Local authorities have the power (under Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990) to designate as conservation areas, any area of special architectural or historic interest. This means the planning authority has extra powers to control works and demolition of buildings to protect or improve the character or appearance of the area.
How are conservation areas chosen for designation?
Conservation areas are usually chosen as places of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which should be preserved or enhanced.
The special character of these areas is not just made up of buildings, it is also defined by other features which contribute to particular views and the familiar local scene:
- the way roads, paths and boundaries are laid out
- characteristic building and paving materials
- the way buidings are used
- public and private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens
- trees and street furniture
Conservation areas give protection across a broader area of land than listing individual buildings and all features within the area, listed or otherwise, may be recognised as part of its character.