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A Planning Guide to Conservation Areas

What Are Conservation Areas?

The council has responsibility for designating areas of special historical interest, character or architectural appearance which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. These areas of towns and villages are called Conservation Areas. They have been designated after public consultation enabling special planning controls to be applied and more detailed attention given to the protection of buildings, spaces and trees.

Aims

The council aims to ensure preservation and enhancement of Conservation Areas. New development should take account of the existing character of the area and make a positive contribution to it.

Where Are They?

There are 17 Conservation Areas in the Wyre Forest District.

Areley Kings Stourport-on-Severn           Broome
Bewdley Chaddesley Corbett
Blakebrook (Kidderminster) Churchill
Church Street (Kidderminster) Harvington
Gilgal (Stourport-on-Severn) Ribbesford
Green Street (Kidderminster) Upper Arley
Stourport-on-Severn 1 Wolverley
Stourport-on-Severn 2 The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal
Vicar Street (Kidderminster)

If you plan to repair, improve or alter buildings in a Conservation Area always check the need for planning or conservation area consent and inform your contractor/agent or solicitor that your property is in a Conservation Area.

What Are The Additional Controls?

Changes to windows, doors, chimneys and roofing materials can be especially damaging to historic areas and may need planning consent. Inappropriate changes can erode and eventually destroy the character of such historic areas. It is important to seek help and advice from the council if you are planning work on any building or structure in a Conservation Area.

Conservation advice can save you money as well as protecting the value of your property.

In addition to normal planning control specific restrictions relating to development apply in Conservation Areas.

Repairs and Alterations

  • The enlargement, improvement or alteration to a dwelling house consisting of re-cladding any part of the exterior with stone, artificial stone, timber, plastic or filler.
  • Any enlargement of a dwelling house by adding to or altering its roof.
  • Any buildings within the grounds of a dwelling house (e.g. garden sheds, garages, green houses etc.) where the building is in excess of 10 cubic metres. In addition any such building larger than 10 cubic metres is counted as an enlargement to a dwelling in a Conservation Area and will be set against normal permitted development rights (see householder leaflet 2).
  • The installation of a satellite dish on a wall, roof slope or chimney fronting a road in a Conservation Area.
  • In the case of industrial/warehouse development if the cubic content of the original building is exceeded by 10% or the floor space is more than 500 Sq. metres.

NB. There are other planning constraints relating to whether or not planning permission is required for some of the above developments. You should contact us for further advice.

Conservation Area Consent

Conservation Area Consent is distinct from Planning Permission and is needed before demolishing structures in Conservation Areas unless the demolition involved is of a freestanding building which does not exceed 115 cubic metres, or any part of such a building.

Taking down a wall, fence, gate or railings is considered to be demolition and normally requires Conservation Area Consent.

Planning Permission may also be required and advice should be sought prior to commencing works.

Trees

Anyone wishing to cut down, uproot, top or lop a tree which is in a Conservation Area (even though it is not protected by a Tree Preservation Order) is required to give the Local Planning Authority 6 weeks written notice (called a section 211 notice) to allow the council to consider protecting the tree. The written notice should give a description of the work proposed. If the council does not decide to protect the tree or you do not receive a response within six weeks then the work may be carried out but it must be done within two years.

What Are Listed Buildings?

Listed Buildings have become protected because of their special architectural or historic merit. The listing may include curtilage, buildings and structures. They are subject to controls over and above those described here and no demolition, alteration or extensions should be undertaken without seeking advice first. Listed Buildings are graded I, II* and II depending on their quality. You can find out if your building is listed by contacting us.

How Can I Enhance The Conservation Area?

The council consults and liaises with English Heritage, local civic societies and other bodies to enhance development in Conservation Areas. New development should be sympathetic and help to preserve and enhance the character of the area. However, not all works or alterations to properties require either planning permission or Conservation Area Consent and owners/residents are encouraged to pay extra attention to detail in the design and use of materials to help maintain the character of the area. Even if you do not need any permission from the council we can still offer you advice on any works you are proposing. You should seek the advice of the council.

You should seek the advice of the council before undertaking alterations to discuss before undertaking alterations to discuss how you can help.

The amenity societies of the district are:

Bewdley Civic Society

Stourport on Severn Civic Society

Kidderminster Civic Society

Staffs. and Worcs. Canal Society 

They may be able to help with useful historical information, old photographs or reference publications.



Wyre Forest District Council