Changes to Planning: Commercial Premises to Homes

In March 2021 the government introduced new legislation setting out that as of 1st August 2021, the conversion of Class E (commercial, business and service) floorspace to Class C3 (dwellinghouses) will be deemed permitted development, and therefore does not need planning permission. 

This right comes into force on 1 August 2021 and means that businesses can change from a commercial to a residential building with greater ease.

Lambeth Council is now seeking to make exemptions so that Class E floorspace in specific locations in Lambeth, do not benefit from this new permitted development right, through the introduction of three non-immediate Article 4 Directions. 

The intention is that once confirmed, these will replace the council’s existing Article 4 Directions removing permitted development rights for conversion of office floorspace to dwellinghouses. 

The three non-immediate Article 4 directions are as follows:

  • The London Plan Central Activities Zone as it relates to Lambeth.
  • Land in Key Industrial and Business Areas not falling within the Brixton Creative Enterprise Zone or the Central Activities Zone, and the West Norwood Creative Business Cluster.
  • Selected town centre locations: the Brixton Creative Enterprise Zone, which includes Brixton town centre; Streatham town centre; Clapham High Street primary shopping area and nine locations in and around Clapham High Street town centre; and the West Norwood/Tulse Hill primary shopping area.

If confirmed after 12 months, the Article 4 Directions will come into effect on 1st August 2022 and will replace the existing ‘Class O’ Article 4 Directions, removing permitted development rights for change of use from office to residential. Those directions remain valid until then under the transitional arrangements allowed for by the government. 

What Can You Do?

The Council is required to undertake public consultation on the making of the Article 4 directions for a period of at least 21 days. Lambeth is extending this period to 8 weeks to allow more time for submission of representations.

The consultation will run from 2 August to 27 September 2021.

Read and have your say on the making of each of the Article 4 directions on Lambeth’s consultation webpage. You can respond to the consultation by completing the online survey or by sending comments by email or post.

If you are submitting comments on behalf of another party, please make clear who you are representing.

Notice that Lambeth Council has made these three non-immediate article 4 directions, has also been given by press advertisement and site notice.

If you wish to look at the Directions themselves, including maps of the affected land, these can be viewed online

Or they can be inspected in person by sending an email to planningpolicy@lambeth.gov.uk, and arranging a time to view them at Lambeth Civic Centre, 6 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1EG between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm Mondays to Fridays.

If you have any further questions please contact Lambeth’s planning policy team by e-mail at planningpolicy@lambeth.gov.uk.

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