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Planning Controls in a Conservation Area

In addition to normal planning requirements certain additional controls apply in conservation areas. Listed buildings will in addition need listed building consent for any proposal affecting their appearance or character, whether externally or internally. A leaflet about listed buildings is available from the Council. adobe icon A basic guide for owners and occupiers [1Mb]. A useful guide to listed buildings and conservation areas in the planning system is the Government's National Planning Policy Guidance and the English Heritage guidance note to planning for the historic environment.

Legislation is complex and changes from time to time. For up-to-date advice email the Planning Admin Team dev.control@nfdc.gov.uk or phone 023 8028 5345.

Planning permission to demolish a building in a conservation area
This is normally needed to demolish any building with a total cubic content exceeding 115m3, or a substantial part of such a building. Planning permission may also be required for the demolition of other structures, such as the demolition of a gate, fence or wall or other means of enclosure. The legislation is complicated. Please get in touch with us before beginning any demolition work to be on the safe side.

Planning permission
Planning permission is often needed in conservation areas even for small additions or changes to a dwelling or for outbuildings. Permission is needed, for example, to add dormer windows and for most forms of external cladding.

Advertisement consent
Certain further classes of illuminated signs and hoardings around construction sites in conservation areas require consent.

Trees
Trees in a conservation area have the same protection as those covered by Tree Preservation Orders. It is an offence to fell or prune such trees without prior written consent. All matters relating to trees are now being handled by New Forest National Park.

What can I do?
If you are an owner or a developer you play an important and direct role. You will be largely responsible for the quality of your conservation areas.

  • Think carefully about the decisions you take.
  • Examine your building regularly - repair it!
  • Get professional help.
  • Go for quality - it pays.
  • Talk to us - we don't just say no! We can help you solve problems.
  • You don't need to be an owner or developer to influence conservation areas.
  • Comment on planning applications. You will see the notices posted; suggest improvements, tell us what you don't like and what you do like.
  • On many issues there is no need to write long letters, a postcard, or a phone call will do.
  • If you have time: explore the history of a conservation area. There are plenty of local history publications and societies. You might be surprised how things you took for granted suddenly come alive.
Updated: 12 Oct 2018
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