Conservation areas

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Conservation Areas are areas that are considered by the Council to be of ‘special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.

Conservation areas are aimed at protecting the overall character, created by the quality and special interest of areas, as well as the individual buildings. This means that special planning regulations apply within these areas, for example most demolition work requires planning permission and it is advisable to check with the Development Management team before carrying out any demolition in a conservation area. Other restrictions also apply, for further information please see our leaflets Living in a Conservation Area and Conservation Areas: A Householder’s Guide below.

Within some of these conservation areas Article 4 Directions have been designated, which further control development.

Application forms and leaflets can be downloaded from this website. Policy 85 of the District Local Plan Review (1994) is the primary, but not the only, policy used by the council in determining applications in the conservation area.

In addition, trees have legal protection in conservation areas. Please see Trees in Conservation Areas for further information. Conservation areas may also coincide with areas of archeological interest. More information is available from the District Archaeologist at swest@stalbans.gov.uk and the Council’s Archaeology Strategy (below).

There are 19 conservation areas in St Albans District at present, a list of the current conservation areas and maps of each area can be viewed online. Alternatively, you can find out if you live in conservation area by using the Planning Constraints under Map Layers at our Local Information Service.

St Albans Conservation Area Character Statement March 2016

The Statement for St Albans is a large document. See separate web page here.

Locally Listed Buildings

Many of the buildings within conservation areas are locally listed. This is different from listed building designation, but means that the building is deemed to make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area and therefore there is a presumption for retention. The Conservation and Design team will be able to advise if a building is locally listed. The lists for both St Albans and Harpenden can be purchased (see our Planning Publications page) and the conservation area character statements refer to the locally listed buildings.

Date of last review: 06 May 2016