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National requirements

​Information on national planning policy, Government announcements and consultations, is available from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The National Planning Policy Framework and online Planning Practice Guidance are available from the Government's website.

Change of use from commercial to residential

Permitted development rights for change of use from commercial to residential

In January 2013 the government proposed altering planning law to allow change from offices to housing without the need for planning permission but offered local authorities the option to apply for exemption from these "permitted development" rights. The City was concerned that the reforms would threaten the City's economic role and so applied for a local exemption.

In May 2013 the Secretary of State announced that the City Corporation's application had been accepted and that the whole of the City of London will be exempted.

The City Corporation's local exemption application to the Secretary of State (1.60MB)
Secretary of State's letter (70KB)
Secretary of State's statement
Order exempting the City
Maps accompanying the order

Article 4 Direction

On 14 May 2018, the City Corporation confirmed the making of a Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction to permanently remove office to residential permitted development rights from 31 May 2019:

Article 4 Direction (750KB)
Article 4 Notice (21KB)

The City Corporation and the Mayor of London have published evidence to support the making of the Article 4 Direction:

Article 4 Evidence Base (913KB)
Potential Impact of Use Class Order Relaxation (Feb 2018) (360KB)
Strategic evidence to support Article 4 office to residential

The City Corporation consulted on its proposals to make an Article 4 Direction between 6 February 2018 and 20 March 2018:

Consultation Response to Article 4 Direction (20KB)

If you would like further information, please contact:

or write to:

Development Plans Team
Department of the Built Environment
City of London Corporation
PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ

08 November 2013
Last Modified:
12 September 2018