Conservation areas

Conservation areas are protected areas of special architectural or historic interest. They protect the character and appearance of a whole area, not just its buildings.

Conservation areas in Arun

There are 29 conservation areas in our district.

You can view the areas on detailed maps and read descriptions of each conservation area.

You can also view the areas on our interactive online map.

The South Downs National Park are responsible for any conservation areas within the park.

Development and building in conservation areas

We have extra controls within conservation areas to help preserve and enhance their character and appearance.

 If you live in a conservation area and wish to make changes to your property, you may need planning permission for even small changes. This is because permitted development rights are restricted.

The law means we have more control over things like:

  • demolition of buildings and structures like walls
  • all development and building work
  • trees
  • advertisements on shops and buildings

You should always check if planning permission is required before starting any work on your property. 

If you have any questions about planning permission or permitted development, you can view helpful advice in the Duty planner guidance [pdf] 3MB.


You'll also need to apply for permission to do any works on a tree within a conservation area. We'll need to know at least 6 weeks in advance. 

Find out more about how we manage biodiversity and tree conservation on our Trees pages.

Living in a conservation area

Conservation areas are not open-air museums. Their purpose is not to stop all change and development. Controls allow us to protect the beauty of these areas but still allow for change and growth.

Development and building that does not compliment the surrounding area can cause problems.

It can spoil the enjoyment of neighbours and the surrounding community, who have often chosen to live in a conservation area for its character and beauty.

It has also been found that doing this type of work can reduce the value of the property when sold. 

If you are thinking of buying a property in a conservation area, take time to do some research and consult the Conservation Officer.

Our Conservation Officer works part-time on conservation matters. Please be patient when expecting a reply.

Conservation area management plans and character appraisals

These documents show how we manage our conservation areas.

Character appraisals

These identify the special historic and architectural features of the area. The character appraisal says why the conservation area was chosen for protection, and what work can be done to enhance its appeal.

We have produced a character appraisal for Felpham Village conservation area [pdf] 8MB

Walberton Village and Walberton Green

Two draft conservation area character appraisals have been prepared for the ‘Walberton Village’ and ‘Walberton Green’ conservation areas. These were presented to the Planning Policy Sub-Committee at their February 2021 meeting. Permission is to be sought to publish the draft appraisals for public consultation.

Walberton Village Conservation Area Character Appraisal 2021 V1 [pdf] 5MB

Walberton Green Conservation Area Character Appraisal 2021 V1[pdf] 4MB

Individual management plan

After a character appraisal is produced, we will create a management plan for that conservation area.

We have not yet produced an individual management plan for any of our conservation areas.

Conservation area management plan

This broad plan shows how we will look after out conservation areas, preserving and enhancing their unique characters.

Read our conservation areas management plan [pdf] 7MB