Conservation Areas

WHAT IS A CONSERVATION AREA?

Conservation Areas are, "areas of special architectural or historic interest the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". (Civic Amenities Act 1967).

As the title indicates these designations cover more than just a building or property and most local authorities have designated Conservation Areas within their boundary.

Although Councils are not required to keep any statutory lists, you can usually identify Conservation Areas from Local Plan 'proposals maps' and appendices. The Council may keep separate records or even produce leaflets for individual areas.

The purpose of designating a Conservation Area is to provide the Council with an additional measure of control over an area that they considered to be of special historic of architectural value.

TREES IN CONSERVATION AREAS

Trees in Conservation Areas are generally treated in the same way as if they were protected by a Tree Preservation Order; ie it is necessary to obtain the Councils approval for works to trees in Conservation Areas before they are carried out.

There are certain exceptions (where a tree is dead or in a dangerous condition) but it is advisable to seek the opinion of your Councils Tree Officer to ensure your proposed works are acceptable. Even if you are certain that you do not need permission, notifying the Council may save the embarrassment of an official visit if a neighbour contacts them to tell them what you are doing.

Nearly all trees in Conservation Areas are automatically protected. If you wish to prune or fell a tree within a Conservation Area you must give 6 weeks notice in writing to the Local Authority. This is required in order that they can check to see if the tree is already covered by a Tree Preservation Order, or consider whether it is necessary to issue a TPO to control future works on that tree.

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