Article 4 Directions

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Some areas and some buildings are particularly susceptible to harm caused by a succession of small changes, or by a change of use away from the building's original use. In the case of unlisted buildings many unsympathetic changes and several changes of use could occur without the need for planning permission - this would constitute "permitted development".

An Article 4 Direction means that planning permission is required for those physical changes or use class changes that would normally be permitted development. Below is a list of the items that require planning permission and notes which indicate the approach the Council is likely to take.

Physical Alterations (Conservation Areas)

Alterations to elevations

Material alterations to elevations now require planning permission from the Council. Some applications will be treated on their merit, for example:

  • Porches;
  • Removal of architectural details;
  • Extensions;
  • Other works materially affecting the appearance of the building including satellite dishes.

The Direction is not meant to cover very minor alterations such as burglar alarms. However, please be aware that different controls apply to listed buildings. If you are in doubt, please contact a Planning Officer.


A change of roof material will almost certainly require planning permission.

  • If a roof is a pitched roof in a terrace or a group of buildings where natural slates dominate, re-roofing in natural slate will be called for.
  • Where a roof is prominent, man-made (fibrous cement type) slates are not acceptable as an alternative to natural slate.

Generally, the retention of natural roofing materials is sought.

Roof windows

Some roof lights do not greatly affect the character of a building and would be acceptable.

Applications for dormer windows would be permitted only if they traditionally existed throughout a particular group of buildings. The bulk and design of a dormer would have to reflect that which previously existed or prevailed in the area and was appropriate to your particular building.

Doors and Windows

The original period design of doors and windows contributes greatly to the character of the Conservation Area and should be retained.

The installation of replacement doors and windows in aluminium, plastic, or in designs other than that which existed on principal elevations, would not receive permission, other than in exceptional circumstances.

Painting facades

Where good quality facing bricks are used throughout an Area it is appropriate that they should remain exposed for this reason.

Permission would not be granted for exterior painting of brickwork in areas covered by the Direction.

Where a facade has already been painted, planning permission would not be required for repainting, or a change of colour, unless it materially alters the appearance.

Textured paint and render

Textured paint or render would not normally receive planning permission in areas where brick prevails.

Hardstandings and curtilage walls

It is recognised that householders will wish to provide space for vehicles on their sites wherever possible. However, some control is necessary to prevent cars from dominating the street scene and the setting of buildings.

Proposals for vehicle hard standings should be refused unless they could be located or screened to minimise the impact on the surrounding area. Careful attention to paving and landscaping is required. Permission to erect a fence, wall or railing on the front curtilage boundary, would normally be approved if it was of a type which prevailed in the area.

In all cases apart from alterations to chimney stacks, permission would be required where the proposed development fronts onto a relevant location. 'Relevant location' means a highway (including footpaths), or open space. Corner plots will normally have two relevant frontages.

Use Class Changes (HMOs)

Change of Use from single Residential Dwelling (C3) to Small House in Multiple Occupation (C4)

The confirmed Article 4 Direction for Small HMOs (due to come into force on 1st June 2024), removes existing permitted development rights for material changes of use from dwelling houses (C3 use class) to small houses of multiple occupation (HMOs, C4 use class), made under article 4(1) of the General Permitted Development Order (2015 amendments). This Article 4 Direction, which covers portions of 12 wards in the Ipswich Borough area, results in the requirement for applicants to make a planning application for changes of use from dwelling houses to small HMOs, in order for them to be formally assessed by the Local Planning Authority. For affected areas, please see below.

Adoption: Notice of the Confirmation of the Article 4 (1) Direction Relating to Areas of Ipswich


As of the 17 January 2018, applications for development which require planning permission as a result of an Article 4 Direction now require a planning fee. Find out more at

So far, the Council has introduced four Article 4 Directions in residential areas of Ipswich and two Directions within the commercial centre of Ipswich. These have been the subject of extensive public consultation with the residents affected and enjoy widespread public support.

Article 4 Areas

Norwich Road/Anglesea Road Area

The properties affected by the Directions in the Norwich Road/Anglesea Road area are:

  • Alpe Street: 1-47, 2-40
  • Anglesea Road: 23-121, 6-54, 62-66
  • Ann Street: 1
  • Cardigan Street: 2
  • Ivry Street: 19-29
  • Newson Street: 3-13, 2
  • Norwich Road: 121-185, 120-172
  • Oban Street: 3-9, 8 & 10
  • Orford Street: 13-51, 10-78
  • Padget Road: 7-17, 27, 2-8
  • Redan Street: 1-15, 2-16
  • South Street: 2

View the Direction and map 

Christchurch Street Area

The properties affected by the Directions in the Christchurch Street area are:

  • Christchurch Street: 25-41, 49, 55-65, 71-101, 28-40, 44-54, 62-70, 74, 78-112
  • Constable Road: 1-7
  • Gainsborough Road: 1-11, 4-16
  • Parkside Avenue: 1-5, 2-10
  • Tuddenham Road: 11, 11a, 15-37, 2-6, 12-26, 30-36, 40-62
  • Westerfield Rd: 1-41, 2-16, 26-48, 52, 54

View the Direction and map

Central Conservation Area

The properties affected by the Directions in the Central Conservation Area are:

  • Bolton Lane: 1-51

View the Direction and map

Marlborough Road Conservation Area

The properties affected by the Directions in the Marlborough Road area are:

  • Marlborough Road: 14-44, 5-55
  • Tolworth Road: 1, 6-8

View the Direction and map

Article 4 Areas in the centre of Ipswich

In addition to the Article 4 Directions in residential areas there are two further Directions. (i) The Walk / Thoroughfare (ii) The Walk. Both are within the Central Conservation Area.

(i) The Walk / Thoroughfare

Planning permission is required for proposals to alter the colour of the timber shopfronts and to change the current yorkstone paving.

The properties affected by the Direction are:

  • Buttermarket; 3-7
  • The Walk; 2-24, 1-15
  • The Thoroughfare; 13-17, 14
  • Tavern Street; 16

The Direction is not intended to cover very minor alterations. However, if you are unsure whether any work you propose to carry out to your property requires planning permission, please contact us using the details on the left of this page.

View the Direction and map

(ii) The Walk 

Planning permission is required for alterations to the Yorkstone paving within the area covered by the Direction.

View the Direction and map 

Article 4 Direction for Small HMOs – Affected Areas

Portions of the following wards: Alexandra; Bixley; Bridge; Castle Hill; Gainsborough; Gipping; Holywells; Priory Heath; Rushmere; St John’s; St Margaret’s; Westgate.  In some cases, very small portions of wards are affected, and these areas can be viewed on the map attached to the Direction, links below:

Ipswich Borough Council Maps of the Extent of the HMO Article 4 Direction Boundary (Areas affected by the Article 4 Direction)

Detailed Maps (Showing Areas 1-9)

Adoption: Notice of the Confirmation of the Article 4 (1) Direction Relating to Areas of Ipswich