Wealden District Council
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Article 4 Directions

What is an Article 4 Direction?

This provides the Council with powers in specific cases to withdraw the benefit of permitted development status granted under the General Development Order.u00a0 These generally require the approval of the Secretary of State. However, the Council itself may approve a Direction under Article 4(2) which removes certain permitted development rights from dwelling houses within Conservation Areas for such development which fronts a highway, waterway or open space.

Prospective Buyers Beware!

In some cases companies buy up farmland and subdivide into plots suitable for reasonable size houses. These plots are then sold to investors at many times the purchase price without planning consent. The company never says planning consent will be granted but issues copies of press releases and quotes that give the impression the Government is about to change its policy. It also draws up plans, like housing estates with proposed access roads etc, and agrees to make applications for planning consent. The land is also sold through independent agents over which the company has no control.

The downside is that people end up paying thousands for agricultural land with a value of a few hundred, which is then abandoned and becomes neglected.

There have been many concerns and enquiries regarding land sales and potential development of land. Article 4 Directions have been placed on land within Wealden’s district removing permitted development rights.

This means that full planning permission is needed for any development. Planning policies within these areas, some of which are designated as being Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty/National Park, are especially restrictive in accordance with Government Guidance.