Conservation areas are those of "special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". We are required to give "special attention" to those areas and their enhancement. Conservation areas are a very important aspect of conserving built heritage.
There are 19 Conservation Areas within the St Albans District.
One of the main purposes of designating a conservation area is to ensure that development proposals preserve and enhance the character of the area. New development in the conservation area is expected to be to a high standard of design to ensure that the character and appearance of the conservation area is preserved or enhanced.
For certain areas within Conservation Areas which are vulnerable from changes which can be conducted without planning permission the council has placed article four directions on these areas. For more information on article four areas please click here.
How and when conservation areas are designated Toggle accordion
Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 imposes a duty on local planning authorities to designate conservation areas. The Council, as the Local Planning Authority, is under a continuous duty to consider if it should designate new conservation areas, or extend existing ones. The Council can also remove the designation of an area or part of an area if it loses its special interest.
Find out if you live in a conservation area Toggle accordion
Conservation Area Character Statements Toggle accordion
Conservation Area Character Statements outline the significance of the Conservation Area and its character and appearance. These documents are used in the decision making process when assessing planning applications. The documents help inform the design of development within the Conservation Area and ensure that change within the Conservation Area preserves or enhances the area’s significance.
Each conservation area has a conservation area character statement:
- Amwell Conservation
- Cunningham Avenue
- Gustard Wood
- London Colney
- Mackerye End
- Old Bricket Wood
- Park Street Frogmore
- Potters Crouch
- Shafford Mill
When appraising a conservation area the Council will take into account the factors that create special character within an historic area, for example historic buildings, historic street patterns, layout of property boundaries and thoroughfares; characteristic materials; landscaping and important open spaces; the quality of advertisements, shop fronts, street furniture and landscaping; views along streets and between buildings; and details that provide ‘local’ character and make the area of special interest.
St Albans Conservation Area Character Statement Toggle accordion
The St Albans Conservation Area Character Statement is a large document. It is has been divided into a series of Character Areas with its associated map:
- Contents and Introduction
- Maps of the Conservation Area
- Area 1 - Verulamium
- Area 2a - The Abbey and Precincts
- Area 2b - Abbey Mill Lane
- Area 2c - Romeland and the Abbey Gateway
- Area 3 - Three Parish Churches
- Area 4a - The Commercial Centre
- Area 4b - Hatfield Road and the Office Core
- Area 4c - Fishpool Street and St Michael's Village
- Area 4d - Holywell Hill / Sopwell Lane
- Area 4e - Sopwell Nunnery Ruins
- Area 5a - London Road
- Area 5b - Verulam Road
- Area 5c - Mount Pleasant
- Area 6a - Old Gasworks and the Abbey Line
- Area 6b - Midland & Great Northern Railways
- Area 7a - Prospect Road
- Area 7b - The Park and St Stephen's Hill
- Area 7c - Victoria Street
- Area 7d - Alma Road and Priory Park
- Area 7e - Northern St Peter's Street
- Area 7f - St Peter's Park and the Marlborough House Estate
- Area 7g - Essex Street / Clifton Street
- Area 7h - Boundary Road Cottages
- Area 7i - Clarence Park
- Area 7j - Granville Road and Stanhope Road
- Area 7k - Folly Lane, Garden Fields & The Old Hospital
- Area 7l - Gombards and the Spencer Park Estate
- Bibliography and Further Reading
- Index of Roads
Development within the conservation area Toggle accordion
A designated conservation area does not mean that all changes will be prevented; it simply means that the Council must, and will, pay special regard to whether the proposed change will ‘preserve or enhance’ the character or appearance of a conservation area.
However, being in a conservation area does restrict some of the works you can conduct without planning permission. Please see the planning portal website for information regarding permitted development rights. For detailed information on how living in a conservation area may affect you and works which may require permission please see our leaflets Living in a Conservation Area and Conservation Areas: A Householder’s Guide
Planning permission is required for relevant demolition within a conservation area. It is a criminal offence to demolish a within the conservation area without planning permission when planning permission is required.
Some areas within conservation areas have been identified as vulnerable to changes from works which would not require planning.