Article 4 Directions in Reading

Added Jesse Terrace A4 document & some text to HMO section and Craven Road 7 November  2018

15 Streets with Article 4 Directions

Images of ALL the buildings subject to Article 4 Directions because of their architectural features are provided in the following photo book:-

NOTE: Basingstoke Road and Junction Road houses are Additionally included within the A4 Direction re HMOs in the University “Residential Catchment Area”. Houses in Jesse Terrace are also subject to HMO restrictions.


The Council’s Draft Local Plan Submission March 2018 states (section 4.2.14 Page 38)

“In areas where there is a need to protect character, local authorities have the power to make an Article 4 direction to remove permitted development rights and require planning applications. There are 15 Article 4 directions currently in place that relate to patterned brickwork and one relating to a locally listed building (plus two which restrict conversions from a house to an HMO) and the Council will continue to consider the implementation of Article 4 directions, particularly in areas where special historic character is threatened. There is potential to use Local Development Orders (LDOs) in combination with Article 4 Directions in order to allow owners to reinstate features that reflect historic character without having to submit a planning application.”

A similar statement is also made at section 2.3.19  of the Historic Environment Background Paper

There was however no visible list of the buildings with A4Ds, and as Jesse Terrace did not have patterned brickwork we knew the explanation that “..the Article 4s have been applied to all groups of buildings listed to preserve their Patterned or decorative brickwork”  was not correct.  It was also unhelpful for the buildings not to be listed clearly anywhere; not only would home owners not be on alert but Council officers would not be able to apply “the law”.

In 2002 a member of Reading Civic Society received a document from the Planning Department of RBC which listed 11 streets with A4 Directions and added 3 others – a total of 14.  The document signed by Harry Tee, Chief Executive of RBC is dated January 1988. Article 4 – Letter from CE Harry Tee 22 Jan 1988. It details that 4 Streets were removed , confirms 11 and adds 3.

In 2006 Reading Civic Society received a document from the Planning Department List of Article 4s provided by RBC in 2006 which confirmed that the list as in the header of the book of images above.

We also discovered on a Reading Museum file a RBC reference to the A4D applied to; 23-31 Junction Road: Attractive late Victorian terrace. Original front dormers. Slate roof. Half hipped ends. Period railings on low brick wall, but 23 and 29 missing for parking access. Good example of a patterned brickwork terrace. Protected by an Article 4 Direction dated January 1988.”  This clarifies that the original dormers and the railings are also covered by the A4D.

Following the above investigative work on 28 February 2018 RBC added to their website a list of buildings with Article 4 Directions and clarified the reasoning set against Field Road,  Junction Road and Jesse Terrace as “architectural features” , this list may be seen HERE.

What restrictions are applied to the properties in the above streets? 

A note from Jane Greenaway, RBCs Planning Administrator, in 2006 is helpfully clear:

All permitted development rights are taken away.  No alterations can be made.  This covers cement rendering, stone cladding on front and side walls, changes to size of window and door openings and inserting dormer windows into the roof. No porches can be built on the building or alteration of gates, fences and walls. No painting of outside walls, including any textured paint or coating.

Mr Tee’s letter in of 1988 (Still in use in 2002)  states:

Certain works which would normally be permitted development now require express permission and fall within planning control.  These works are: 

  • Class II.I The building, repair, alternation and improvement of gates, fences and walls.
  • Class I.2 Porches
  • Class II.3  Painting the outside walls of the house, including any textured paint or coating.

Article 4 Directions applied to buildings proposed to be converted to Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

There are TWO Article 4 Directions which have been applied by RBC in respect of buildings proposed to be converted to HMOs.  The Council’s “Help with Planning website” Help with Planning provides now information  about both. The areas are:

  1. Houses in the University’s Residential Catchment Area
  • An Article 4 Direction has been applied to houses in the University “residential catchment area” . This covers parts of Park, Redlands and Katesgrove Wards. It  removes Permitted Development Rights and requires owners to apply for Planning Permission to change a house (C3 use) into a small house in multiple occupation (HMO) (C4 use).
  • This Direction was activated in 2012.
  • Information on the roads where this HMO related Article 4 was  applied is:

2. Jesse Terrace (including No 1).

  • The other Article 4 Direction  requires planning permission to be obtained to convert a house (C3) fronting onto Jesse Terrace to a small house in multiple occupation (C4).  It was approved in January 2016. It may be accessed HERE and the MAP.
  • This is in ADDITION to the Article 4 direction, which was made on 19th July 2004 and confirmed by Committee in December 2004. This requires planning permission to be obtained should a house owner wish to change ANY of the external features of the houses which can be seen from the road.  This includes, for example, replacement of, or changes to, gates, front doors, replacement of original wooden sash windows with PVC, railings etc. This may be accessed Jesse Terrace Article 4 – building protection

Conversion to a large house in multiple occupation – usually with more than 6 unrelated occupants – requires planning permission in any case across the whole Borough.

The Locally Listed building which has an Article 4? 

This is 3 Craven Road, opposite the the hospital. Image below – Callum Cromwell.

Further details on this may be seen at the bottom of the RBC A4 page HERE.

The building was added to the LIST OF LOCALLY IMPORTANT BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES in 2017 it is LL5.  An application had been made to demolish it and No 5 to facilitate retirement housing.  The A4 was applied removing the permitted development rights to demolish the building without obtaining planning permission.  At the Planning Applications Committee in February 2018 a revised submission for the development was rejected, in part as the company had made no attempt at all to recognise in the re-design the aim of the council to retain the building. The developers then appealed and the Planning Inspector heard the case in September 2018, decision awaited.

Recent Posts

Reading Gaol Hug 13 October 2019

Party politics were transcended on Sunday 13th October when Reading’s two MPs, Matt Rodda, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for International Development), and Reading Borough Councillors from all parties joined the 1,000 people who assembled in Reading Abbey Ruins on Sunday afternoon to stage a community Hug of the boundary walls of Reading Gaol. People of all ages took part.

Lind Saul The Councillors join the Hug

Image from the Reading Gaol Hug above

For more, including the Video of MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma being interviewed go to:

The Reading Gaol Website is

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