Launderettes

We received the following letter from RBKC on 22nd July 2016:  “In April of this year the planning regulations regarding launderettes changed. Whilst previously full planning permission had been needed to change the use of a launderette to residential, this has been replaced with a system of prior approval. This means that when considering the loss of a launderette to a residential use we as a Local Planning Authority can only consider certain specified issues. We cannot assess an application using the suite of policies within our own development plan. This may be problematical and could result, for example, in residential uses breaking up our town centres.  As such the Council is using the Article 4 process to ensure that planning permission will still be required for such changes of use.

This is a two stage process.  Today the Council will “make” the Article 4 direction. Notices have been served on the owners and occupiers of each of the properties in question.  We will consult on the Article 4 direction until 2nd September 2016. If we still wish to make the Article 4 direction, following the responses from the consultation, we will “confirm” it a year later on 24th July 2017.  The Article 4 direction will be made for the following [launderette in Chelsea] – 395 King’s Road, SW10 0LR.

The Council would prefer to receive your representations by email at planningpolicy@rbkc.gov.uk. You may also send representations by post. Please address these to: Launderette Article 4 Direction, the Executive Director, Planning and Borough Development, Policy Team, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Town Hall, Hornton Street, London, W8 7NX.

Please note that launderettes which lie within a conservation area are not subject to the freedoms offered under Class M of the GPDO, and as such are not subject to this Article 4.  Also please note that the provisions of the use classes order are very specific.  It includes launderettes but not dry cleaners.”

The Society supports this policy.

Michael Stephen

Planning Committee Chairman

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