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Conservation Area Consent

Planning and Consent in Conservation Areas

What is a Conservation Area?

A Conservation Area is a specially designated area for a place of special architectural or historic interest.

The local planning authorities which are controlled by councils are responsible for designating certain part of the country as Conservation Areas. These are places where additional planning controls and restrictions are in place. They protect certain features of the area which make them unique and special. Such areas include historic town centres, entire villages and individual streets. Conservation Area Consent

Historic England provides a wide range of information on such areas, stating that 2.2% of England is a Conservation Area, with over 10,000 areas in total. Around 59% are in rural areas. Every local planning authority has at least one formal area, while most councils are responsible for many.

Whereas Listed Building Consent applies to individual buildings, Conservation Areas Consent extends a lot further taking in the wider built and natural environment including trees, hard and soft landscaping, views and settings, as well as building facias such as gutters, downpipes and windows.

While individual buildings may be protected via the listing process, when there are a cluster of them, they can play an important role in the historic character of an area and its heritage.

At Plande, we have experience of working in such areas. We are adept at obtaining Conservation Area Consent in both urban and rural areas.

Contact us to discuss your requirements.


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How do I Know if I’m in a Conservation Area?

Each local planning authority publishes a list of each Conservation Area.

These are on the ‘Planning’ section of the local Council website. You can also contact them directly for confirmation and more information. This can include, where the boundaries are, the reason for the creation, when designated, special features and key aspects.  There will also be information on listed or locally listed buildings and overriding characters.

If you think you are in a Conservation Area and you are planning some changes, such as new windows or other work, contact us to see how this affects your property.


How Does a Conservation Area Affect Planning?

Conservation Areas place additional requirements and constraints on a property owner, such as obtaining planning consent, permitted development regulations and demolition.

For example, Conservation Area Consent is required for demolishing a building with a volume over 115 cubic meters, as well as removing gates, fences and walls (depending upon their height and position). It is a criminal offence to demolish a building without obtaining specific approval and consent from the local authorities before starting any work.

There are also limitations about what can be achieved under permitted development. Certain work, which may ordinarily be allowed without planning permission, may require approval or specific Conservation Area Consent. Examples include, the cladding of houses, side extensions, two-storey rear extensions and roof extensions (such as dormer loft conversions).


Do You Need Planning Permission in a Conservation Area?

Conservation Area Trees

All trees in Conservation Areas have protection, whether they are individually protected by Tree Preservation Orders or not. Work such as cutting down, topping, lopping, or uprooting requires specific permission from the Council.

Article 4 directions

While you may be able to undertake works via permitted development in Conservation Areas, these rights are reduced. This means that planning permission is much more likely to be required in a Conservation Area. In addition, local planning authorities have the power to make an Article 4 direction, which has a more stringent restriction on what can be done without planning permission.

Conservation Area Windows

Where windows (or indeed anything which affects the aesthetics of a property) are repaired or replaced in these areas, special permission may be required from the local authority. Windows are the eyes of a building and have a particular role in defining a building’s character. As such replacement double glazed windows may only be permitted where a test of ‘preserving or enhancing’ the area’s character is satisfied.

If you are looking to obtain planning permission in a Conservation Area or Article 4 Direction area, contact us to discuss your requirements?


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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