What is a conservation area?

Find out if your property is in a conservation area

You can search for your property on our map to find out whether it's in a conservation area.

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are designated by us when an area has a special character or appearance worth protecting. In 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 make sure 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 our 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 contact us for advice as planning permission or conservation area consent may be required.

Relevant legislation

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