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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.