A Conservation Area is defined as 'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance' (Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990). Conservation Areas were first introduced in 1967 and are often centred on listed buildings, green spaces or historic streetscapes. It is the character of the area as a whole, rather than individual buildings that the designation seeks to preserve or enhance. The Council is responsible for their designation, and there are currently 33 Conservation Areas in the District (the last one was designated in 2009). While the council is ultimately responsible for deciding whether an area should be given Conservation Area status, the decision is only taken after extensive research and consultation with people living and owning property in the area.
We have a duty to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of each Conservation Area, under planning laws, Government guidance and our own planning policies. The Council has powers under planning legislation which can help us to achieve this aim. These include powers to:
- control development
- control demolition
- protect trees
- control advertisements
- carry out urgent work necessary to preserve any vacant unlisted building that has fallen into serious disrepair, and to recover costs from the owner
Details of the Individual Conservation Areas
A description of each of the Conservation Areas is contained within Conservation Areas Supplementary Planning Guidance [pdf] 3MB
Craigweil House Conservation Area
Felpham Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal
The protection of an area does not end with conservation area designation. Local Planning Authorities (LPA) should prepare detailed assessments of the special interest, character and appearance of their conservation areas. This is achieved through the preparation of a Conservation Area Character Appraisal.
Conservation Area Character Appraisals define the 'special architectural and historic interest' that warrants its designation and to identify what it is about the character or appearance of the area that should be preserved or enhanced.
A Conservation Area Character Appraisal has been prepared for Felpham Village, which can be viewed below
Is my Property in a Conservation Area?
Please use our online Geographical Information System (GIS) to search for Conservation areas, as well as a selection of other information such as Listed Buildings and Tree Preservation Orders.
How to use the map
- Search for your property by full address or postcode, in the box centred above the map window.
- Once you have located your property in this box click on the address.
- This will centre the map over your selection and show any information relating to this property in the left hand window (this will display no information on the map itself).
- To see this information on the map please open up the drop down menu called “map layers” in the left hand column, and select which layers you would like to be visible by clicking on the eye symbol.
- You can also show the legend and a brief description for each layer by clicking the relevant symbols (the middle and right symbols next to the eye) in the left hand window.
- You can also change between standard GIS mapping or Aerial imagery, on the right of the map.
Please note that every attempt is made to keep the above listings up to date. However, if for any reason you wish to seek confirmation concerning the status of a property please contact Arun District Council’s Conservation Officer on 01903 737785. Alternatively, please email us.
Legislation and Policy
The legislation relating to conservation areas is set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
National Planning Policy
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): Government Policy recognises the importance of effective protection for all aspects of the historic environment through policy guidance. The NPPF (which came into force in 2012) is the government’s policy guidance note which identifies the historic environment as one of the ‘golden threads’ and forms part of the definition of sustainable development (paragraphs 18-219). Further, it details the importance of identifying and managing heritage assets whilst requiring that local planning authorities should set out a strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment. This includes heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats. Failure to preserve the historic environment is therefore unsustainable and should be refused consent.
Local Planning Policy is dealt with by the Councils Local Plan which was adopted in 2003, and contains a ‘saved’ policy related to Conservation Areas. This states that planning permission will be granted for development which preserves or enhances the character or appearance of the conservation area or its setting. This policy should be read in conjunction with the local plan as whole.
Living in a Conservation Area
The designation of a conservation area indicates the Council's positive commitment to these areas and its intention to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment. Most people welcome the fact that their property is in a Conservation Area. Very often the reason they have chosen to live in such an area is because of its unique character and history. However, it has to be remembered that Conservation Areas are not open-air museums, but living communities which must be allowed to change over time in order to remain vital and prosperous. Consequently the emphasis is to guide and control development rather than to prevent it.
It is important though, that all new development should be sympathetic to the special architectural and aesthetic qualities of the area, particularly in terms of scale, design, materials and space between buildings. Therefore, if you live in a Conservation Area, you should make sure 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 materials and methods of construction and avoid damaging or removing features of historic or architectural value.
Unsympathetic alterations, such as replacing original windows with those constructed from PVCu or those of a different design/shape, removing chimneys or changing the original roofing materials may not only spoil the appearance of the Conservation Area, but may also significantly reduce the value of your property. Independent studies show that houses which retain their original period features can sell for more than those which have been unsympathetically modernised.
Conservation Areas - Getting Permission for works
There are several types of permission you may need if you live in a Conservation Area. You should always check whether you need permission before starting any work. You may need Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval for some alterations and extensions. Your building may also be listed, and as a result you may also need Listed Building Consent. In this case there are special restrictions that apply.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Duty Planner on 01903 737500.
What is the effect of designation?
The principal differences from the normal form of planning control arising from designation as a Conservation Area include:
- Wider control over demolition. Consent is required in certain circumstances such as the total or substantial demolition of a wall over 1 metre high adjoining a highway or over 2 metres elsewhere.
