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Consent types

Planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area

Planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area

Town and Planning Act 1990 (section 196D)1

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (section 69)2


When permission is required

An application for planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area should be used for proposals which involve substantial demolition of any unlisted building or structure in a conservation area if permission is required. The boundaries are defined as the need to:

  • Demolish a building with a volume of 115 cubic metres or more
  • Demolish any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure with:
    • A height of one metre or more if next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway), waterway or open space
    • A height of two metres or more elsewhere

The planning authority can protect areas of special architectural or historic interest through designating them as conservation areas.


What is a conservation area?

Local authorities have the power to designate any area of special architectural or historic interest as conservation areas. Allowing them extra powers to control works and demolition of buildings to protect or improve the appearance of the area. These are reviewed from time to time to determine whether any further parts should be designated accordingly.


What determines a conservation area?

A conservation area can be deemed so due to their historic or architectural qualities, making them an area of particular historic interest. The classification for conservation areas relies on:

  • Archaeological interest (holds evidence of past human activity worthy of expert investigation)
  • Architectural and artistic interest (interest in the art or science of the design, construction, craftsmanship and decoration of buildings and structures, or other human creative skills)
  • Historic interest (provide meaning for communities derived from their collective experience, symbolising wider values such as faith and cultural identity)

The special character of these areas is not just made up of buildings, it is also defined by other features which contribute to particular views and the familiar local scene:

  • The way roads, paths and boundaries are laid out
  • Characteristic building and paving materials
  • The way buildings are used
  • Public and private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens
  • Trees and street furniture


Exclusions

Gaining this permission does not allow for the demolition of listed buildings, scheduled monuments or a building in ecclesiastical use.

The demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area, without the permission of the Local Planning Authority is a criminal offence.


Information required

To gain permission for demolition in a conservation area your application will need to include site and location plans. Other documents may be required, such as a neighbour and community consultation or structural survey to help support your application.

You must be able to describe the proposed works in detail with an explanation for why they are required including any related proposals and a reasoned justification for the proposed works.


Timeline

A decision on applications for planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area should be decided within 8 weeks. This begins when the application is validated by the Local Planning Authority.


Fees

Applications for planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area do not have a fee attached.


What happens next

Work must not commence until permission is given by the Local Planning Authority. If all other permissions have been granted then development on the area can begin.


Further resources

National Planning Policy Framework - Guidance - GOV.UK3

Historic environment - GOV.UK4

  1. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/8/section/196D
  2. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/9/section/69
  3. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-planning-policy-framework
  4. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/conserving-and-enhancing-the-historic-environment

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The Planning Portal is delivered by PortalPlanQuest Limited which is a joint venture between TerraQuest Solutions Limited and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. All content © 2022 Planning Portal.