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Conservation areas

Conservation areas have 'special architectural or historic interest' relating to buildings and the way the area's features (listed or otherwise) come together to make a distinctive environment.

These features include:

  • the mix of uses
  • the historic layout
  • characteristic buildings
  • paving materials and street furniture

Conservation areas have extra planning controls applied to them to help preserve or enhance their character and protect their settings. Since 2011 there have been a total of 35 conservation areas in York.

Making changes in a conservation area

Planning permission and/or listed building consent is required to:

  • demolish any building or certain boundaries within a conservation area
  • substantially alter or build a new structure/boundary - a heritage statement is also required in this instance
  • raising the ridge/expanding the size of a roof or installing a dormer window
  • clad walls – in most cases, unless repairing or renewing an existing surface
  • install satellite dishes - on an elevation fronting a highway, on a chimney, and on a building over 15 metres high
  • install, alter or replace a chimney, flue soil or vent pipe on a wall or roof on a principal or side elevation fronting a highway
  • front, side and two storey rear extensions
  • detached ancillary buildings, garden sheds/stores to the side of the dwelling house
  • surfacing, ground works and works to trees

You may need planning permission to do the following:

  • repairs – if undertaken in a like-for-like manner
  • maintenance
  • renewing or replacing a roof covering
  • installing solar panels – subject to certain conditions
  • installing a roof light – subject to certain conditions
  • single storey rear extensions constructed in materials of similar appearance to those used on the existing house – subject to other criteria in respect of height and rear projection

Download a guide on living in a conservation area or email for clarification.

Conservation Area Appraisals

A number of Conservation Area Appraisals have been carried out in York. They aim to identify the special interest and characteristics of a place in order see what's needed to protect or enhance it.

Extra planning regulations in conservation areas

Extra regulations in conservation areas are known as Article 4 directions. Planning applications are required for certain types of development in these areas; in York East Mount Road has an article 4 direction (see other Article 4 Directions in York).

Also see


City Archaeologist, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA