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Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are places which contain special buildings or which have been important in the past. Permitted development rules do not always apply in conservation areas. This means you need planning permission to make any changes if your property is in one. You also need planning permission to demolish buildings in a conservation area. Before knocking anything down, contact us using our online support form.

Check if an address is in a conservation area

Type your postcode into the search box and find your address

  • click on the 'My Maps' tab
  • click on the 'Planning' filter
  • select 'Conservation areas'

For more information, check the Historic England website

Planning restrictions in conservation areas

We want to make sure any development does not harm a conservation area's special qualities. We use an article 4 direction to control changes to conservation areas. Article 4 directions add extra planning restrictions. You'll need to get planning permission for minor changes to a property if it's affected by an article 4 direction. For example, you cannot remove or alter a chimney without permission.

Most restrictions in conservation areas control changes which affect public views. They apply if you want to do work on the part of your property which faces a road, path, or open space. In this case, an article 4 direction means you would need permission if you wanted to:

  • change, add or replace doors and windows
  • make changes to the roof
  • build a porch
  • change the size or shape of the property
  • change or lay down a driveway, pathway, or patio (any kind of hard surface)
  • build, change or knock down a fence, gate, wall, or any other means of enclosure
  • install or alter a satellite dish or antenna
  • paint or repaint the outside of the building
  • coat the walls

You'll also need to give us six weeks notice if you want to cut back or cut down trees in a conservation area. For more information, visit our protected trees page

Find out if an article 4 direction applies to your property

  • type your postcode into the search bar and select the 'My Maps' tab
  • click on the filter called 'Land Charges Register information'
  • select 'Article 4 Direction' to check whether these restrictions affect your property

If you are unsure, send us an email or call our service desk on 01483 505050. Council officers can give informal advice about whether applications will likely be accepted.

Conservation area character appraisals

Every so often, we review the decisions we've made about conservation areas. This is called a character appraisal. The aims of a character appraisal are to:

  • improve the understanding of an area's history
  • make people aware of what makes a specific area 'of special interest'
  • give people a clear idea of what should be cared for and preserved
  • give people a clear idea of what improvements can be made to a conservation area

Below is a list of all the conservation areas we have character appraisals for. You can download a digital copy or buy a physical copy. The price of a physical copy is included in the table. To buy a physical copy, contact our customer services team on 01483 505050. Some character appraisals have not been published yet, so will not immediately be available as a physical copy.

Name of area

Digital character appraisals

Price of physical copy

Abbotswood

Abbotswood Character Appraisal (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Appendix 2a Townscape Appraisal Map (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)

Appendix 2b Buildings in the Conservation Area (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Full set of documents - £14 (not published yet)

Bridge Street

Bridge Street Character Appraisal (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Bridge Street Conservation Area map (PDF) [215KB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50 (not published yet) 

Map - £6.50 (not published yet) 

Charlotteville and Warren Road

Charlotteville and Warren Road Section 1 (PDF) [651KB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Section 2 (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Section 3 (PDF) [314KB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Section 4 (PDF) [119KB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Map 1 (PDF) [1022KB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Map 2 (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Map 3 (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Charlotteville and Warren Road Map 4 (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Appraisal (sections one to four) - £9.50

Maps one to four - £9.50

Chilworth

Chilworth Character Appraisal (PDF) [110KB] (opens new window)

Chilworth Conservation Area Map boundary (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50 (not published yet) 

Boundary map - £6.50 (not published yet)

East Clandon

East Clandon Character Appraisal (PDF) [217KB] (opens new window)

East Clandon Map (PDF) [870KB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50 (not published yet)

Map - £6.50 (not published yet)

Holmbury St Mary

Holmbury St Mary Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [6MB]

Physical copies unavailable

Onslow Village

Onslow Village Character Appraisal (PDF) [88KB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50 (not published yet)

Pirbright

Pirbright Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [6MB] (opens new window)

Pirbright Map 1872 County Series (PDF) [180KB] (opens new window)

Pirbright Conservation Area 1973 Boundary (PDF) [184KB] (opens new window)

Pirbright Area Map Proposed Conservation Area (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)

Pirbright Area Map Article 4 buildings (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)

Pirbright Area Map old and proposed boundaries (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)

Full set of documents - £14 (not published yet)

Ripley

Ripley Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [8MB]

Physical copies unavailable

Shere

Shere Character Appraisal (PDF) [234KB] (opens new window)

Shere map (PDF) [908KB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50 (not published yet)

Map - £6.50 (not published yet)

St Catherine's

St Catherine's Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [4MB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £6.50

Town Centre

Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [6MB] (opens new window)

Appendix 1 Character Areas map (PDF) [646KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 1 Character Areas map 1 (PDF) [202KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 1 Character Areas map 2 (PDF) [246KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 1 Character Areas map 3 (PDF) [208KB] (opens new window)

Appendix 1 Character Areas map 4 (PDF) [282KB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £17

Waterden Road

Waterden Road Conservation Area Appraisal (PDF) [7MB] (opens new window)

Appraisal - £14