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Conservation Areas

There are around 8,000 Conservation Areas (CA) in England and Wales. Bath is a European Heritage city where virtually the whole area is a strictly controlled CA. But many towns have especially attractive enclaves where the Local Authority feels additional restrictions are necessary to protect and preserve the visual amenities. Consequently, residential property in a CA can be extremely popular and may well command a premium in the market over similar property elsewhere.

Any CA will be precisely defined: the demarcation line may run between individual houses or down the centre of a road which means a house on one side of a street could be in the CA while a house immediately opposite is outside the area. This single factor may significantly affect the price – up or down depending upon the stringency of the regulations.

The Local Authority will have the Areas marked on the Local Plan with a clear pink line showing the exact boundaries. Some Authorities will have adopted a strict Code covering things like window styles, their construction, and external colour schemes while others may be more flexible.

They will also publish a CA Code based on a policy statement outlining their approach to conservation, and listing any restrictions which apply to the owners of property in the CA. Generally the restrictions will not be as strict as those applying to property which is listed as being of Historic or Architectural Interest, but nevertheless should be checked out carefully if you are contemplating a purchase in a CA.

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