Conservation areas

Conservation areas are 'areas of special architectural or historic interest'. The special interest does not only relate to buildings but also includes how all the features (listed or otherwise) of a place come together to make a distinctive environment.

These elements 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 boundary over 1m high fronting highway or 2m elsewhere 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 planning.enquiries@york.gov.uk for clarification.

Conservation area appraisals (CAA)

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

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