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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; there are 35 conservation areas in York - get more information from the Historic Environment Record (HER).

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 our Planning Enquiries Team for clarification.

Extra planning regulations in conservation areas

Extra planning regulations may be applicable to some conservation areas, these are known as 'Article 4 directions' and remove permitted development rights for certain minor alterations, extensions and changes of use meaning planning permission is required where an Article 4 Direction' is in place.

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. In addition the York Central Historic Core Conservation Area Appraisal (YCHCCA Appraisal), is one of the largest and most complex in England, with 24 'character areas' forming the larger conservation area.

Also see

Planning Enquiries

DM Business Support, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551553