The designation of a conservation area introduces control over the demolition of most buildings and some boundary treatments. it removes some of your 'permitted development' rights and affects the way that we would determine an application for planning permission.

If you are considering development of a property in a conservation area and you are unsure how to proceed, please follow the link at the foot of the page to request pre-application advice, or contact the Development Control team.

Please follow the link at the foot of the page for more information about application forms and fees.

Planning permission for demolition

In most cases you would need Planning Permission before you demolish a building in a conservation area. This requirement applies to the total or substantial demolition of a building with a volume exceeding 115 cubic metres.

In some cases you would need Planning Permission before you demolish a gate, wall, fence or railing. This requirement applies to boundary treatments that exceed one metre in height adjoining a highway, waterway or other public space, or two metres in height in any other location.

We refer to these cases as 'relevant demolition in a conservation area'. An application for relevant demolition does not attract a fee. 

Generally there is a presumption in favour of retaining buildings and boundary treatments that make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area. Conversely, the demolition of a building that makes a negative contribution may be welcomed where demolition would offer the opportunity to enhance the conservation area.

The District Council has prepared character appraisals for most of its conservation areas. In most cases these appraisals identify those buildings that make a positive contribution to the area. In other cases you should consult the District Council for its informal opinion.

Planning permission for development

In addition to existing development controls, the following works would require Planning Permission where they are carried out to a dwelling in a conservation area. An application for Planning Permission for the following works would attract the householder application fee.

  • Side extensions: Extending beyond the side elevation of a dwelling.
  • Rear extensions: Extending beyond the rear elevation of a dwelling, if that extension would have more than one storey.
  • Loft conversions: Enlarging a dwelling through an addition or alteration to the shape of its roof. In most cases roof lights do not require Planning Permission.
  • Cladding: Cladding or rendering any part of the exterior of a dwelling.
  • Outbuildings: Providing a building or enclosure beyond the side elevation of a dwelling.
  • Flues etc: Installing a chimney, flue or soil vent pipe on a wall or roof slope that addresses the highway and that forms the principal elevation or side elevation of the dwelling.
  • Satellite dishes: Installing a satellite dish on a chimney, wall or roof slope addressing the highway, or on a building that exceeds 15m in height.

In determining applications for Planning Permission in a conservation area, the District Council has a legal duty to pay special attention to "the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character of that area".

The National Planning Policy Framework attaches "great weight" to the preservation or enhancement of conservation areas. Where development would cause harm to the significance of a conservation area, "this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal".

The National Planning Policy Framework advises that development should "respond to local character". It advises that we should concentrate on guiding the overall characteristics of development (density, layout, landscape, scale, height, massing and materials) while avoiding "unnecessary prescription or detail".

Planning applications in conservation areas may also be advertised more widely than normal, with a notice being displayed on site and in the local press.

Article 4 directions

The District Council may remove certain 'permitted development' rights from dwellings in a conservation area. This is done by making an Article 4 Direction.

An Article 4 Direction can apply to all or part of a conservation area. It can address any form of 'permitted development' that might harm the character of such an area. An application for Planning Permission arising from the service of an Article 4 Direction would not attract a fee.

Two of our conservation areas are covered by such directions - Staunton Harold and Lockington. Please follow the links below to find out more about these directions.

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Last updated: Thu 6 February, 2020 @ 09:10