South West of England Conservation Areas

Photo Credit: Bristol City Council

Councils in the South West of England have designated many areas of their villages, towns and cities as Conservation Areas. A Conservation Area is an area that has been marked as having special architectural or historical interest and as such is seen as being worthy of preservation.

As a result of the extra planning controls designed to protect the character of a Conservation Area, property owners within the area, may require extra planning consent before undertaking work.

It is always advisable for property owners to check if their property is in a Conservation Area, especially if it was built during the Georgian (1714-1830), Victorian (1837-1901) or Edwardian (1901-1910) periods. Currently, there are over 8000 Conservation Areas around England, so it is difficult to keep an updated list of them all in one place. In order to make things easier for property owners in the South West of England, we have compiled a directory of links to the relevant web pages for each of the regions councils.

You can find your local Council’s Conservation Area pages by clicking the following link:

South West England and Wales Conservation Areas information

Conservation Areas and Property Renovation

Property owners can normally make minor alterations to their properties without requiring any form of planning permission. This is often termed as “permitted development” but if the property is within a Conservation Area, the Council has removed these “permitted development rights” by making what is known as an Article 4 Direction.

Article 4 Directions are made under part of the planning legislation called the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. The effect of a Direction is that planning permission is required for specified classes of works that are carried out on any elevation facing a highway. Typically, these are:

  • making any alteration to the roof – this includes replacing the slates or tiles, putting in a rooflight or altering dormer windows (the insertion of dormer windows requires planning permission in any event)
  • removal, replacement or alteration of windows and doors
  • painting or rendering external brickwork.

NB – It is always best to check the specifics of any given conservation area directly with your local Conservation officer.

For property owners who require work on either the Windows (Sash or Casement), Doors, Shop Frontage or any bespoke joinery, then consulting a company with many years of experience in carrying out similar projects in Conservation Areas such as is always advisable.

An Article 4 direction does not prevent you from altering or repairing your home. Repair and maintenance work which does not change the appearance of the property will not need planning permission provided that the same types of materials are used. This means that any Sash window, Casement window, Door or Shop Front Restoration undertaken by, will not require planning permission.

Once the Windows, Doors or Shop Fronts have been surveyed, an assessment of the required work can then be carried out. If it is found that they beyond restoration, then it is possible to have replacements made and fitted, providing they have the same appearance as the originals that are being replaced. Although this may prove to be quite costly compared to uPVC or cheaper wooden replacements, the expense of not getting it right first time could mean that it becomes even more costly to put it right later. Council’s have statutory powers to enforce an Article 4 direction. have 15 years experience of working within Conservation Areas and will be able to offer their invaluable expertise and support throughout their customers projects. They specialise in many aspects of joinery including Sash Windows, Casement Windows, Doors and Shop Fronts (please check the Products and Services page for full list).

You can either call on 0117-230-2828 or use the enquiry form to get in touch and see what they can do in order to be of help, with full piece of mind that any work undertaken will conform to the Local Councils Conservation Area requirements.

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