In June, the London Borough of Hackney voted to adopt an Article 4 Direction (A4D) across the borough’s key town and shopping centres, meaning a developer would need to submit a full planning application for a change of use. Sade Olokodana is planning officer at the council.
Q. What does this article four direction cover?
A. The direction is aimed, in simple terms, at removing permitted development rights from shops converting to homes in a number of defined shopping areas within Hackney. The government introduced the rights in 2014 but the council feels that it would like to have control over these important employment areas. The order will cover one major town centre in Dalston, three district centres in central Hackney, Stoke Newington and Finsbury Park, plus 12 other local centres.
Q. How did you get involved in the process?
A. I used to work in development management and am now in the policy team. I think I was chosen to work on the project due to my understanding of development management. I have been involved from the beginning of the project, and have worked on other A4Ds within the borough, covering different permitted development rights.
Q. What work did you do on the A4D?
I ended up writing the cabinet report which was approved at cabinet in June. It was the first one I have done. It took a few weeks and after it was written it needed to be checked by managers and tweaked after comments from our legal and finance teams.
Q. What challenges lie ahead for you?
A. We are in a consultation period now. I was responsible for publicising this, and we have put adverts in our local council-published resident newspaper and on our website. I also had to go round the district centres posting notices on lampposts – although I got some help from colleagues doing this. Because the consultation covers a large area, we are expecting a lot of responses and it will be a challenge to collate them all.
The direction would also have to be approved by the secretary of state before it can become adopted.