Conservation Area Guidance

We’re here to help owners and occupiers of listed properties understand exactly what it means to live in a conservation area.

With many LPOC members living in conservation areas, we have developed an advanced knowledge of the legislation protecting conservation areas in the UK. We are therefore in an excellent position to provide guidance on all manner of conservation area rules and restrictions. While not all buildings within conservation areas are listed, all are protected under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.


What are conservation areas?

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest which has been formally designated by the local planning authority. Designation brings with it national and local policies aimed at preserving and enhancing the areas special character and appearance.

Across the UK, local planning authorities have designated almost 10,000 conservation areas. These vary from historic town centres and rural villages, to country estates and heritage housing projects. Conservation areas are not only focused on residential areas or properties, they also include canals, railway heritage and areas of historic industrial significance.

The purpose of conservation areas is not to stop change and develop but to manage change in a way that preserves or enhances the area’s special character.


Conservation area rules and restrictions

Once a conservation area is designated the local planning authority is expected to draw up plans for its management in consultation with the local community and a character appraisal explaining what makes the area special.

Planning controls are stricter in conservation areas so planning permission is required for most development and demolition and all trees are also protected. In determining applications the planning authority is required by law to have special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area.


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