Article 4 advice

Article 4 Directions help to preserve and enhance the architectural and historical character of conservation areas in Basingstoke’s Town Centre, Fairfields, South View and Brookvale West.

The Article 4 Directions provide additional planning controls to protect the character of the area, and mean that planning permission is required for minor development to buildings within the conservation area.

The loss of historic features can harm the special character of an area. By being able to consider applications for minor alterations and extensions, the council will be able to ensure that any developments do not adversely affect the area’s special qualities.

This ensures that a range of work, generally where it can be seen from the street, which could otherwise normally be done in conservation areas without the need for permission, can then be adequately managed through the planning permission process. Such work includes:

  • The replacement of windows and doors.
  • The installation of any solar panels, including to the roof.
  • The installation of roof lights.
  • The construction, alteration or demolition of boundary walls.
  • The construction, alteration or demolition of a porch.
  • The replacement of fascias, soffits or guttering.
  • The construction, alteration or demolition of outbuildings.
  • The construction or alteration of paving or other hard-surfaced areas.
  • External painting or changing the external paint colour of your building

Please note: Please read the Article 4 Direction for the relevant conservation area.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Article 4 Direction?

Planning controls, in the form of Article 4 Directions, remove specific permitted development rights affecting the principal elevation of houses in conservation areas. This means changes to windows and doors, roof materials, chimneys, front paths, front boundary walls and other architectural features, (which should be retained and repaired, rather than replaced), will now require planning permission.

Please note: Please refer to the Article 4 Direction wording and map for each conservation area.

If your building is painted externally and falls within the Article 4 area in the Top of Town, Church Square, New Road or Chequers Road, planning permission will be required to change the colour scheme.

How will applications made under Article 4 be assessed?

We will pay particular attention to the extent to which the proposals affect the character and appearance of the area. The character appraisal for each conservation area draws out the key features contributing to its special architectural or historic interest, which should serve as a useful guide.

In general original windows and doors, front paths, front boundary walls and other architectural features should be retained and repaired, rather than replaced. If repair is not possible, then identical units (design, materials and finishes) should be made up.

Original roof materials such as Welsh slate and clay roof tiles should be retained. Modern materials such as concrete tiles or artificial slates are unlikely to be acceptable.

Chimneys are often prominent and attractive features and their demolition or truncation is likely to be resisted. The removal of historic walls, railings or gates is unlikely to be acceptable where they form part of an attractive streetscape. New boundary treatments should support the character of the area.

If your building is painted externally and falls within the Article 4 area in the Top of Town, Church Square, New Road or Chequers Road, planning permission will be required to change the colour scheme.

Is pre-application advice available?

It is always advisable to discuss your proposals at an early stage before submitting an application. Officers can give you an informal view of the possible outcome of an application and may also be able to help overcome any problems. This advice is currently free. Please see our webpage on Please read our pre-application advice webpage.

What information is needed for a planning application?

Applications must be submitted on the appropriate forms. Notes to accompany these forms to provide further guidance on the plans, drawings and supporting information are also required. Forms and guidance notes can be found on our planning application forms and requirements webpage.

How long does getting consent under an Article 4 Direction take?

An application under an Article 4 Direction works in exactly the same way as any other application for planning permission and it can take up to eight weeks for you to get permission.

Is there a fee?

The fee for applications made only in relation to an Article 4 Direction in a Conservation Area is £206 at present.

Do I need planning permission to paint my building?

In the Top of Town, you will need planning permission, but only for external painting of unpainted surfaces, this includes the front, side and rear of your property. If you plan to repaint your property, where the paint used is similar in colour to that used previously, permission will not be required. These changes do not affect Listed Buildings, which require Listed Building Consent for painting.

Do I need planning permission to alter my house or to change my windows?

Yes, dwelling houses in the Basingstoke Town Centre, Brookvale West, Fairfields and South View conservation areas have had some permitted development rights removed. This means some changes such as replacement windows or doors, hard standings, porches and roof changes now need planning permission.

Does the Article 4 Direction mean that we can never make any changes to our property again?

No, but it will remove permitted development rights and bring minor changes under planning control so that properly considered and informed decisions can be made. This is to ensure that the work proposed will not detrimentally affect the character of the conservation area.

The need for planning controls in conservation areas is to manage change to ensure that development can happen but avoids harming the special qualities of the area. As a result, some changes will be allowed and some won’t.

How does the Article 4 Direction relate to conservation area appraisals?

The conservation area appraisal is a separate document that identifies in writing, photos and maps what is special about an area. When we consider applications for development, it is used to make an informed decision on whether or not the development is appropriate.

The need for an Article 4 to protect the historic character and appearance of the conservation area was identified during the review of the conservation area and its appraisal. The appraisal sets out why the Article 4s are considered to be necessary and the important contribution those areas covered by Article 4s make to the conservation area.

It also makes recommendations for actions to be taken to preserve and enhance local character.

Can we have a copy of the Conservation Area Appraisal?

They can be downloaded from the Conservation Area Appraisal webpage

Is there a right of appeal?

There is no right of appeal against an Article 4 Direction being served. However if a planning application is refused there is a right of appeal which is decided in line with national and local planning policy, please see our webpage on appealing against a planning decision.

I want to change my windows, what should I do?

If the windows are historic, where possible they should be repaired, rather than replaced, to retain the character and authenticity of the building. A specialist joiner can usually repair windows in most cases and thermal efficiency can often be improved with the use of heavy curtains, draught stripping and/or secondary glazing.

Where windows are proven to be beyond repair or the existing windows are inappropriate, replacement may be acceptable, depending on the detail of the new windows. The proportions, materials, finish, detailing, divisions, glazing bars will all be critical. In most cases UPVC, aluminium or standard double glazed timber windows will be inappropriate replacements for historic windows.

What are the general planning controls in conservation areas?

Find out more information on planning controls in conservation areas.

I live in a flat, do I need planning permission for external changes?

Yes - because flats, unlike houses, do not benefit from permitted development rights. If you want to make changes to the exterior of your flat you need planning permission.

I own a commercial premises, do I need planning permission for external changes?

Yes - because businesses, unlike houses, do not benefit from permitted development rights. If you want to make changes to the exterior of your commercial premises you will need planning permission.

Contact details


Planning Development Team

If you have a planning enquiry, send a message to the Planning Development Team

Telephone: 01256 844844

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