Recent changes in planning rules mean that a range of commercial premises, including shops and other services, could be converted to houses or flats without the need for planning permission.
We are concerned about the impact this could have on the main shopping area in Hemel Hempstead town centre, as it could lead to the loss of shops, cafes, gyms and other business premises which provide services to residents, workers and visitors.
Consequently, we made an Article 4 Direction, which came into force on 29 July 2021, to protect the main parts of the town centre from being converted to residential use without planning permission.
The Direction means that planning permission will continue to be required if there are proposals to convert shops and other street-level premises to residential use, leaving us in control of decision making.
We carried out a consultation on the Direction, which ended on 29 August 2021. Following consideration of the responses received, we have confirmed the main parts of the town centre as an Article 4 area. The Direction will remain in effect until such time as it may be modified or cancelled.
Further information is available on our Article 4 Directions page.