Planning controls in conservation areas

Conservation areas are designated by local planning authorities in order to protect an area's special character and appearance. Conservation areas vary in both size and character, ranging from small groups of buildings (often listed buildings) to town squares, suburbs or even open spaces.

Planning controls

Conservation areas are subject to a number of additional planning controls. Some small domestic extensions which might not otherwise need planning permission will require it in a conservation area. Other controls relate to external cladding, alterations to chimneys and the placement of satellite dishes and other apparatus.

Work to, or felling of, trees more than 75mm in diameter requires six weeks' notice in writing to the Royal Borough.

In addition, planning permission will always be required for the following:

  • The total or substantial demolition of a building measuring more than 115 cubic metres
  • The demolition of a gate, fence, wall or railing over one metre high next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space, or over two metres high elsewhere.

Learn about conservation area appraisals

Article 4 direction areas

In cases where the character of a conservation area is under threat, the local authority may introduce what are known as an 'Article 4 Direction'. This will remove certain additional permitted development rights, for example, the replacement of windows, doors and roofing materials. Royal Borough of Greenwich has introduced a number of such directions.

List of the article 4 direction areas in Royal Greenwich and the accompanying guidance

Listed buildings

For planning information about listed buildings please refer to:

Listed buildings information