Toggle menu

Conservation Areas Frequently Asked Questions

Two speech bubbles with letters Q and A

What are Conservation Areas?

A conservation area is an 'area of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance' (s.69 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990). There is a duty on Local Planning Authorities to identify those parts of their district that are of special interest and to designate them as a conservation area. 

Since their inception in 1967, there are now more than 8,000 conservation areas throughout the country.

More information concerning the designation and development restrictions of conservation areas can be found through the Historic England guidance.

How many conservation areas are there in Preston?

Preston City Council has designated 11 conservation areas in the City as places worthy of protection as areas of special merit.

How to find out if I live in a conservation area?

To see if you live within a conservation area, please use the interactive planning public map and select 'Conservation Areas' layer option.

What are the benefits of Conservation Area designation?

The designation of a conservation area ensures the protection of the historic character and unique aspects of buildings and street scenes. Through the designation, the introduction of modern and alien materials which are unsustainable and detract from the character of the area are restricted. 

We would therefore encourage you to consider whether the full replacement of these units would be in the best interests of the building. For instance, the survival of historic/traditional features often adds value to a property, that once lost can never be replaced. 

Replacing timber units with modern metal or uPVC units is also not particularly sustainable. Additional information can be found through the Historic England website.

What are Conservation Area Character Appraisals?

To identify the special character of its conservation areas, the Council has already completed a number of 'Conservation Area Character Appraisals' which consider the historic development of each area and record its most notable features.

Copies of these appraisals are available on the Conservation Areas and Appraisals page. Further information regarding Conservation areas can be found through the Historic England website.

Listed Buildings

What are Conservation Areas?

When a building is described as listed it means that it is included on a list of buildings which are considered to be of sufficient historic or architectural interest to merit special protection.

The list is drawn up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Listed buildings are protected by law under s.69 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.  Buildings are listed so that we can identify and protect our architectural heritage. However, this does not suggest that it must be preserved for all time, rather which care will be taken over the decisions affecting its future.

Additional information regarding the listing process and the effects on ownership can be found through the Historic England guides on listed and historic buildings.

How do I find out if my building is listed?

You can look up the listing status and description of any listed building in England and Wales by accessing the National Heritage database list for England managed by Historic England.

What should I be aware of when purchasing a listed building?

We would advise any potential purchaser of a listed building to buy the property on the understanding that it meets your current needs, as these special buildings by their very nature, are rare examples of their type and which are not always capable of accommodating large scale changes. 

Useful advice on buying a listed building has been produced by Historic England.

It is also worth remembering that it is the owner's responsibility to ensure that the correct consents/permissions are in place when buying a listed building and checking whether any unauthorised works have been carried out prior to the point of sale is highly recommended.

Is owning and maintaining a listed building costly?

Listed buildings do not generally require a higher degree of care and maintenance than modern buildings; however, there would be an expectation that any repairs to historic fabric would have to be carried out in accordance with conservation best practice employing traditional materials and finishes.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email