Article 4 Directions & Restrictions on Permitted Development

What are Article 4 Directions?

Article 4 Directions remove the right to carry out certain types of 'permitted development'. If you want to do work that is covered by an Article 4 Direction you will first need to apply for planning permission. Within the District there are two main types of Article 4 Direction:

  • Article 4 directions which restricting changes of use from offices/ light industrial to residential (see below)
  • Article 4 directions for additional planning controls in Conservation Areas

Article 4 Directions for 'Office to Residential'

In October 2016, Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) agreed to commence the making of directions under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. 

The directions are necessary to ensure proper planning to support economic development in Mole Valley. This is in line with MVDC Core Strategy Policy CS12 which seeks to safeguard and recycle accessible and well located industrial and commercial sites for employment use. There is a demand for good quality office space in Mole Valley, the supply of which has been significantly undermined by the conversion of office premises to residential uses under the Prior Approval process introduced in 2013. An assessment of the current and future office market supports the need to protect certain office buildings and locations from conversion to residential use. The justification for the Directions was presented to the Secretary of State who has not objected to the Directions that are now in force.

Details and Relevant Regulations

The Directions relate to development consisting of the use of a building and any land within its curtilage to a use falling within Class C3 (Dwelling Houses) of the Schedule to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 from a use falling within Class B1(a) (Offices).

This relates to development comprised within Class O of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 and not being development comprised within any other Class, and removes permitted development rights for this type of development from the date when the direction comes into force. The directions do not apply to development which received prior approval before the date on which the directions come into force and where that development is completed within three years of the prior approval date.

MVDC chose to pursue a non-immediate Article 4 direction with the directions coming into force at least one year after the making of the directions, subject to consideration of responses from relevant consultations. Following formal confirmation, planning permission is required for any change of use from offices to residential use.

For associated documents and supporting evidence (see 'Downloads')

For further information refer to the Planning Portal.

Land in the following locations have Confirmed Article 4 Directions for 'Office to Residential':


  • Dorking Office Park, Station Road, Dorking, RH4 1HJ
  • Parsonage Square, Station Road, Dorking, RH4 1UP
  • Station Approach, Dorking
  • Park Lodge, London Road, Dorking
  • Sabre House, 150 South Street, Dorking
  • Parsonage House, Station Road, Dorking
  • Abinger House, Church Street, Dorking


  • The Square, Randalls Way, Leatherhead
  • The Crescent, Leatherhead Town Centre
  • Guildford Road, Leatherhead Town Centre
  • Cleeve Road, Leatherhead
  • Cleeve Road Business Parks, Leatherhead
  • Springfield Drive, Leatherhead
  • Wates House, Station Approach, Leatherhead
  • Federation House, Highbury Drive, Leatherhead
  • Kings Court & Bay Tree Avenue, Leatherhead
  • Regents Park & Brook Way, Leatherhead

This list is a summary so please check 'Downloads' or through a land search of the exact location of the Article 4 land.