Changes to the Planning System

Closed consultation
Start date:
12 August 2020
Closing date:
12 October 2020

Changes to the Planning System


The Government is making changes to the planning system which impacts on how we manage town centres and Enfield’s growth.

The Government has announced changes to the planning legislation as part of its Covid recovery plan and its Build, Build, Build initiative to revitalise town centres. Legislation came into force at the end of August 2020.

The changes to the legislation mean that buildings can change between certain uses without needing planning permission. This includes many town centre uses. Shops can now be converted to uses including gyms, cafes, offices or light industry without needing planning permission.

There are also changes to Permitted Developments. Permitted Development is where the described development does not need an application for planning permission. Broadly these Permitted Development right changes mean that an application for planning permission will no longer be required for:

  1. the demolition of vacant offices and purpose-built flats to be redeveloped for new housing and
  2. for building additional storeys on top of existing buildings (known as ‘upwards extensions’)

The Council can use a planning tool called an Article 4 Direction so that anyone wanting to carry out the described Permitted Development will first need to apply for planning permission.

Proposed changes to the planning system

There are more changes proposed to the planning system in the Government’s consultation papers on Planning for the Future and Changes to the Current Planning System. One of the changes includes possibly widening Permitted Development rights.

In relation to Permitted Development the ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper is considering widening Permitted Development Rights and making Permitted Development contribute funding towards social and community infrastructure and facilities.

Together, these changes are likely to have major implications for planning in Enfield.

We wanted to understand your views on the recent and proposed changes, and how we can support town centres, businesses and communities to adapt and grow.

Who could participate

Anyone who would like to comment.

How the consultation was delivered

By completing a questionnaire.

Closing date

12 October 2020 (11.59pm).

Further information

If you have any queries about this consultation, please email

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