Living in a conservation area - how it affects you

Council Control Areas

Within a conservation area the council has extra controls over:  

  • Demolition of certain buildings and walls  
  • Minor extensions and alterations to properties including detached buildings like garages  
  • The position of satellite dishes  
  • Protection of trees  


Applications for consent to totally or substantially demolish any building within a conservation area must be made to the local planning authority. Generally there is a presumption in favour of retaining buildings and walls which make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area.  

Minor developments

If you live in a conservation area you have to obtain permission before making changes which would normally be permitted elsewhere. This is to ensure that any alterations do not detract from the area's appearance. These changes include certain types of cladding, inserting dormer windows and putting up satellite dishes which are visible from the street.

The Council, where it is felt necessary, can also place further planning controls on properties in conservation areas. Article 4 (2) Directions remove the rights of property owners to carry out small scale alterations, like putting up porches and replacing windows and doors, on the elevations which face the road or public space. This means that if you want to carry out such work you will need planning permission.


Trees make an important contribution to the character of the local environment. Anyone proposing to cut down or prune a tree in a conservation area, whether or not it is covered by a tree preservation order, has to give notice to the local authority. The authority can then consider the contribution the tree makes to the character of the area and, if necessary, make a tree preservation order to protect it.

More information is available on our tree preservation orders page or via the following links:

You can apply to carry out the proposed works via the Planning Portal (external link).

For information on tree health, please visit our Tree Health and Safety Survey page.