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Control of development in Conservation Areas

Householder Development

In Conservation Areas some permitted development rights are restricted. This means that planning permission is needed for some changes that would usually be considered permitted development. When determining applications for development within conservation areas, the Council has a duty to assess the proposal against the need to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area.

The Planning Portal  provides a useful set of guidelines to help you understand when planning permission is required. The following types of householder development generally require planning permission within conservation areas, in addition to normal planning controls:

  • Rear extensions of more than one storey
  • Side extensions
  • The construction of out-buildings, containers or enclosures to the side of a dwelling
  • Any enlargement or extension to the roof, such as inserting a dormer window
  • External cladding with natural or artificial stone, render, pebble-dash, timber, plastic or tiles
  • The installation, alteration or replacement of chimneys, flues or soil vent pipes on a wall or roof slope which fronts a highway and is part of the main or side elevation of the house. Or in the case of rear elevations, where the height of would exceed the highest part of the roof by 1 metre or more.
  • The installation of satellite dishes or antennae on a chimney, wall or roof slope where it is visible from a highway, or on a building that is higher than 15m
  • The installation of solar panels and other solar thermal equipment on a wall which fronts a highway.

The above list applies to dwelling houses only; separate rules apply for flats and non-residential properties (such as shops and offices). If your building in listed, please also refer to the guidance on listed buildings for any additional consent requirements.

We recommend early discussion with Development Control through the pre-application service before submitting an application for development in a Conservation Area.

Planning applications can be made via the Planning Portal. Please refer to the Council’s Development Control pages for information about the applying for planning permission and downloading the necessary documents.


In a conservation area, you will generally require planning permission for the demolition of:

  • A building, or a substantial part of a building, with a volume of 115 cubic metres or more.
  • A gate, wall, fence or other means of enclosure with a height of one metre or more if next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or open space, or a height of two metres or more elsewhere.

Removal of architectural features, making holes in walls to create new windows, or demolishing an external wall to allow for an extension would not amount to demolition however planning permission may still be required. If you are unsure as to whether you require permission it is recommended that you seek clarification from the Council’s Development Control Team before commencing any such works.

Trees in Conservation Areas

Six weeks’ notice is required before carrying out works to trees in a conservation area that are not protected by a tree preservation order. This applies to any trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees).

The period of notice gives the Council an opportunity to assess the contribution the tree makes to the character of the conservation area and whether to make a Tree Preservation Order

The relevant form and further information can be found on the Planning Portal 

Outdoor Advertisements and Signs

There is also greater control over advertisements  within conservation areas.Under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007, there are 14 classes of advertisements which have deemed consent (ie they do not require advertisement consent if they fall within the rules specified for each class). In the case of Conservation Areas there are exemptions to the rules for deemed consent, as follows:

  • All illuminated advertisements (Class 4)
  • Advertisement flags at house building sites (Class 7B)
  • Advertisements on hoardings around temporary construction sites (Class 8)
  • Captive balloon advertisements (Class 15)
  • Advertisements on telephone kiosks (Class 16)

For more information on Advertisements please read DCLG Guidance Outdoor Advertisements and Signs: A Guide for Advertisers

Further Information

For further information on the purposes and effects of designation and on Burnley’s Conservation Areas, please follow the link below.

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