Message from Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - Planning Consultations

Dear stakeholder,

Consultation: Article 4 direction to continue to require planning permission for Class E “business, commercial and service uses” to residential.

In April 2021 the Government amended the General Permitted Development Order, removing the need for planning permission for changes of use of  E class “business, commercial and service use” to residential, and replacing it with a system of prior approval.  

Class E uses include shops, restaurants, medical uses, indoor sports facilities, offices  and workshops.  

This means that rather than determining any relevant application using the policies in our own Local Plan we can only use a narrow set of issues which have been defined by the regulations.  We will not be able to consider, for example, the impact that a change of use will have upon our town centres, the need for particular facilities, or the impact that it will have upon local employment or on the local economy.

In order to retain the ability to require planning permission, the Council has made a non-immediate Article 4 direction.  

This direction covers the entire borough. 

More details can be found on the Council’s website.

Article 4 direction: Class E commercial, business and service uses to residential. - Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - Planning Consultations (

The Council is consulting on this Article 4 Direction for eight weeks, starting from Wednesday 21 July and running to midnight on Wednesday 15 September 2021.

The Council would like to hear your views on whether the proposed Article 4 Direction would be appropriate. 

How to respond

              The Planning Policy Team
              Planning and Borough Development
              The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
              Kensington Town Hall
              Hornton Street, London,
              W8 7NX

The Council will consider any representations received before deciding whether to confirm the Article 4 direction. This confirmation must take place in a years time if the Council is not to be liable for the payment of any compensation associated with the removal of the permitted development right. As such, subject to consideration of representations, the Direction will come into force on 1 August 2022.

If you have any questions please contact us at