Conservation areas are 'areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.
There are 6 designated conservation areas in Bracknell Forest.
Aims of conservation areas
The aim of a conservation area is to improve the area for everyone.
The status gives the area broader protection than the listing of individual buildings. It recognises all the features, listed or otherwise, that contribute towards ‘character’.
This is because character doesn't only depend on the quality of individual buildings. It also includes:
- the historic mix of roads, paths and boundaries
- characteristic building and paving materials
- public and private spaces such as parks, gardens and greens
All these elements and more can contribute to an area’s special character and appearance.
Creating conservation areas
Councils have the power to name conservation areas.
The ‘specialness’ of an area is judged against local and regional criteria. There is no set list of criteria to follow.
Historic England's guide called Conservation area designation, appraisal and management, provides more detail on selection.
Suggestions for potential conservation areas can come from the public or council officers. Suggestions are put to elected members and approval is sought before an initial conservation area assessment is made.
A full conservation area appraisal may then be carried out. The Executive Member for Planning and Transportation will decide whether to designate the area.
Conservation area appraisals will usually consider:
- site location and topography
- statutory designations
- historic development
- architectural styles
- archaeological interest
More information about conservation areas can be found on Historic England.