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Conservation areas are defined as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. There are currently over 9,000 conservation areas that have been designated nationally by local authorities since the legislation was introduced in 1967. This reflects the level of interest in their historic environment by local communities.
From time to time local authorities are required to review their conservation areas to see if they are still of special interest, to update them and to look at their boundaries. Following public consultation on the appraisal the next step is to develop a management plan which deals with the issues and recommendations arising from the appraisal.
As well as being a planning tool to support development control decisions and for developing initiatives to improve the area conservation, area appraisals also provide an educational and informative resource for the whole community.
There are currently 11 designated conservation areas in the borough. Further information on each of these can be found on the pages in this section.
One of the most important effects of designation is the greater emphasis placed on matters of design when considering applications for new development or for alterations/extensions to properties within conservation areas. We are required to pay 'special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area' when considering planning applications. The intention is not to prevent new development, but rather it is to ensure that new development respects the established character and context of the area.
Guidance on the design of new buildings in an historic areas can be found on the historic England website.
A checklist of the issues that should be addressed as part of the design process can be downloaded from the documents section.
The demolition of buildings and some structures in conservation areas requires planning permission and the demolition of buildings that are considered to make a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.
Where permission is granted, a condition will be attached to ensure that the building is not demolished before a contract for carrying out the redevelopment of the site for which planning permission has been granted or some other legally binding commitment has been made.
Householders can normally make minor alterations to their houses without requiring planning permission such as changing doors or windows. This is called 'permitted development'. However in some conservation areas we have removed these 'permitted development rights' by making an Article 4 Direction. The conservation areas affected are:
An Article 4 Direction does not prevent you from altering or repairing your home it just means that planning permission may be required before any works are carried out. If you are planning any works to your property please contact the Conservation Section who can advise on whether the works will require permission.
Trees can often play an important role in the quality of a conservation area particularly in residential areas such as Fulwood and Ashton. Consequently trees within conservation areas receive additional protection even if they do not have a preservation order on them.
Before you intend to carry out works to trees you should write to the us and inform us of your intentions. We have a six week period in which to respond to your request . This will allow us time to consider making a Tree Preservation Order and assess the scope of the works that are being proposed. You must not carry out any of the works in that six weeks without permission.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.