Information about Conservation Areas in Breckland
The Breckland administrative area is approximately 500 square miles and within that area there are 50 Designated Conservation Areas
What is a Conservation Area?
The Civic Amenities Act 1967 was the initial starting point for the creation of current day Conservation Area designation.
The Civic Amenities Act was 'An Act to make further provision for the protection and improvement of buildings of architectural or historic interest and of the character of areas of such interest; for the preservation and planting of trees; and for the orderly disposal of disused vehicles and equipment and other rubbish.'
It is considered that he greatest achievement of the Civic Amenities Act 1967 was the creation of the simple concept of the formation of designated Conservation Areas.
A Conservation Area is currently defined in section 69 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990 as 'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.
Every Conservation Area has it's own distinctive character, derived from it's landscape, geology, historic built environment and ongoing development, use, building materials and particular features. The individual buildings, street furniture, open spaces, trees and individual private gardens and ancillary buildings will all contribute to create the particular character of the Conservation Area.
Conservation Areas, together with listed buildings, scheduled monuments, certain other non-listed building types and landscapes are referred to as both Designated and Non-Designated heritage assets in terms of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2012
Conservation Areas in the Breckland region were predominantly designated in the 1970's and 1980's as identified in the table below:
Maps identifying the extent of the Conservation Areas can be found onMy Maps
What are the effects of living in a Conservation Area?
The principle purpose of Conservation Area designation is the acknowledged recognition of the special character of an area by the local authority. This will influence the way in which the Local Planning Authority deals with applications which may effect the Conservation Area.
Conservation Area status does not prevent change from occurring altogether; instead it helps the managed change in order to preserve the environment for the future. Designation will help ensure that new developments do not harm the existing character, by giving additional controls over demolition, minor developments and the loss of trees. New development is required to have a high standard of design
All buildings or structures over a minimum size may not be demolished, either completely or substantially, without the Council's prior consent. Similarly, property boundaries have a degree of protection from demolition. This is addition to any application for planning permission required for alterations to gates and walls. There is strong presumption in favour of retaining buildings which make a positive contribution to the area. In essence, 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
All of Breckland's Conservation Areas also contain listed buildings. Further restrictions apply in that any proposed material changes to the building, including its interior, exterior, boundary walls and curtilage structures requires Listed Building Consent (LBC). It is therefore advisable to discuss your proposals prior to carrying out any alterations using the planning departments informal pre-app service.
In terms of dwelling houses, planning permission is required before making some changes which would sometimes be permitted development outside a Conservation Area, as follows:
- Cladding to the exterior of a house with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles.
- Installation/alteration/replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe on a dwelling house (where they front a highway and are on the principal elevation).
- Side extensions.
- Rear extensions of more than one storey.
- Roof extensions, including dormer windows.
- Any building or enclosure within the grounds of a house required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling (including swimming pools, garden sheds, garages and summer houses), which is between a side elevation of a dwelling house and the property boundary.
Trees within Conservation Areas
Anyone proposing cut down, damage, prune, top or lop a tree in a conservation area, even one that is not protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), is required to give 6 weeks' notice in writing to the Council prior to carrying out the works - please refer to ourTrees in conservation areas page for more details
Last updated: 23/11/2023 10:01:53