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What are the rules for your garden in a Conservation Area?

Want your garden to get a fresh look or even add a garden room? Here's everything you need to know if you live in a Conversation Area.

3 min read

According to a recent survey we carried out, given £10,000 most people would choose to invest it in their gardens after kitchens. This suggests that there’s public acknowledgement of the importance of having and curating our green space.

With the renewed enthusiasm for all things gardening, it’s important to know what your rights are when it comes to your own garden. As Conservation Areas have certain rules and regulations around gardens, we’re here to demystify them so you know what options are available for you.

What is a Conservation Area?

First of all, to understand the restrictions that fall under Conservation Areas, it pays to understand what one actually is and why they’re important. There are around 10,000 Conservation Areas in the UK and they’re designated to places that have special architectural or historical significance. The aim is to protect or preserve those particular areas. They can range from areas of countryside to villages and city suburbs.

How to find out if your property is in a conservation area:

To find out whether your property or your garden is restricted by Conservation Area rules, you’ll first need to know whether you’re in one. Our experienced and informed planning team at Resi will be able to guide you through the red tape – book a free consultation with them today to get started. Otherwise, you can find your local council or local planning authority and approach them with your queries directly. Your council will have a specific SPD (supplementary planning document) which outlines the rules in their constituency. Additionally, each Conservation Area should have a detailed Design Appraisal for that Conservation Area.

What aspects of Conservation Area rules and regulations could impact my garden?

Because the nature of having Conservation Areas is to preserve or nurture the environment where they’re in place, there are some restrictions to gardens that fall within them. If the area surrounding your home has features that form the character of the area, it may mean that you have to obtain planning permission for landscaping or engineering work. As well as the garden area and land around your house, this could impact existing walls and outbuildings.

Another vital restriction to be aware of in some Conservation Areas and are looking to make changes to your garden is Tree Preservation Orders (TPO). These can be actioned by local planning authorities to prevent harm or removal of trees in protected areas. If a TPO is given, specific prohibitions include cutting down, topping, looping, uprooting, wilful damage and destruction. If a protected tree sits within your property, it’s your responsibility to maintain and protect it.

If for various reasons, you want to make alterations to the trees in your garden, you’ll need to contact your local planning authority.

Garden rooms in Conservation Areas

What about garden rooms?

Garden rooms have soared in popularity in recent years with plenty of people setting up home gyms or offices. While most garden rooms don’t require full planning permission, garden rooms in Conservation Areas may not fall under permitted development meaning that you may be required to make a full planning application. Some of the considerations will include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Standing apart from both the house and the property’s boundaries
  • Garden rooms are not always permitted in side or front gardens
  • Whether building a new garden room requires demolishing any existing structures
  • If Article 4 Directions are in place in your area, you’ll need to notify your local council of any plans that could alter the appearance or character of the area

Find out more and book a free advice call with one of our experts to discuss the rules further.

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