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Planning controls in conservation areas

Planning controls in conservation areas

In addition to normal planning requirements, further controls apply in conservation areas, including control over building demolition and work to trees with a trunk diameter greater than 75mm (3 inches) at 1.5m (4 feet) above ground level.

Listed buildings will also need listed building consent for any proposal affecting their appearance or character, internally or externally. A leaflet on listed buildings is available from our offices.

Legislation is complex and changes from time to time so it is advisable to contact us for up to date advice.

Planning controls over what householders can do on their properties in a conservation area are effectively identical to those applying within a National Park.

Planning applications which, in our opinion, would affect the character or appearance of the Conservation Area, must be advertised and opportunity must be given for people to comment. This may include proposals outside a conservation area which nevertheless affect its setting.

Planning permission is normally needed to demolish all or the very substantial majority of any building with a total cubic content exceeding 115 cu m. Consent is also needed for the entire removal of any gate, wall, fence or railing more than 1 metre high abutting a highway, public footpath or open space, or more than 2 metres high elsewhere.

We may also decide to adopt extra planning controls within Conservation Areas by the use of an Article 4(2) Direction. This Direction removes the normal Permitted Development Rights from dwelling houses, meaning that planning permission is required for:

  • erecting, altering or removing a chimney on a dwelling house, or on a building within the curtilage of a dwelling house; and any of the following permitted development rights for development which would front a highway, waterway or open space
  • enlarging, improving or other alteration of a dwelling house
  • altering a dwelling house roof
  • erecting or constructing a porch outside any external door of a dwelling house
  • providing, within the curtilage of a dwelling house, a building, enclosure, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house as such, or the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of such a building or enclosure
  • providing within the curtilage of a dwelling house of a hard surface for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house as such
  • installing, altering or replacing a satellite antenna on a dwelling house or within its curtilage
  • erecting or demolishing a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure within the curtilage of a dwelling house
  • painting a dwelling house or a building or enclosure within the curtilage of a dwelling house.

A direction can be selective both between and within these types of development.

Trees in a conservation area have the same protection as those covered by Tree Preservation Orders. It is an offence to fell or prune such trees without prior written consent from the Local Planning Authority. You need to write to us giving six weeks’ notice of your intention to carry out work to protected trees in a conservation area.

An explanatory leaflet ‘Protected Trees – a guide to Tree Preservation Procedures’ is available free of charge from our office.

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