Conservation areas and advice

Conservation areas are places of special architectural or historic interest where it is desirable to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of such areas.

Areas of cultural or historical importance

Areas that include important examples of social, cultural and aesthetic history must be safeguarded from indiscriminate or ill-considered change. These areas often contain listed buildings. However, it is not always enough to protect these buildings in isolation.

Their surroundings and general environment are often of equal importance and conservation areas are intended to protect that environment. Your local council has a responsibility to make sure that the character of these areas is not diminished.

Living in a conservation area

The designation of a conservation area indicates your council 's positive commitment to these areas and its intention to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment.

It is important that all new development in conservation areas should be sympathetic to the special architectural and aesthetic qualities of the area, particularly in terms of scale, design, materials and space between buildings.

Your council has the legal powers to control changes within conservation areas and these are summarised as follows:

Demolition of buildings

Conservation area consent is required from your council for the demolition of any unlisted building in a conservation area.


If you want to fell, lop or top or uproot trees within a conservation area, you need consent from your council . It is an offence to carry out the works without consent.

Satellite dishes

The siting of a satellite dish on a chimney, wall or roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a road requires planning permission. Planning permission is also required on a building which exceeds 15 metres in height.

Design of new development

A very high standard of design which is sympathetic to the existing environment is required when submitting a planning application within a conservation area. New development must make a positive contribution to the character of the area.

The council can require additional information in support of any planning application showing how the proposal will relate to the conservation area. This can mean the submission of elevations of neighbouring buildings, full details of the proposal and examples of materials and colours.

Altering a property in a conservation area

Your local area planning office can give you advice and guidance on development in conservation areas. Many cities, towns and villages contain areas of architectural or historic interest.  Some are designated conservation areas.

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