Controls within conservation areas

Conservation area designation recognises that the character or appearance of the area is worthy of preservation or enhancement.

There are, therefore, a number of additional planning controls which apply to conservation areas to ensure that their special qualities are not undermined by the loss of important features, or damaged by insensitive new development.

These additional controls are in respect of new development and alterations, demolition, and works to trees, and further information on these is provided below.

Works within conservation areas

Conservation area status removes many of the permitted development rights which apply to buildings in other areas. This means that planning permission is required in conservation areas for a number of works that may not require permission elsewhere.

Listed below are some examples of the types of development that require planning permission in conservation areas that do not require planning permission elsewhere. Please note that this list is not exhaustive:

  • side extensions
  • rear extensions more than one storey high
  • loft extensions
  • erection of an ancillary building to the side of a property, for example a garden shed
  • external cladding of buildings

For further information on when planning permission is required for works within conservation areas please visit the Planning Portal. If you require further advice please contact the council on 0161 779 6195.

In May 2013, the government introduced some temporary changes to permitted development rights. Most of these changes do not apply in conservation areas, however the change that removes the need to get prior approval for the construction, installation, alteration or replacement of a telegraph pole, cabinet or line, in connection with the provision of fixed-line broadband does apply to conservation areas.

It is possible to remove further permitted development rights through an Article 4 Direction, and the council has done this with the Mines Rescue Station Conservation Area in an attempt to safeguard the frontages of the original 1930s semi-detached houses. This means that planning permission is required for certain alterations to some houses within this conservation area, such as replacing windows, altering a roof, or the erection of a porch.

Where planning permission is required to implement development that would otherwise be considered to be permitted development a householder or regular full planning application will be required.

Demolition within conservation areas

Conservation area status introduces additional controls over the demolition of most buildings in a conservation area. Planning permission is required for the demolition of the following in a conservation area:

  • any building with a total cubic content exceeding 115 cubic metres, measured externally
  • walls, gates or fences more than one metre high where abutting a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway), waterway or open space, or over two metres high elsewhere
  • any building erected before 1 January 1914, and in use or last used for the purposes of agriculture or forestry
  • a pre-1925 tombstone, defined as a monument or memorial to a deceased person which was erected before 1 January 1925

The difference between works of alteration, which may also require planning permission, and works of demolition is complex and should be decided on a case-by-case basis. Demolition must amount to the removal of all or almost all of a building, not just part of it. For example, the removal of a building except the façade would amount to demolition.

Failure to obtain planning permission for such demolition works is a criminal offence. If you are in doubt as to whether planning permission is required please contact the council on 0161 779 6195.

In addition to this, if you want to demolish a building over 50 cubic metres, either within or outside of a conservation area, you need to apply to the council for a determination as to whether prior approval will be required.

There are certain circumstances where an application for prior notification would not be required, for example where the demolition is taking place on land which is the subject of planning permission for its redevelopment, and these circumstances are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (part 31, schedule 2).

Works to trees within conservation areas

Trees within conservation areas are given special protection, and further information on this can be found on our trees page.

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