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Conservation areas

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What is a conservation area?

 A Conservation Area is "an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance."

 Conservation Areas are designated to help protect their special architectural and historic interest and encourage their enhancement and provides the basis for policies designed to preserve and enhance all aspects of the character or appearance that define an area's special intereand they provide the basis for policies designed to preserve and enhance all aspects of the character or appearance that define the area's special interest.

Buildings, walls, trees, open spaces, views and historic settlement patterns all combine to create an individual sense of place. It is the unique character of certain special areas that conservation area status seeks to protect.  Buildings, walls, trees, open spaces, views and the historic settlement patterns all combine to create an individual sense of place. It is the unique character of certain special areas that conservation area status seeks to protect. There are currently ten conservation areas in Burnley.  

 Burnley's Conservation Areas

 The power to designate Conservation Areas is available to both Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council. A parallel power is also available to the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Local Planning Authority. In practice, designations are normally made by the Borough Council.
Burnley currently has 10 Conservation Areas. These are at:

• Jib Hill 

• Hurstwood 

• Padiham 

• Palatine (Square) 

• Harle Syke 

• Worsthorne 

• Canalside 

• Burnley Wood 

• Burnley Town Centre 

• Top O' Th' Town

What effect does Designation have?

When an area is designated as a Conservation Area, the Council has a statutory duty to have "special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of the area" in all its planning decisions.

Whilst designation introduces some additional control over development, including over demolition, designation is not designed to prevent all change, rather to make sure that change is managed so that the special character of the area and its setting is preserved or enhanced

Some of the key controls and requirements are:

  • Demolition – planning permission is required to demolish buildings over 115m3 and other structures such as boundary walls.
  • New Development – New buildings, extensions and alterations should preserve or enhance the special character of the conservation area and its setting.
  • Minor development – In conservation areas, certain permitted development rights are restricted. This means that planning permission is required for some works that might not otherwise have needed it, such as small extensions to dwellinghouses, dormer windows, cladding, some garden structures, satellite dishes and radio masts.
  • Advertisements – There is also greater control over advertisements and signs in terms of their size and type.
  • Works to trees – The Council must be notified six weeks prior to tree works. For more information see the tree management web page.

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