Members received the report on the Request to review representations received and confirm the Article 4 (1) directions for the demolition of front boundary treatments within 10 of Harrow’s Conservation Areas.
An Article 4 Direction was a direction under article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (“GPDO”) which enabled the Council to withdraw specified permitted development rights across a defined area.
The effect of this was to require planning permission for the specified works where normally such works would not require planning permission. In Harrow, the Council had proactively made Article 4 Directions for the majority of its Conservation Areas in order to protect the special architectural or historic interest and character (or amenity) of the areas.
On 30 May 2018 the Planning Committee had agreed the officer’s recommendation to introduce an Article 4 direction for 14 Conservation Areas, subject to representations received during the statutory consultation period being reported back to Planning Committee, along with a recommendation as to whether or not to confirm them.
The Article 4 directions required planning permission for the demolition of all or any part of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure (by restricting Part 11 Class C of Schedule 2 to the GPDO) where there was already an Article 4 direction in place requiring planning permission for the alteration of a boundary treatment. From December 2020 to April 2021, the Article 4 directions had been introduced as agreed, subject to the required consultation period.
The report covered the Directions of the Harrow Weald Park, Pinner and Stanmore and Edgware groups of Conservation Areas, where the statutory consultation period had been completed and the Directions needed to be confirmed before they lapsed.
Representations had been received requesting clarification as to what the introduction of the Article 4 directions meant, which had been supplied in each instance without further comment or query in response.
The report, therefore, proposed to confirm the Article 4 Directions that were introduced for 10 conservation areas, noting that the responses to the Harrow on the Hill Conservation Areas Directions would be reported at a subsequent meeting, along with a recommendation as to whether they should be confirmed or not. The geographic extent of the directions reflected that of the existing Article 4 Directions where rights had been withdrawn for the alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure.
Councillors Ashton and Patel expressed their reservations about imposing Article 4 Directions on to individual householders and that, at this late stage, the imposition would not make much difference to the integrity of long-established Conservation Areas. They added that it was of concern that the Council appeared to favour influential developers and large organisations by recommending for grant inappropriate applications in, or abutting, Conservation Areas, thereby overlooking the importance of Harrow’s heritage assets. These recommendations were being made at the same time as making life very difficult for the individual householders, who lived in Harrow's Conservation Areas.
The Committee ... view the full minutes text for item 302