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Council Services:

Conservation Areas

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest whose character or appearance is worthy of preservation or enhancement. Their 'specialness' is judged against local and regional criteria.

The county council, in partnership with the lincolnshire district councils and English Heritage, provides support for various types of conservation area enhancement schemes and the repair and refurbishment of historic buildings generally.

There are currently 162 conservation areas in Lincolnshire.

What does designation as a conservation area mean in practice?

Planning authorities, when deciding whether to grant planning permission within conservation areas, are required by law to pay special attention to the need to enhance or preserve the character or appearance of such areas.

In practice, this means that any planning application within a conservation area will receive additional scrutiny to establish whether the nature of the proposed development would at least complement and if possible enhance the area's special qualities.

There are also some additional planning controls over demolition, minor works and the protection of trees within conservation areas:

  • Demolition: There are specific controls over the demolition of buildings in conservation areas, and a presumption in favour of retaining buildings that make positive contributions to the character or appearance of such areas. Any demolition within a conservation area, other than demolition for which there is specific statutory exemption, must be authorised by a prior grant of Conservation Area Consent by the relevant district council. Demolition without consent is a criminal offence.
  • Minor developments: Within all conservation areas, planning permission must be obtained from the district council before making some of the minor alterations to buildings that would not normally be subject to planning control elsewhere. Such alterations include applying certain types of cladding, inserting dormer windows, and erecting satellite dishes which are visible from the street. District councils may also choose to place restrictions on other alterations, such as painting a house a different colour, or changing distinctive front doors, windows, or other architectural features. The district council must have a good reason for making these restrictions, and must take account of views of local people before doing so.
  • Trees: Trees make an important contribution to the character of the local environment and are important features of many conservation areas. Anyone proposing to cut down, top or lop a tree in a conservation area, whether or not it is covered by a tree preservation order, must give notice to the district council. The district council can then consider the contribution the tree makes to the character of the area and if necessary make a Tree Preservation Order to protect it.

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Last updated: 18 October 2017

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