Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is a place of special historical or architectural interest, with a particular character or appearance, worthy of preservation and enhancement. It is the unique character and sense of place of these areas that a conservation area designation seeks to protect. A number of factors can contribute to creating a sense of place, such as:

  • buildings
  • boundary treatments
  • trees and tree groups
  • open spaces
  • views and vistas
  • historic settlement patterns
  • public realm

How is development controlled in conservation areas?

Designation as a conservation area is the main method by which we apply conservation policies to a particular area. These policies are designed to preserve and enhance the character or appearance of an area, and all aspects that define its special interest.

Conservation of the historic built environment is an important element of planning. By identifying areas worthy of preservation, and imposing additional controls to limit the scope for adaptation and development, the character and integrity of an area can be maintained.

We are required to create and publish conservation area appraisals and management plans defining the special character of these areas and how we propose to manage them.

How does his affect properties in a conservation area?

Development in conservation areas is subject to additional planning controls. This means that consent is required for some works that would usually be permitted development.

This includes:

  • demolition of some buildings/walls
  • works to trees
  • any extension to the side of a building
  • two storey extensions to the rear
  • cladding of the exterior
  • any enlargement of the roof
  • ancillary buildings located to the side of a house
  • installation of a chimney/flue/soil vent pipe on the front or side elevation fronting a highway
  • installation of satellite dishes on a chimney, wall or roof slope fronting a highway
  • installation of solar panels or equipment on a wall fronting a highway

The aim is to ensure that development is carefully managed and appropriate for the conservation area. This does not mean that all change is prohibited, or that no development can take place. Rather, it is about making sure that development preserves, and ideally enhances, the look and feel of the area. Works that detract from the overall historic or architectural interest of the area will not be permitted.

Advisory groups

There are a number of advisory groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss and comment on development proposals in the area. These include: