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Article 4 Direction

Article 4 Direction applies to certain properties within Conservation Areas.

Article 4 Directions remove permitted development rights for these properties, bringing minor changes under planning control so that properly considered and informed judgments can be made.

This is to ensure that the work proposed will not detrimentally affect the character of the Conservation Area. The aim is to manage change to ensure that development can happen but avoid it from harming the special qualities of the area.

Some Conservation Areas are now covered by Article 4 Direction, as a result tighter planning control over development is now in force.

A rolling programme of Conservation Area Character Appraisals is being undertaken. When undertaking these appraisals, various considerations are taken into account, including the appropriateness of the existing planning controls. Where appropriate, Article 4 Directions have been served to tighten planning controls over changes that are likely to directly impact on public views - usually the front of the house facing the street.

Article 4 Directions have been confirmed covering:

  • Waterden Road

  • Charlotteville and Warren Road

  • East Clandon

  • St Catherine's

  • Shere

  • Town Centre

  • Onslow Village

  • Abbotswood

  • Wanborough


Further Article 4 Directions will be considered at the same time as Conservation Character Appraisals are produced.

Once served, the Direction takes immediate effect and lasts for up to six months, pending a decision to confirm, modify or revoke, taking into account any feedback received. When the Article 4 Directions are in place, additional controls apply.

Additional planning controls resulting from the Article 4 Direction

Where the following works front onto a highway or open space, as a result of the Article 4 Direction, additional planning controls apply:

  • The alteration, installation or replacement of doors and windows.

  • Any alteration to a roof including roof coverings, rooflights and solar panels.

  • Building a porch.

  • Enlargement, improvement or alteration such as an extension, removal or changes to architectural features.

  • The provision of a hard surface.

  • The erection, construction, improvement or alteration (including demolition) of a fence, gate, wall or other means of enclosure.

  • The installation, alteration or replacement of a satellite dish or antenna.

  • Removing totally or partially walls, gates, fences or other means of enclosure.

  • Exterior painting of previously unpainted surfaces or changes of external colour schemes, or covering walls by render or like finishes.

And the following whether or not it fronts a highway or open space:

  • Removing or altering chimneys.

Some points to consider before submitting an application

The fact that an application may be required for works within an Article 4 Direction area does not mean that permission will be refused. We will pay particular regard to the extent to which the proposals affect the character and appearance of the area. The Conservation Area Character Appraisals draw out the key features contributing to an area's special architectural or historic interest, which should serve as a useful guide.

In general, original windows and doors should be retained and repaired, rather than replaced. If repair is not possible then identical units (design, materials and finishes) should be made up. Original roof materials such as Welsh slate and clay roof tiles should be retained. Modern materials such as concrete tiles or artificial slates are unlikely to be acceptable. Chimneys are often prominent and attractive features and their demolition or truncation is likely to be resisted. Likewise, the removal of walls, railings or gates is unlikely to be acceptable where they form part of an attractive streetscape.

It is always advisable to discuss your proposals at an early stage prior to submission of an application. Officers will be able to give you an informal view of the possible outcome of an application and may also be able to help overcome any problems.

Applications must be submitted on the appropriate forms. Notes accompany these forms, which provide further guidance on the plans, drawings and supporting information required. You will also need to pay the appropriate application fee. Please see our Planning application forms and fees page for the current fee.