Developers will find it harder to turn offices into flats in some parts of Haringey thanks to a new power brought in by the council.

The power, known as an article 4 direction, means developers will need planning permission to go ahead with office-to-flat conversions in growth areas and district centres across the borough, including parts of Tottenham, Wood Green, Crouch End, Finsbury Park and Muswell Hill.

But due to recent changes in legislation, the power will only be valid for a year, after which the council will have to bring in a new article 4 direction – and there is “considerable uncertainty” over whether the Government will approve it.

Permitted development rights brought in by the Government in 2013 allowed developers to turn offices into flats without getting formal planning permission.

The legislation was aimed at boosting the housing supply – but it also means developers carrying out the conversions do not have to provide any affordable homes or follow national standards around the minimum size of rooms.

A council report says this has led to “the loss of valued office space and jobs”, as well as “poorly designed, unsuitable residential homes”.

Haringey’s cabinet agreed to hold a consultation on the article 4 direction in March last year, but it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It received nine responses during a six-week consultation held last summer, with six in support and three “no comments”.

The council report says that while the direction will only have effect for just over one year, “it would still deliver considerable benefits during that time in terms of preventing loss of employment floorspace to the detriment of the office market and the borough’s places more generally”.

Haringey Council confirmed the article 4 direction was approved at a cabinet member signing on Wednesday. It will take effect on June 26 and run until July 31, 2022.