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.