Decision details

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The paper sets out a proposal for the Council to commence work to impose an Article 4 Direction in core shopping areas of Buckinghamshire restricting the use of permitted development rights to change the use of commercial premises (including retail) to residential.


In March 2020, the Government announced amendments being made to national planning legislation to introduce a new permitted development right, Class MA, to allow the conversion of commercial premises (including retail shops) into residential without the need for a planning application or any public consultation.  Despite requests from Local Planning Authorities (including Buckinghamshire Council) to delay the implementation of this new legislation, Class MA came into effect on 1 August 2021.


Cabinet received a report that sought agreement for the Council to pursue an Article 4 Direction to prevent the use of Class MA in selected areas across the Buckinghamshire Council Area.  The report set  out the mechanics of the relevant legislation, the type of development that was automatically granted planning permission by the new permitted development rights, highlighted the potential impact on the area and the lack of any public consultation, comment or input in any way to the decisions specifically to the loss of retail premises.  The report also set out a proposal for a 2 phase approach in relation how the Council would pursue Article 4 Directions in the immediate term and next phase.




(1)               That the report be noted.

(2)               That Council Officers be authorised to commence Stage 1 work on a non-immediate Article 4 Direction removing the permitted development right set out in Class MA of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 2015, and on the locations detailed in the Cabinet report.

(3)               That Council Officers be authorised to commence Stage 2 of the project, as soon as resources allow, to undertake a public consultation as to whether the Council should consider imposing an Article 4 Direction to remove the permitted development right set out in Class MA of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 2015.

Wards Affected: Abbey; Amersham & Chesham Bois; Aylesbury East; Aylesbury North; Aylesbury North West; Aylesbury South East; Aylesbury South West; Aylesbury West; Beaconsfield; Buckingham East; Buckingham West; Chalfont St Peter; Chess Valley; Cliveden; Farnham Common & Burnham Beeches; Gerrards Cross; Iver; Marlow; Penn Wood & Old Amersham; The Risboroughs; Wendover, Halton & Stoke Mandeville; Winslow;

Details of any conflict of interest declared: None.

Contact: Darran Eggleton Email:

Report author: Darran Eggleton

Publication date: 09/11/2021

Date of decision: 09/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 09/11/2021 - Cabinet

Effective from: 17/11/2021

Accompanying Documents: