Article 4 Directions

What is an Article 4 direction?

An Article 4 Direction limits the works that can be carried out without needing planning permission from the council. For example, householders can normally make minor alterations to their houses without requiring planning permission. This is called “permitted development”. However, in some areas, the council has removed these "permitted development" rights by making an Article 4 Direction.

Areas covered by Article 4 Directions

The areas affected in the Ashford borough can be seen on our interactive maps. Each Direction only affects the area shown on the map.

The effect of an Article 4 Direction

The effect of an Article 4 Direction is that planning permission from the council is required for the types of building works or uses listed in the direction. In the Ashford borough examples of restrictions in directions are:

  • Extensions to the property
  • Alterations such as new windows
  • Alterations to roofs
  • Porches
  • Putting up gates, fences or walls
  • Placing caravans on land
  • Putting up agricultural buildings on small plots
  • Changes of use to houses in multiple occupation

A particular problem that the council has faced is large areas of land being divided up into very small plots and sold on to people who may hope to build on them. Where we are aware of this, Article 4 Directions are in place to restrict any landowners' ability to fence off the plot and put buildings on it. Without this control the appearance of the area could change radically and the council would not be able to control it.

If any of the works or operations is carried out without permission then the council could take action to restore the original appearance of the property at the owner's expense.

If your house is affected by an Article 4 Direction, you can obtain a copy of the document by emailing