Planning requirements in a conservation area

Conservation areas are designated for their special architectural or historical interest. This includes the buildings, the interaction of spaces around them and natural features, such as trees and open spaces. Together these form distinctly recognisable areas of quality and interest. Once an area is designated, we are under a duty to prepare proposals to ensure the preservation and enhancement of the area.

Planning and development restrictions in a conservation area

You may need to apply for permission to carry out certain works in a conservation area which would not be restricted elsewhere.

In a conservation area:

  • You must get consent from the council for the demolition of most buildings
  • You must give the council six weeks' notice before you carry out works to trees
  • Special publicity must be given to planning applications for development
  • When assessing planning applications, the council and the Secretary of State take into account the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area
  • Permitted development rights (the various categories of development that are normally allowed without the need to apply for planning permission) are more restricted. Generally, these extra controls restrict the following:
    • Various types of wall cladding
    • The insertion of dormer windows
    • The installation of satellite dishes on walls and roofs facing a highway
    • The installation of radio masts, antennae or radio equipment housing with a volume over two cubic metres
    • A reduction in the size of residential and industrial extensions, which may be carried out without the need for planning permission
    • The installation of solar panels

More information about conservation areas is available on the Planning Portal.

Find out about planning permission to carry out work to a property in a conservation area

Check whether your property is in a conservation area before you start your planning or work.

If your building is a listed building the normal controls of listed building consent apply.