Guidance Notes On Conservation Areas

What is a Conservation Area?

It is an area designated by a Local Authority to be of special architectural and or historic interest. Unlike Listed Buildings, which applies to an individual building, this designation covers a particular defined area. It is governed by Sections 69 to 74 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (“the 1990 Act) but were first introduced in 1967.

The Local Authority has only few procedural steps to take when designating an area a Conservation Area namely putting advertisements in both the local media for that area as well as in the London Gazette. Once an Order of Designation, has been made the Order will be registered as a Local Land Charge.

What is the effect of a Conservation Order Designation

The effect of the designation is

  1. Demolition of a building(s) located within a Conservation Area needs Conservation Area Consent- section 74- This does not include however
  • Buildings up to 115 cubic meters
  • Ecclesiastical buildings used for ecclesiastical purposes
  • Ancient monuments
  • Such other Buildings which may from time to time be exempted by Order of the Secretary of State for Department of Culture Media and Sport
  • replacement of wooden casement windows with uPVC design
  • Change of use of a single private dwelling into a House in Multiple Occupation. This has been particularly seen in parts of Bristol where the City Council introduced in December 2010 in Cotham, Redland, an Article 4 Direction to this effect, and which was a response to changes made by the Government in 2010 to General Permitted Development Order Part 3 Changes of Use 
  1. The Local Authority can impose further controls limiting building works or change of material use which can be carried out without express Planning Permission. This involves making what are called  Article 4 Directions which limit the application of the small-scale Permitted Development Rights (rights which if not removed or limited allow for Development to take place without an express Planning Permission). Example are
  1. Trees in a Conservation Area have a degree of protection as if a TPO- Section 211 of the Town and Country Planning 1990 Act provides that a landowner must not cut down, lop, top, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy such tree without first giving notice to the Local Authority Conservation Officer. The Local Authority has six weeks to decide whether to make a tree the subject of a TPO.

How Will I Know Whether My Property is in a Conservation Area

The designation is recorded as a Local Land Charge in the Local Authority Official Search and therefore should be known to you when you purchase. Alternatively the Local Authority may make an application during your period of ownership.