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Conservation Area

Conservation Area Consent and Planning Permission

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic national interest, it is desirable to preserve or enhance’ the character or appearance of the area. Councils have a duty to designate and review Conservation Areas in their area. Gaining planning permission in a conservation area will almost always be more difficult than outside, here at Drawing and Planning Ltd. we make that planning process simple. Speak to one of our consultants today!

It is the quality and interest of areas rather than individual buildings, which are the prime consideration in identifying conservation areas but invariably these areas, will have a concentration of historic buildings, many of which may be listed. Conservation areas will vary in size and character; there are many factors that contribute to their character.

Conservation area status provides the opportunity to promote the enhancement of the area through positive schemes of enhancement and improvement. The aim is to ensure that the quality of townscape is preserved or enhanced as well as protecting individual buildings.

It provides the added protection from poor quality or inappropriate development through a greater degree of control exercised over new buildings, extensions and alterations. It introduces control over demolition and work to certain trees.

Living in a Conservation Area

Living or owning property in a conservation area places certain responsibilities on the residents and the Local Planning Authority (LPA). Check with your LPA if you are in a conservation area.

The consequence of conservation area designation is not to preserve conservation areas in aspic but to support their vitality and regeneration with appropriate development.

a) The historic layout of property boundaries and thoroughfares.

b) A particular mix of uses.

c) Vistas along streets and between buildings.

d) Characteristic materials.

e) Scaling and detailing of buildings.

f) Quality of advertisements, shop fronts, street furniture, hard and soft surfaces.

g) The extent to which traffic intrudes and limits pedestrian use of spaces between buildings.

h) Trees and open spaces.

Permitted Development in Conservation Areas

In conservation areas the normal ‘permitted development’ rights, which enable certain extensions and alterations to be carried out without planning permission, are reduced, thereby bringing more development under planning control.

Permitted development rights for commercial buildings and those in multi-occupation are further limited in conservation areas, material alterations such as window replacements may require Planning Permission, unless they are like for like in design, finish and materials.

The LPA can remove categories of permitted development rights by way of an ‘Article 4 Direction’ if the character or appearance is being damaged or threatened by the exercise of these rights. Residents will be consulted if such a direction is to be considered.

It is often the details on a building, particularly its windows, which give it its character. So please consult the Conservation Section about the design of any proposed alteration or extension, even is it is permitted development.

There are stricter rules regarding the type and size of advertisements that can be erected without consent in conservation areas.Please note that Listed Buildings do not have any permitted development rights.

Works Involving Demolition

Conservation Area Consent may be required to demolish a building or structure in a conservation area. The Conservation Section will be able to advise you on this.

There is a general presumption in favor of retaining buildings that make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area. Consent for demolition will not usually be given unless there are acceptable and detailed plans for any redevelopment.

It is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised demolition where Conservation Area Consent is required.

Works to Trees in Conservation Areas

Many trees in conservation areas are the subject of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), which means that the Local Planning Authority’s consent must be obtained before they can be cut down, topped or lopped.

In addition to these controls, and in the view of the contribution that trees can make to the character and appearance of a conservation area anyone proposing to cut down, top or lop a tree in a conservation area (without a TPO on it) is required to give 6 weeks written notice to the LPA. This gives the LPA the opportunity to consider bringing the tree under their general control by making a TPO in respect of it.

Designation of Conservation Areas

Every local planning authority:

  • shall from time to time determine which parts of their area are areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance, and
  • shall designate those areas as conservation areas.

It shall be the duty of a local planning authority from time to time to review the past exercise of functions under this section and to determine whether any parts or any further parts of their area should be designated as conservation areas; and, if they so determine, they shall designate those parts accordingly.

The Secretary of State may from time to time determine that any part of a local planning authority’s area which is not for the time being designated as a conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance; and, if he so determines, he may designate that part as a conservation area.

The designation of any area as a conservation area shall be a local land charge.

  1. The functions of a local planning authority under section 69 and this section shall also be exercisable in Greater London by the Commission.
  2. Before making a determination under section 69 the Commission shall consult the council of each London borough of which any part is included in the area to which the proposed determination relates.
  3. Before making a determination under section 69(3) the Secretary of State shall consult the local planning authority.
  4. Before designating any area in Greater London as a conservation area the Commission shall obtain the consent of the Secretary of State.
  5. A local planning authority shall give notice of the designation of any part of their area as a conservation area under section 69(1) or (2) and of any variation or cancellation of any such designation
    1. to the Secretary of State;
    2. if it affects an area in England and the designation or, as the case may be, the variation or cancellation was not made by the Commission, to the Commission.
  6. The Secretary of State shall give notice of the designation of any part of the area of a local planning authority as a conservation area under section 69(3) and of any variation or cancellation of any such designation
    1. to the authority;
    2. if it affects an area in England, to the Commission.
  7. A notice under subsection (5) or (6) shall contain sufficient particulars to identify the area affected.
  8. Notice of any such designation, variation or cancellation as is mentioned in subsection (5) or (6), with particulars of its effect, shall be published in the London Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in the area of the local planning authority, by that authority or, as the case may be, the Secretary of State.

Source www.legislation.gov.uk