Conservation areas

A conservation area is an area of special architectural character and historic interest which is protected by law against certain changes.

You can find out more information about conservation areas on the Historic England website.

Planning permission

If you live in a conservation area you will need planning permission for:

  • roof extensions
  • cladding with render, stone, timber, tiles, plastic etc
  • side extensions
  • rear extensions of more than one storey
  • satellite dishes and radio antennae which are visible from a highway and on buildings over 15 metres in height
  • demolition of unlisted buildings over 115 cubic metres
  • demolition of walls, gates and fences which are one metre or above and next to a highway – including a public footpath or bridleway, waterway or open space – or two metres or above elsewhere
  • tree works – you need to give us six weeks’ notice if you want to cut down, top or lop a tree in a conservation area
  • advertisements including illuminated signs on business premises and hoardings around development sites
  • new developments – they must make a positive contribution to the character of the area

Flats, regardless of being in a conversation area or not, have limited permitted development rights.

Conservation areas with an article 4 direction

An article 4 direction removes the permitted development rights for works like extensions, porches, replacement windows and doors, or painting the exterior of a building. Not all conservation areas have an article 4 direction in place.

You can check to see if your conservation area has an article 4 direction using our planning constraints map.

open our planning constraints map

Adopted conservation area appraisals and management plans

Conservation area appraisals and management plans are documents which outline the special characteristics of a conservation area, how these are managed, and are used to maintain and improve their historical character. They highlight the character of the area, the building designs, green spaces and the special viewpoints which make these areas worthy of protection.

The management plans offer advice on how these areas are maintained, where there are areas for improvement, and how new development within the area is welcomed but needs to preserve and enhance what is special about the conservation area.