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Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is 'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.

Conservation areas are designated (chosen) by the council. Changes within, and adjacent to, conservation areas are managed through decisions made on planning applications.

Developments in conservation areas should have a neutral or positive impact on the significance of the conservation area. If there is a negative impact, the development must be shown to provide public benefits instead.

An area can be designated as a conservation area for a number of different reasons. Not all conservation areas are judged to be significant for the same reasons. This means something which is an acceptable development in one area might not be an acceptable development in another area.

Conservation areas in Middlesbrough

There are eight conservation areas in Middlesbrough. View a map of all of Middlesbrough's conservation areas.

What special controls are there in conservation areas?

You will need conservation area consent from the council to demolish a building or structure (with certain exceptions) - this gives the council the chance to consider the contribution of an existing building to the area before making a decision on any proposed replacement.

The alterations and extensions that you can make to your home without needing planning permission are more limited than elsewhere. You need to give the council six weeks notice before carrying out any works to trees. This gives the council the chance to decide if a tree preservation order is necessary. Remember that there are extra controls over "listed buildings". It is always best to check with the Council before doing any work, to find out what approvals you may need.

Linthorpe Conservation Area Article 4(2) Direction

Although restrictions already exist within the conservation area, permitted development including the removal of boundary walls and gate posts, and replacement of original timber windows with u-PVC windows, does not require planning permission. Over time similar alterations have damaged the character and appearance of the conservation area. The council has therefore introduced an Article 4(2) Direction, which means that residents will now have to apply for planning permission for certain alterations that were previously permitted developments.

For further information read the conservation leaflet or to check if your property is affected contact the Conservation Officer on 01642 729116 or via email to

You can also view the document which officially confirmed the Article 4 Direction in February 2010.

Guidance on the care, repair and upgrading of traditional windows can be found on Historic England's traditional windows guidance.