Within the consultation documents it sets out that this ‘Article 4 direction is essential in order to protect local amenity and ensure proper planning in the area, in particular the council’s ability to prevent loss of uses which contribute to the wider strategic objectives for the area …The risk of potential loss of offices through permitted development rights is significant …The implications are that this is likely to cause significant harm to the council’s economic strategy’

An article 4 direction does not mean that the conversion cannot happen, it only means that a particular development cannot be carried out under permitted development and therefore needs a planning application. This gives a local authority the opportunity to consider a proposal in more detail.

The aim of the proposal is to retain key office space within the City of Bath to support the needs of local businesses.

More information on the direction can be found here and a boundary map can be found here.