City of London offices protected from automatic residential conversion

The City of London Corporation has been successful in obtaining an Article 4 Direction, removing national permitted development rights for the change of use of offices to residential.

The City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee approved the Article 4 Direction last year.

It has now been confirmed that the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, will not use his ministerial power to amend or cancel the Article 4 Direction for the City.

The entire footprint of the City of London will now be exempt from the permitted development rights, meaning any plans to convert office buildings into residential will still require planning permission.

The Article 4 Direction comes into force on 1 August 2022, replacing the existing one which lapses at the end of July.

A City of London Corporation spokesperson said:

“The success of the Square Mile has been built on the benefits of agglomeration and offices remain at the core of our recovery plan.

“This Article 4 Direction means the City Corporation is able to continue to manage the stock of offices in the Square Mile and to protect existing office floorspace against a change of use to housing where that would cause harm to the primary business function of the City.

“We will continue to work closely with our neighbouring boroughs to ensure the economic role of the Central Activities Zone in London can be maintained and enhanced to benefit Londoners and the wider UK economy.”


Notes to Editors:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk


Shani Annand-Baron
Media Officer, City of London Corporation
shani.annand-baron@cityoflondon.gov.uk or 07710 860885