- Greater restriction over works which would otherwise be ’permitted development’. For instance, planning permission is required to:-
- Provide a two-storey extension to a dwellinghouse;
- Provide a single storey extension to the side of a dwellinghouse;
- Carry out additions or alterations to the roof of the dwellinghouse;
- Provision at the side of a dwellinghouse of a swimming pool, building or enclosure required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse;
- Install a micro-wave antenna on a chimney, wall, roof slope which faces onto and is visible from a highway;
- Provide external cladding e.g. stone, timber, tiles etc., to a dwellinghouse;
- Fix a satellite dish to a chimney, to a building which exceeds 15 metres in height or to a roof slope which fronts the highway.
- Wider protection of trees. Six weeks formal notification to the Council will be necessary before the intended lopping, uprooting or felling of trees. Failure to do this is an offence which carries a maximum penalty of £20,000 on summary conviction. The six week period provides the council with sufficient time to decide whether or not a Tree Preservation Order should be placed on the trees. Trees less than 7.5 centimetres in diameter, at a height of 1.5 metres above the ground, or 10 centimetres if this is to help the growth of other trees, are exempt. So too are fruit trees cultivated for fruit production. Works to trees, the subject of a Tree Preservation Order, will continue to need formal consent.
- Planning Authorities may use Article 4 Directions in order to take away certain ’Permitted Development’ rights, in order to bring within planning control, development which may have an adverse effect on the character or appearance of the area.
- More intensive assessment of proposals requiring planning permission or Conservation Area Consent to ensure that they ’preserve’ or ’enhance’ the special character of the area. It should be remembered, though, that designation is not intended to stop change altogether but better manage new development so that it does not harm the area.
- Additional publicity for planning applications in Conservation Areas and those outside Conservation Areas which affect their setting.
Replacement windows in a building in a Conservation Area
If the property is a Listed Building, it will be necessary to make an application for Listed Building Consent. For further information about the need for Listed Building Consent please contact the Conservation Officer.
If the property is not a Listed Building, and is a single dwellinghouse, i.e., not flats or mixed use premises, then no consents (other than with respect to Building Regulations approval), are necessary since the works are ’permitted development’*. Please check though with the duty planner that the properties ’permitted development’ rights have not been removed either through a condition of planning permission or the use of Article 4 Directions. Currently Arun District Council have no relevant Article 4 Directions relating to window replacements in any of its Conservation Areas. However, this may be reviewed and details of any Article 4 Directions will be published on this website alongside other information concerning the specific Conservation Area. Those affected by this will also be informed of any changes to their rights.
To check with Planning Services whether ’permitted development’ rights have been removed please telephone Planning Services on 01903 737500. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owners are urged to consider the use of traditional materials and styles, particularly in buildings of traditional appearance within Conservations Areas.
*Permitted development is development that does not require planning permission from Local Planning Authority (Arun District Council).
Trees Within Conservation Areas
Anyone who wishes to carry out works to a tree within a Conservation Area must give Arun District Council six weeks notification. There is a standard Application for Tree Works form which can be completed which helps to ensure that all the necessary information is provided. You may also read Application for Tree Works guidance notes. This six week period provides the council with sufficient time to decide whether or not the work is necessary and whether or not to place a Tree Preservation Order on the tree. No work must be carried out during this period without permission.
Conservation Areas Management Plan
Conservation Area Character Appraisals – These plans will identify the special historic and architectural qualities of an area which justify its designation (at the time the appraisal takes place). They will provide a detailed analysis of what is positive and requires protection, but also those negative features/characteristics which consequently require more work. Further, they also identify opportunities for beneficial change or the need for additional protection. An appraisal will be prepared for each Conservation Area.
Conservation Areas Management Plan – This document is structured to provide coverage of issues which are evident across the majority, if not all, of the Conservation Areas under the Local Planning Authority Area (LPAA) control. The plan identifies various ways to better manage and look after the districts Conservation Areas
Conservation Area specific management plan covering individual Conservation Areas - Conservation Area specific management plans will follow on from the Conservation Area Character Appraisals. Whilst the overarching management plan will have been prepared and adopted, specific issues that apply only to an individual Conservation Area may be identified as part of the individual appraisal. Consequently, the council may also prepare, small individual management plans to deal with these issues.
Work to date
The Arun Conservation Area Advisory Committee
The principal purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide voluntary, independent advice on conservation matters to the Council.
The Committee is made up of representatives from various professional bodies including the Royal Institute of British Architects, representatives from local amenity groups and parish councillors.
A considerable part of the Advisory Committee’s work is to comment on planning applications and other applications received within Conservation Areas or which are considered to affect their setting.
The Committee has its own Terms of Reference and Constitution [pdf] 72KB.
In addition, in accordance with Government guidance and advice, the Advisory Committee has a wider remit and, for instance, has commented and advised on:-
- Conservation issues related to development plan review.
- Conservation Area Designation/review.
The Advisory Committee also conducts its own Design Awards approximately every three years. These Awards are very important in that they not only reward, but also stimulate good design within the District.