Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas are ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.’ Under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the Council has a duty to consider the designation and review of conservation areas.

Conservation area designation recognises the unique quality of an area as a whole rather than just the quality of individual buildings; although such areas often contain concentrations of listed buildings and locally listed buildings. The sense of place created by different components such as topography and setting; historic development; layout, buildings and other structures; historic and current uses; open spaces, trees and other landscape features, all combine to provide the area’s special character and appearance. It is this character, rather than individual buildings, that designation seeks to preserve or enhance.

Conservation Areas in Burnley

There are presently ten conservation areas in Burnley as follows:

  • Jib Hill
  • Hurstwood
  • Padiham  
  • Palatine
  • Harle Syke
  • Worsthorne
  • Burnley Wood
  • Canalside
  • Burnley Town Centre
  • Top O’ T’ Town

The Council has published detailed Conservation Area appraisals and Management Plans for some of the borough’s conservation areas.

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 functions.

Whilst designation introduces some additional controls over development,  it is not intended to prevent all change but to ensure that change is managed so that the character and appearance of the conservation area is preserved or enhanced. There is a general expectation that buildings making a positive contribution within them will be retained and the features that make them special will be conserved.

The role of residents and property owners

Residents and owners of property within conservation areas can help to protect its character when considering carrying out works to their properties. Small incremental changes to properties such as the removal of boundary walls, the replacement of traditional/historic windows or doors with modern styles or the use of inappropriate building materials can have a cumulatively detrimental effect on the character and appearance of individual buildings and upon the areas as a whole. Equally, poorly conceived new development or insensitive extensions to older properties can detract from the character of a conservation area.

Even if it is determined that the proposed works do not require planning permission, it is advised that any changes you make to your property through repairs, maintenance or alterations, are in keeping with the character of the building and the area. Care should be taken to match original/traditional materials and methods of construction and avoid damaging or removing features of historic or architectural value.

Control of Development in Conservation Areas

For Information on the control of development in conservation areas, please follow the link below.

Mapping Data

An interactive map of Conservation Areas can be found via the National Planning Data Platform. A link to this can be found on our Mapping Data page.

Conservation Area data can also be downloaded in shapefile format from our Mapping Page