Article 4 Directions - employment and town centre areas

Recent changes in planning rules mean that a range of commercial premises including offices, shops and cafes, and other services could be converted to houses or flats without the need for planning permission.

We are concerned about the impact that this is having in the area to retain existing businesses and jobs, attract new businesses and jobs, and to provide services locally for Dacorum’s residents, workers and visitors.

Continuing protection for our employment areas

In January 2020 we provided protection by designating key employment areas within Dacorum as Article 4 areas (see below), which reintroduced the need for planning permission for the changes of use from office and other uses to houses or flats. This protection ended on Monday 1 August 2022.

We therefore extended that protection beyond 1 August 2022 in line with current national and local policy and guidance by designating properties at the following locations as Article 4 areas:

  • Maylands Business Park
  • Doolittle Meadows, Hemel Hempstead
  • Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead
  • Northbridge Road and River Park, Berkhamsted
  • Icknield Way, Tring

The new Directions came into force on Friday 15 July 2022. The effect of these will mean that planning permission will continue to be required if there are proposals to convert identified properties to residential use, leaving us in control of decision-making in these important areas.

Have your say

Please note: The deadline for making comments on continuing protection for our employment areas has now passed.

Subject to the consideration of comments received, the Direction will be confirmed by us within six months of the date of the initial notice. 

Direction documents


Statements and notices

Hemel Hempstead Town Centre

An Article 4 Direction is in place across parts of Hemel Hempstead town centre. A consultation was held in August 2021. The Direction was confirmed by us and remains in effect until it is modified or cancelled.