Decision details

Dorchester Conservation Area - Article 4 Direction

Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Planning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No



Following concern from councillors and residents as a result of heritage walls being removed from the Dorchester Conservation Area, an Article 4 Direction was made on 10th December and notice given on 18 December 2018 covering around 900 properties in the Conservation Area. This removed specific permitted development rights including the demolition of the whole or part of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure adjacent to a highway or public open space. Following the making of the order, public notices were put up in the area and an eight week public consultation process was undertaken.  The responses along with officers’ comments are attached at Appendix 1. The purpose of this decision is to confirm the Article 4 Direction for Dorchester, as otherwise it will lapse 6 months after being made.

For further information link to Planning Committee report and appendices below:


Reason for Decision


To confirm the Article 4 Direction for the Dorchester Conservation Area, in order to conserve the public amenity of specific parts of the Dorchester Conservation area, by preventing loss of further features which contribute to the character of the conservation area.  None of the consultation responses lead officers to conclude that the order should not be confirmed.


Alternative Options considered and rejected


Not to confirm the Article 4 Direction. If the Article 4 Direction is not confirmed, it will lapse. This is likely to lead to further loss of walls, gates and other means of enclosure which is likely to harm the conservation area, as residents would be able to carry this out using permitted development rights.  




A report regarding the Article 4 Direction was taken to the Northern Area Planning Committee in November; the Committee supported making the Direction. The Portfolio holder for Planning signed the Executive Decision Notice to make the Direction on 10th December. This was published on the Council’s website and in the local paper and an eight week consultation exercise undertaken. Every property covered by the Article 4 Direction was sent the statutory notice and information about the implications of the Direction, and inviting them to submit comments as part of the consultation process. Three responses were received which are attached as Appendix 1.


Budget Implications


Cost of placing an advert in the local paper to inform people that the Article 4 Direction for the Dorchester Conservation Area has been confirmed.  There is a possible risk of compensation claims, but this did not occur during the duration of the previous Article 4 Direction and it is considered that the risk of this resulting in significant expenditure is low. There may be an additional cost if letters are sent to all householders.


Legal Implications


There is a risk of legal challenge to the Direction and this is also considered to be low




To confirm the Article 4 Direction for the Dorchester Conservation Area – the area covered is shown on the plan at Appendix 2 of the report.

Publication date: 02/06/2020

Date of decision: 22/05/2020