Approximately 8,000 areas of England are designated ‘Conservation Areas’.
These are areas that are recognised for their special architectural and historic interest. Local authorities monitor their development to help protect those features that are of most importance and regularly complete appraisals of these areas. These review ‘the special interest, character and appearance of all conservation areas’. Authorities will consider any additions or changes to their boundaries, and present proposals for their enhancement and management.
In other words, change in Conservation Areas isn’t avoided, but carefully managed.
In London, you may find that the area has been designated by English Heritage, in conjunction with the local Borough, though usually the local Council will apply the designation.
In practical terms, you may find that in a Conservation Area, you have additional restictions on alterations that you can carry out on your property – particularly to the outer appearance that will have an impact opn the immediate environment. Consequently, if you are planning changes, or have them in mind for a property that you are purchasing, it is best to liaise with the Council before making a commitment.
Trees in Conservation Areas often have Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) on them which will mean that you need permission to prune. Let alone remove them.
You are likely to need permission also to demolish a property.
You may think that the restrictions placed on people in these areas would reduce interest, but research suggests that people like the environments that are protected in this way and that house prices are enhanced, rather than reduced by the designation.