Crawley Borough Council has introduced new Article 4 Directions for a number of the town’s main employment areas.
This will mean that at Lowfield Heath, Maidenbower Business Park, Three Bridges Corridor and Tilgate Forest Business Centre, office, light industrial and warehouse premises can no longer be converted to housing without planning permission.
The removal of permitted development rights, which allow the conversion of certain property uses to housing without a need for planning permission, follows concerns raised by the council and business community that residential development in employment areas is having a negative impact on the operation of these areas and the supply of business land.
The council also had concerns about the quality of life for anyone living in these areas, which can be noisy, busy places that don’t have the supporting facilities found in the town’s residential neighbourhoods.
In March 2019, the council’s Cabinet approved the ‘non-immediate Article 4 Directions’, which remove permitted development rights for the conversion of office, light industrial or warehouse premises to residential uses in the above main employment areas.
Before the directions could be introduced a 12-month notification period and a three-month consultation had to be carried out. These have now been completed and the directions came into force on 22 February 2021.
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “Employment land is at a premium in Crawley and it is vital that the main employment areas are protected to support the town’s economy, now even more so as we seek to support Crawley’s recovery from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Loss of business space to residential use erodes the town’s already limited supply of employment land and undermines our ability to generate the jobs required by so many Crawley residents.”
For more details visit www.crawley.gov.uk/A4D