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. Conservation area designation provides a broader form of protection than listed building control.
Conservation areas are designated by local planning authorities. The duty of designation is a continuing duty, requiring the authority to consider from time to time which parts of their area should continue to be designated and whether any further parts should be designated.
Designation of an area as a conservation area will have several consequences including:
- certain buildings may not be demolished without the consent of the appropriate authority
- it will be an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any tree in the area without the consent of the local planning authority
- the authority will be under a duty to develop policies which clearly identify which features of the area should be preserved or enhanced, and set out how this can be done
- the authority will be under a duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area in the exercise of their planning powers.