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'. The Council is required to 'preserve or enhance' the character of each conservation area and all new proposals have to be considered in the light of this requirement.
Local planning authorities have a duty to:
- designate conservation areas;
- review these areas from time to time; and,
- formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of conservation areas.
There are eight Conservation Areas in Middlesbrough (view map)
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.
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.