Measures extended to protect our key employment areas

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

Schemes already completed or approved since 2014 under these new rules are likely to result in the loss of up to 3,000 office jobs in Dacorum. Most of these job losses are occurring in the borough’s main employment areas, including Maylands Business Park.

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 to Dacorum’s residents, workers and visitors.

We have provided protection by designating key employment areas within Dacorum as Article 4 areas, which reintroduced the need for planning permission for the changes of use from office and other uses to houses or flats. This protection is set to end on 1 August 2022.

We are proposing to extend that protection beyond 1 August 2022, in line with current national and local policy and guidance by designating land and 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.

We are inviting representations on the Article 4 Directions. Subject to the consideration of any comments received, the Direction will be confirmed by us within six months of the date of the initial notice.

Representations may be made until 11.59pm on Friday 2 September 2022. These can be sent by email to, or by post to the Strategic Planning Team, Dacorum Borough Council, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1DN.

Further information is available on our Article 4 Directions page.