Planning and conservation areas

Within conservation areas planning permission is needed for some developments which would not normally need consent.

If you live in a conservation area, you should make sure that any changes you make to your property, through repairs, maintenance or alterations, are in keeping with the character of the building and the area.

For example, you should take care to match original materials and methods of construction and avoid damaging or removing features of historic or architectural value.

Unsympathetic alterations might include:

  • replacing original windows with uPVC windows or windows of a different design
  • removing chimneys
  • adding satellite dishes
  • changing the original roofing materials

However, the purpose of the planning process is to guide and control development, not to prevent it.

Planning controls in conservation areas

Even if your property is not listed, if it is within a conservation area you may need planning permission for the following:

  • enlargement or alteration of a dwelling house to the side of the house or where it has more than one storey
  • enlargement of a dwelling house consisting of an alteration or addition to its roof
  • addition of certain claddings of any part of the exterior of the dwelling house
  • installation of a satellite dish on the chimney stack or on the roof slope or elevation fronting a road
  • installing, replacing or altering a chimney
  • installing a flue, biomass heating system or vent pipes on a wall or roof slope in a prominent location
  • the construction of buildings (for example sheds or summerhouses) or enclosures (for example swimming pools) within the boundary of a house
  • the installation of solar panels on a wall on the principal or side elevation of the house or if visible from a highway

Planning permission also needs to be sought for demolition of a building as well as demolition of a boundary treatment (for example a fence, wall, or railings) that is over 1m next to a highway or over 2m elsewhere.

A building in a conservation area must not be demolished without consent of the local planning authority. It is a criminal offence to fail to get such consent in the form of planning permission.

Getting planning permission

To apply for planning permission, please read our online guide.


If you wish to fell, lop or top or uproot trees within a conservation area, you must give the council 6 weeks’ notice in writing. Please mark for the attention of the Tree Team in the Place, Planning and Regeneration department.

It is an offence to carry out the work within that period without the consent of the council.

If you wish to have a tree considered for inclusion in a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), please read our TPO guidance.

New developments in a conservation area

For new developments in a conservation area, the council requires a very high standard of design. This must either preserve or enhance the existing character and appearance of the area.

In view of this the council can require additional information in support of any planning application to show how the proposal will relate to the conservation area. This can mean the submission of elevations of adjacent buildings, full details of the proposal and examples of materials and colours to be used.

Usually only a fully detailed planning application will be considered, which should be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement which includes reference to the impact of the proposal on the conservation area.

Additionally, new development in the surrounding area may be affected by the designation, as some substantial developments may be deemed to affect the setting of the conservation area. In such instances their impact on the conservation area will be a material consideration.

Contact information

Planning Team