Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the Article 4 Direction on new permitted development rights. These rights were considered by this Panel at its meeting on 10 September 2020.
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the merits of Article 4 Direction for new permitted development rights that have recently been introduced to help kick-start construction and speed-up development as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The report noted that this Panel had deliberated this item at its meeting on 10 September 2020. The Panel had asked the Head of Planning to consider whether there was evidence to indicate that any of these rights would prejudice the proper planning of the area and constitute a threat to the amenities of the area.
The following points were noted:
· The loss of office space in the Borough since 2013. This has caused a reduction in office space which has had a negative effect on businesses.
· The Direction will come into formal existence in October 2020.
· The new permitted development right allows commercial buildings to be demolished and replaced by a block of flats or single detached houses. This somewhat represents a threat to the supply of local office space and an ongoing economic affluence of the Borough.
· There were two options for the Council; a) an immediate direction which has already been consulted on for a similar direction for those areas but this posed a risk of compensation costs. b) a non-immediate direction as it would be different to the previous direction but this would take a year to come into effect. This option would be best for the Council.
· Controlling the upward expansion of building and current HMO, A4D that already exists for Hatfield. If a permitted development right was exercised for an upward expansion to a dwelling for a flat, this would be controlled by the current A4D in place covering the Hatfield area.
· Hatfield House and the park that falls under the Grade I listing was considered in terms on tall building being allowed within short distance and the skyline. It was noted that having taller building within the vicinity could have a negative impact on character of the House and its grounds. With this evidence it would be advantageous to have an A4D to restrain blocks of flats being extended upwards. Maps within the report had been viewed. Recommendation from the Head of Planning was to have non-immediate direction; whereby a six week consultation with a year to confirm the decision.
· Extending houses upwards may result in substandard dwellings with natural light restrictions. The Government has advised that such expansions will have to meet national standards, as there has been some substandard extensions within the new permitted development rights. Planning Officers will consider these at the time of the application review.
· There had been a suggestion from a Member whether it would be possible to forgo an A4D due to timescales and create conservation areas, as permitted development rights do not often exist in conservation areas; Members were advised that this would not be workable.
1. That the decision be made via Cabinet for these proposed Article 4 Directions.
2. In order to protect strategic employment sites that the Council should consult on an Article 4 Direction for the removal of permitted development rights for Class ZA in Part 20 of Schedule 2 of the GDPO which permits the demolition of commercial buildings and its replacement with a block of flats or single detached dwelling house. This should be applied to the same strategic employment sites as the Article 4 Direction that has been agreed for the removal of permitted development rights for the change of use of offices to flats.
3. In order to protect heritage assets in Hatfield that the Council should consult on an Article 4 Direction for the removal of permitted development rights for Class A in Part 20 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO which permits self-contained flats to be constructed on top of existing blocks of flats. This should be applied to the parts of Hatfield that were recently considered as part of a Hatfield Heritage Assessment.
4. That the Head of Planning be granted delegated authority to prepare these Draft Schedules for public consultation.
5. That a report be presented to this Panel and Cabinet following public consultation to decide whether to confirm these Article 4 Directions.