Wealden District Council

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Extra Planning Controls in Conservation Areas

Designation of a Conservation Area gives broader protection that the listing of individual buildings. All the features, listed or otherwise, within the Area, are recognised as part of its character. Conservation Area designation is the means of recognising the importance of all these factors and of ensuring that planning decisions address the quality of the landscape in its broadest sense.

Under planning legislation the local planning authority has a duty to 'pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that Conservation Area' The Planning (Listed Buildings as Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 72 (external link).  This is mainly carried out through the development management process, through good design and managed change.

There are additional planning controls in designated Conservation Areas which include:

  • Control over demolition of unlisted building and structures:

    Unlisted buildings and structures can often contribute towards the character of a Conservation Area and the loss of these buildings and structures can be detrimental to the character and appearance of the area. For this reason, planning permission is likely to be required for the substantial or total demolition of buildings over a certain size; and gates, fences, walls and railings over a certain size and in particular locations. Further information is available on the Planning Portal (external link)

  • Fewer types of advertisements are allowed with deemed consent:
    Certain categories of advertisement which have 'deemed consent' under the Advertisement Regulations, are restricted within Conservation Areas. Further clarification and advice can be found on the Government website (external link) and at Historic England (external link)
  • Control over works to trees which are not the subject of a Tree Preservation Order:
    Within Conservation Areas trees are given special protection. Further information is available on the Planning Portal (external link)
  • Restriction on the types of development which can be carried out without the need for planning permission (permitted development rights): including roof extensions, cladding, satellite dishes on front elevations and some types of extensions. Further information on permitted development rights is available on the Planning Portal (external link)

If you wish to enquire whether proposed works within a designated Conservation Area in Wealden will require planning permission, please complete the Listed Building and Conservation Areas Enquiry Form.

Note: All works to Listed Buildings are likely to require Listed Building Consent (inside and outside).

Future Management of Conservation Areas in Wealden

There is potential to manage change within Conservation Areas to ensure that the identified special historic character and interest is preserved and enhanced.

Article 4 Directions (external link) can be used to remove certain permitted development rights normally allowed in Conservation Areas, such as replacement of windows and doors, and changes to and removal of boundary walls. Article 4 Directions help to prevent incremental change and erosion of detail which can lead to a dilution of the significance and character of Conservation Areas for which they were originally designated.

At present there is only one Article 4 Direction with regards to Conservation Areas in place in Wealden, in relation to part of the designated Rotherfield Conservation Area, however, the Council may seek to modify this direction and put additional Directions in place in other Conservation Areas in the future.