A conservation area is one that has been designated as a place of architectural or historic interest. It means if you own a property and you want to carry out renovations most common things require planning permission. Their decision is based on whether your project preserves and/or enhances the area. The conservation officer, your local planning committee and the Parish council make the decision. It is possible to design a modern home amongst older houses. It will be easier in a conservation area that has houses of varying styles and ages. It all depends on how the committees interpret your design.

Before you spend money on plans visit the planning department and get some pre-planning advice and attend any relevant Parish council meeting. That way you’ll have an idea of what is and isn’t acceptable.

Common refurbishments include:

Windows
If you are replacing windows and doors that are of a similar appearance you shouldn’t need planning permission, but a visit to the department is recommended. If you are having a different type of window installed then you will need permission.

Extensions
You can’t have a two-storey extension or one at the side in a conservation area. Other types of an extension will need planning permission, apart from a single-storey extension at the rear. It can only be up to 3metres if your house is a terrace or semi and 4 metres if it is detached.

Solar Panels
You will need planning permission for wall-mounted panels. But, panels on the roof can be installed without permission. However, things do change so a quick visit to your local planning department will ensure you have the right information.


Recladding
If you want to re-clad the exterior of your property you will need planning permission. Common cladding materials include plastic, tiles, pebble dash, stone or timber. If you live in an area which is under an Article 4 Direction you might be limited on the colours you can use on your front door, for example or the changes you can make to your garden. The direction also prohibits satellite dishes without planning permission.

 

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