Extensions and alterations which are normally permitted are controlled in designated areas by what is known as an Article 4 Direction. This means that planning permission must be obtained to make any changes to a property especially if it will be seen from the street, public footpath or public open spaces. It is not the function of an Article 4 Direction to prevent you from altering or repairing your property, but it does allow the Council to give you advice about the best methods, design and building materials to use. The aim is to preserve the special character of your property and neighbourhood.
Article 4 Directions stipulate that in conservation areas, planning permission is required to:
The Article 4 Direction is legally binding and you must apply for planning permission for any of the work listed above. The Council can take enforcement action if you carry out alterations without permission. This could require you to put your property back to its original condition. Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice can lead to prosecution. The penalty can be a fine of up to £20,000.