Conservation area frequently asked questions

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are areas which have been designated because of their special architectural or historic interest and where it is beneficial to preserve or enhance their character or appearance. There are now more than 8,000 conservation areas in England. These areas are important for their special qualities e.g. historic buildings, the layout of the settlement; open spaces etc. 

The key legislation is the 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act , which states in section 72 - General duty as respects conservation areas in exercise of planning functions

(1) In the exercise, with respect to any buildings or other land in a conservation area, of any powers under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (2), special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area.

How many conservation areas are there in Cotswold District ?

144, the highest number of any district in England.

Is my property in a Conservation Area?

There is a full list of all Conservation Areas in the district with maps of their boundaries available.

How are conservation areas designated?

Conservation areas are designated by us, on the basis of whether the area is of special architectural or historic interest and whether it would be beneficial to preserve or enhance that character or appearance. The process includes detailed analysis of the proposed Conservation Area, public consultation and formal approval by us  

Can a conservation area boundary be altered once it has been designated?

Yes, we can undertake boundary reviews to identify potential extensions or de-designations. Such boundary reviews are normally undertaken during the preparation of a ‘character appraisal’ for the area. 

What is a Conservation Area appraisal and management plan ?

Conservation Area appraisals set out what is important about an area in terms of its character, architecture, history, development form and landscaping.   The management plan sets out various positive proposals to improve the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. 

What is a Conservation Area Statement ?

These have been replaced by Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans, but were similar in describing the Conservation Area etc. 

Does the Council have any detailed information about individual conservation areas? 

We have prepared Character Appraisals or Statements for a small number of our conservation areas.  

What are the Council planning policies for development in conservation areas?

We follow the guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework and the National Planning Practice Guidance.  Development proposals are considered on the basis of whether they preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the relevant Conservation Area. The Cotswold District Local Plan 2001 – 2011 includes a specific policy (15) on Conservation Areas. 

How does living in a conservation area affect me?

If you live in a Conservation Area you should be aware that additional planning controls may apply.  You may require planning permission for any demolition works.  You are also required to notify us of any proposed works to trees (s.211 notification to carry out works to trees in a Conservation Area) 

In some Conservation Areas the Council has removed permitted development rights by serving Article 4 Directions This means you may need to apply for planning permission for minor works. These can include such things as replacement windows and doors, removal of chimney stacks and boundary walls and replacement roof materials.

If you would like to know whether your proposed works require planning permission, please contact us.  Please provide a detailed description of the proposed works, a sketch plan of the building, photographs and any other relevant information.

What are Article 4 directions ?

An Article 4 direction restricts permitted development rights, i.e. it means that you have to have permission to carry out some works for which you would not normally require planning permission, for example replacing windows.

Is my property covered by an Article 4 direction ?

 There are a number of Article 4 and 3 directions in the district, in the following towns and parishes

  • Avening
  • Bibury
  • Blockley
  • Bourton on the Water
  • Brockhampton
  • Chipping Camden
  • Cowley
  • Didmarton
  • Donnington
  • Lower Slaughter
  • Mickleton
  • Moreton in Marsh
  • Oddington
  • Ozleworth
  • Perrot's Brook
  • South Cerney
  • Tetbury

Further information,  including copies of the Articles and maps to show the relevant properties.  

What should I do if I notice unauthorised work being carried out in a Conservation Area?

If you are concerned that unauthorised works are being carried out in a conservation area then you should contact us.  For more information please see our Enforcement web-page.

Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 1PX