Published: 26 July 2021

From: Planning

New moves to protect Crawley’s employment areas from housing are being made by Crawley Borough Council, following Government changes to permitted development rights.

Currently, Manor Royal, Lowfield Heath, Maidenbower Business Park, Three Bridges Corridor and Tilgate Forest Business Centre, office, light industrial and warehouse premises cannot be converted to housing without planning permission.

The council most recently adopted Article 4 directions in February, which removed permitted development rights – allowing the conversion of certain property uses to housing without a need for planning permission – following concerns raised by the council and business community that residential development in employment areas is having a negative impact on the operation of these areas and the supply of business land.

The council also had concerns about the quality of life for anyone living in these areas, which can be noisy, busy places that don’t have the supporting facilities found in the town’s residential neighbourhoods.

However, Government changes to the use classes for planning mean that the council now has to take new measures to protect employment land from being turned into housing.

The council has chosen to pursue non-immediate Article 4 directions, which are subject to a 12-month notification period, including a statutory consultation period. Notification has been sent to businesses within the identified Main Employment Areas, as well as neighbouring authorities, business groups, land agents and other stakeholders. 

We’ve been protecting our employment areas from housing for several years and will continue to do so. We will also continue to provide more homes for Crawley people but they must be built in the right locations and to a decent standard; this is best achieved with a planning application.

Cllr Peter Smith

Planning and Economic Development

Crawley Borough Council

The council is inviting comments between 26 July and 29 October 2021. Subject to consideration of the feedback received, the Directions would come into force on 1 August 2022.

Details of the Article 4 Directions and consultation materials can be viewed on our Article 4 Directions page.

Paper copies are also available to view at Crawley Town Hall and Crawley Library.