What is a Conservation Area

Posted on December 7, 2018 by

Conservation Areas are protected areas of special architectural or historic interest. They are designated by the council, and protect the character and appearance of a whole area, not just its buildings.  The council therefore have extra controls within Conservation Areas to help preserve and enhance their character and appearance.

 

How do I know if a property is within a Conservation Area?

Many people may not be aware that their property falls within a Conservation Area.  However, when purchasing a property, this information should appear in the local authority search which is carried out by your solicitor.  Your solicitor will also ask the seller of the property if they are aware of the property being within a Conservation Area.  If you already own a property and are concerned about whether the property is within a Conservation Area, you can contact your local authority to request this information.

 

My property is within a Conservation Area.  How does this affect me?

 

Most homeowners have certain ‘permitted development’ rights, which means they do not have to apply for planning permission for certain works.  In conservation areas, some of these rights are removed and Planning Permission may therefore be required for such works.  Such works are as follows:-

  • Demolition;
  • Extensions;
  • Roof extensions including dormer windows;
  • Cladding or Rendering;
  • Some satellite dishes and radio masts;
  • Some chimneys, flues, soil and vent pipes;
  • Some solar panels;
  • Stricter rules apply in conservation areas regarding the type and size of advertisement that can be erected without advertisement consent;
  • Trees are an essential part of the character of many conservation areas. Some may be specifically protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) but conservation area designation gives additional protection.

 

It is therefore important to seek the advice from the local authority as to whether Conservation Area consent is required prior to the commencement of any work.