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Article 4 Guidance Notes - Malone Park

Published 2019

A Guide to Article 4 Directions

Why am I receiving this?

This guidance note explains the purpose and effect of the Article 4 Direction Notice that you have received. As a resident or home-owner in the Malone Park Conservation Area, this Direction will directly affect you if you wish to carry out certain changes to the property.

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Planning legislation allows owners to make certain changes to their property without requiring planning permission. This is known as ‘permitted development’ and covers a range of minor changes including repairs, alterations or extensions.

What are Article 4 Directions?

Article 4 Directions allow a local planning authority to restrict the range of permitted development rights within a particular area, and are commonly used within Conservation Areas. When they are in place, it essentially means that if someone wishes to carry out works that would normally be considered permitted development, they will now need planning permission.

Why do we need Article 4 Directions?

Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historical interest, which the council has a duty to preserve or enhance. Although works that would normally be covered under permitted development rights might be small in nature, they have the potential to be harmful to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

Introducing an Article 4 Direction allows the planning authority more control over what works take place, as a way of protecting the character and appearance of the area. This does not mean that such works cannot be carried out or would be refused, but it does mean that careful thought must be given to make sure any changes are appropriate and sympathetic for both the property and the wider area.

Where will they apply in Belfast?

We have 13 Conservation Areas in Belfast.

From Friday 19 April 2019, Article 4 Directions will be applied to:

  • Adelaide Park Conservation Area
  • Malone Park Conservation Area

Why were these areas chosen?

Adelaide Park and Malone Park were chosen after a survey in 2015 demonstrated that a lot of properties in these areas have retained a large proportion of original, historic elements. Public consultation exercises were also carried out in 2016 and 2017, with surveys delivered to all residents in both areas. The responses demonstrated majority community support, and as such the council’s Planning Committee agreed to apply both Directions. In January 2019 the Department for Infrastructure formally approved their implementation. 

How do Article 4 Directions affect me?

If you own a property or live within the Malone Park Conservation Area, you may need planning permission for certain works, including the following development:

  • Removal and replacing window frames and doors to front and side elevations
  • Erection or construction of a porch outside any external door
  • Installing a hard surface, such as a driveway or parking space, to front and side gardens
  • Any works involving a gate, fence, wall or enclosure to the front or side boundary
  • Painting the outside front or side walls of a building in a different colour or form

This is a general summary of the works; the specific details and legislation for each are set out in full in Schedule 1 of the Direction. You will also find a map attached to the Direction, referred to as Schedule 2, which shows the actual properties which are affected.

What do I need to provide if making a planning application?

A reduced fee of £64 is required for any application made for works affected by the Article 4 Direction. Where details are required in support of applications, photographs and drawings by suppliers and companies will normally be acceptable. Detailed plans would rarely be required, however the council will advise you if and when they may be needed.

Where can I get more advice or guidance?

For more guidance on Article 4 Directions or how to apply for planning permission, call 028 9050 0510 or email at

If you want independent advice about the Direction or its effect on you or your property, you should contact a lawyer, planning consultant or other professional advisor specialising in planning matters.

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