Owning land or a property in a Conservation Area does not always mean that new development or alterations to existing buildings cannot take place, but that they should be designed to preserve or enhance the special character that has led to the Conservation Area being designated. Conservation Area designation protects the special character of an area in a number of ways:
• The demolition of buildings or structures (including the demolition of boundary walls), whether listed or not, usually requires our consent. Contact Planning Department to check.
• The extent of minor "permitted" development, such as the installation of satellite dishes or some smaller extensions, is reduced. In some areas we will make "Article 4 Directions" to further control some or all minor alterations that affect the external appearance of buildings (the introduction of such controls is the subject of consultation with owners to establish their need and support).
• All works to trees in Conservation Areas require our consent.
• The design for new development should be of the highest quality to make sure that a positive contribution is made to the character or appearance of the area. Proposals for development in a Conservation Area must be accompanied by a 'Design Statement' showing how the scheme has responded positively to the character of the area.
General guidance on planning requirements can help you decide if your alteration requires our permission. If you live in a Conservation Area, and are unsure if work you wish to do needs permission, please check with us.
Traditionally constructed homes are an important part of the historic environment that makes this country unique and attractive and this website will help owners of such houses, to protect their homes better and improve their energy performance without harming their historic character. A section is also included on micro-generation which details how technologies such as micro-wind generation and solar thermal energy can successfully be incorporated into older buildings.