Conservation Areas

Dolgellau, Gwynedd

Dolgellau, Gwynedd

There are over 500 conservation areas in Wales. They are designated by local planning authorities for their special architectural and historic interest.

If you live in or run a business from a property in a conservation area you may need permission from your local authority before making alterations such as cladding, inserting windows, installing satellite dishes and solar panels, adding conservatories or other extensions, laying paving or building walls. As the local authority can change the types of alterations that need permission by making Article 4 Directions, it is advisable to contact the local authority before making arrangements to starting any work.

The designation of a conservation area is not an end in itself. Local authorities need to develop policies which clearly identify what features of the area should be preserved or enhanced, and set out how this can be done.

Many authorities have undertaken conservation area character appraisals which identify areas where enhancement through development may be desirable. Including conservation area policies in the local authority’s statutory Development Plan is the best means of integrating conservation areas with wider planning policies, such as those concerned with shopping and traffic management.

Contact individual local authorities for further details on specific conservation areas.