Owning a property within a Conservation Area means that any proposed works to the property may require consent from the Local Authority concerned

Cotswold District has 144 Conservation Areas - the highest number of Conservation Areas of any district local authority in England. In part this will be due to the historic nature of the area and its architecture generally, and the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, and its building materials.

To find out if you live in one of these Areas -


If you live in a Conservation Area extra planning controls may apply

  • You may need planning permission for demolition works
  • You must inform the Local Authority if you know of any proposed works to trees in a conservation area
  • You must apply for planning permission for minor works such as replacement windows and doors, removal of chimney stacks and boundary walls and replacement roof materials (as permitted development rights have been removed due to Article 4 directions).

To find out whether your proposed works require planning permission, email planning@cotswold.gov.uk (include a detailed description of the proposed works, a sketch plan of the building, photographs and any other relevant information).


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 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 are Conservation Areas designated?

Conservation Areas are designated by the Local Authority, 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 the Local Authority.

Can a Conservation Area boundary be altered once it has been designated?

Yes, the Local Authority can undertake boundary reviews to identify potential extensions or re- 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.

What are the Council planning policies for development in Conservation Areas?

Local Authorities 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 includes a specific policy on Conservation Areas.

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