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Article 4 Direction made to protect Hemel town centre

Recent changes in planning rules mean that a range of commercial premises including shops, cafes, gyms and other services could be converted to houses or flats without the need for planning permission.

We are particularly concerned about the impact this could have on the main shopping area in Hemel Hempstead town centre, as it could lead to shops, cafes and gyms and other business premises, which provide services to the community, being lost.

Consequently, we have made an Article 4 Direction to protect the main parts of the town centre from the loss of shops, cafes and other such business premises to residential use, which comes into force today (Thursday 29 July 2021).

The new Direction will mean that planning permission will continue to be required if there are proposals to convert them to residential use, leaving us in control of decision making on these important street-level premises.

We are inviting feedback on the Article 4 Direction. Subject to the consideration of any comments received, the Direction will be confirmed by the Council within six months of the date of the initial notice.

Comments can be sent by email to responses@dacorum.gov.uk, or by post to the Strategic Planning Team, Dacorum Borough Council, The Forum, Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1DN. The deadline for responding is 11.59pm on Sunday 29 August 2021.

Further information is available on our Article 4 Directions page.