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
- 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
- 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
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).