Conservation areas
Conservation areas

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

  • Conservation areas
  • Designation of conservation areas
  • Review of conservation areas
  • Conservation policies
  • Development in a conservation area—statutory duty to consider heritage impacts
  • Development affecting a conservation area in England—statutory publicity requirements
  • Development in a conservation area—Permitted development rights and Article 4 Directions
  • Demolition in conservation areas by LPAs
  • Demolition in conservation areas—need for consent
  • Urgent works
  • more

Conservation areas are parts of localities designated under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (P(LBCA)A 1990) as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance.

The management of conservation areas gives local planning authorities (LPAs) a tool to protect parts of a locality on an area-wide basis assessed on the special architectural or historic interest of the buildings located in that locality. The conservation area regime offers broader protection than listing individual buildings, although the restrictions tend to be less onerous and prescriptive. The purpose of designation is to ensure that the character of an area is not diminished by certain development. Planning controls are therefore stricter in conservation areas than outside them.

Designation of conservation areas

Power to designate conservation areas

LPAs are primarily responsible for designating conservation areas. They are, pursuant to P(LBCA)A 1990, s 69(1), under a duty ‘from time to time’ to determine which parts of their administrative area are areas ‘of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. They must designate those areas as conservation areas.

In Greater London, Historic England also has powers to designate conservation areas under P(LBCA)A 1990, s 70, provided it has consulted with the relevant