Article 4 directions


Some areas of Harlow are covered by Article 4 directions. If your property is in one of these areas, you’ll need planning permission for works that would normally be covered by permitted development rights.

There are Article 4 directions in Harlow affecting:

  • Old Harlow
  • Morley Grove 
  • Templefields
  • Pinnacles
  • Burnt Mill and Station Approach
  • town centre
  • the entire town (HMO conversions)

New Article 4 directions

On 13 October 2021, we made 5 new Article 4 directions that affect the town centre, Burnt Mill, Pinnacles and Templefields areas.

The directions in these areas remove the automatic right to covert commercial and business property (class E use) to into residential accommodation (class C3 use). The directions will come into force on 14 October 2022.

Why we are creating new directions

The government has introduced new permitted development rules that allow offices and some retail premises to be converted into residential accommodation without the need for planning permission.

We are using the Article 4 directions to give the council more control over these changes of use in certain key areas. The directions mean that rather than being able to change the use of premises automatically, without permission, the owners of these premises will instead need to make a planning application to the council in order to make the change. This allows us more control over development and means we can manage the needs of both business and residential accommodation in the town.

Just because we have the directions in place does not necessarily mean we will refuse planning applications for this change of use – we will consider applications against our planning policies, as we do with all planning applications, before deciding whether to grant permission.

You can find more information on the justification for making the Article 4 directions in the Cabinet report.

Key documents

You can view a copy of each of the directions:

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact the Forward Planning team by emailing