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What is a Conservation Area?

Garden ServicesBuilding in a conservation area.

A conservation area is an area acknowledged by the local authority as one that necessitates exclusive attention to protect its social, historic or architectural character.

Within a conservation area not all buildings are automatically listed, however consent may be required to undertake works to them which may impact the character of the area.

Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 gives local planning authorities the power to designate Conservation Areas, which are defined as ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.

Within a conservation area the council has additional controls in relation to demolition, minor developments and trees.

  • Demolition – conservation area consent is required to fully demolish a building, partial demolition of walls/fences may also require permission. Therefore it is advisable to check with the Council before undertaking any works.
  • Minor Developments – planning permission is required for modifications to buildings that would usually be permitted for example, inserting dormer windows or installing a satellite dish visible from the street.
  • Trees – Notice to the council is required if you are proposing to cut down or top a tree, whether or not it is covered by a tree preservation order.

For further information concerning how to apply to do work on your home if you’re living in conservation area, please visit the government website