Conservation area enforcement and criminal liability regime
Conservation area enforcement and criminal liability regime

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conservation area enforcement and criminal liability regime
  • Conservation area offences in England
  • Offences
  • Defences
  • Conservation area offences in Wales
  • Offences
  • Defences
  • Penalties
  • Enforcement action in respect of unauthorised conservation area works

This Practice Note explains the offences which may be committed under either the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) or the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (P(LBCA)A 1990) in respect of unauthorised development in a conservation area in England or Wales, the statutory defences to these offences and the sentences which may be imposed following conviction. It also covers how a local planning authority (LPA) may take enforcement action against such unauthorised development.

Conservation area offences and enforcement arise primarily as a result of the unauthorised demolition of buildings situated within them. While the regimes in place in England and Wales are broadly similar, they are governed by different statutes and there are some key differences. Schedule 17 to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 split the governing statute such that offences in England are now governed by TCPA 1990 and offences in Wales continue to be governed by P(LBCA)A 1990. In England, it is an offence to carry out demolition in a conservation area without planning permission, and in Wales it is an offence to carry out demolition in a conservation area without conservation area consent.

Conservation area offences in England

Offences

Carrying out (or causing or permitting) ‘relevant demolition’ without planning permission in England constitutes an offence under TCPA 1990, s 196D(1). Failing to