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Living in a
Conservation Area

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Conservation areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place – in other words the features that make it unique and distinctive.

Do you live in a conservation area?

Find out if you live in a conservation area by contacting your local planning authority or checking its website. They will be able to tell you when it was created, how far it extends, the reason for its creation and the level of legal protection it has in place.

How being in a conservation area can affect you

Although conservation areas mean some extra planning controls and considerations, these exist to protect the historic and architectural elements which make the place special. They are most likely to affect owners who want to work on the outside of their building or any trees on their property.

Your House 

Being in a conservation area might mean that your house is affected by special controls (called ‘Article 4 Directions’), which restrict work you can normally do without planning permission such as replacing a door or window or altering gutters and downpipes.

These controls are tailored to each area by the council, and are put in place when there are particular elements of local buildings they want to protect.

Trees

If you want to cut down, top or lop any but the smallest of trees in a conservation area you must notify your local planning authority six weeks before work begins. The authority will then consider the contribution the tree makes to the character of the area and if necessary create a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect it.

Demolition

If you live in a conservation area and want to demolish your building, you will need Planning Permission. If the building is listed you will also need Listed Building Consent

Who do I ask about changes?

Your local planning authority will tell you what you can do to your home if you live in a conservation area. They can tell you if there are special controls in place and explain what permissions will be needed.

Many local planning authorities prepare Conservation Area Appraisals for their conservation areas. An appraisal outlines the history of an area and explains what makes it special. It also provides some general guidelines on managing and carrying out development in the conservation area.

In addition, local planning authorities will sometimes produce Supplementary Planning Documents for their conservation areas. These show how the authority intends to manage the area in the long term.

It is worth checking with your local planning authority’s website to see if any such documents exist for your conservation area.

For further information speak to our conveyancing department on 0161 797 4000.