Development in conservation areas

To preserve the character of conservation areas, the following restrictions apply.

Property alterations

You may need permission before building or making alterations such as:

  • cladding
  • inserting windows
  • installing satellite dishes and solar panels
  • adding conservatories or other extensions
  • laying paving or building walls


If you want to cut down or prune a tree, you must tell us six weeks in advance. We'll need to assess the contribution the tree makes to the character of the conservation area and decide whether to make a Tree Preservation Order.


Demolition or substantial demolition of a building in a conservation area will usually require permission.

New development 

New development will be permitted only if it's considered to enhance or preserve the character and appearance of the area. Proposals for new development should be submitted as full, not outline applications. They must include a design statement explaining and justifying the proposals, and drawings showing the scheme in its context, such as a street scene elevation.

Conservation isn't the same as preservation. It allows some controlled changes to promote the viable use of buildings in conservation areas. If a building contributes to the character of the conservation area, we want to see it retained and maintained. We'll resist proposals for re-development and refuse applications for demolition. 

There'll be cases where a building of poor quality, which contributes little to, or even detracts from, the character of the area is proposed for demolition. Where this is agreed, and an application for the appropriate new development of the site is approved, the demolition and re-development applications will be processed together and their approvals linked by condition.

You should talk to us about any proposals for development or demolition in conservation areas (or development affecting a listed building) before starting any work. 

Find out more about our pre-application service we offer to give advice to customers before a formal application is made.