What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are designated by the borough council when an area is recognised to have a special character or appearance worthy of protection. Within conservation areas there are greater restrictions over works which require planning permission. Applications for planning permission for new development in conservation areas are more rigorously assessed to consider whether proposals preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of the conservation area. 

A number of special controls and requirements apply in conservation areas to protect their character:

  • consent is needed to demolish buildings and other structures
  • new development must be well designed and the use of in-keeping traditional natural materials will normally be required
  • new buildings, extensions and alterations must preserve or enhance the appearance of the conservation area. Most minor household alterations affecting external appearance (windows, roofing, installation of satellite dish, fencing and so on) are likely to require planning permission
  • trees in conservation areas are protected. For trees not already protected by tree preservation orders (where this applies), a notification must be submitted to the council's trees officer six weeks before any works to a tree are due to start

If you live in a conservation area and are thinking about carrying out alterations to your property, demolishing a building or carrying out work to trees, it is recommended that you first seek advice from the council as planning permission or conservation area consent may be required. If you have any queries, please contact us.

You will find further information in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (section 69).