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What is a Conservation Area?


The definition of a Conservation Area is:

'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.' (Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990).

While the council is ultimately responsible for deciding whether an area should be given Conservation Area status, the decision is only taken after extensive research and consultation with people living and owning property in the area.

We have a duty to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of each Conservation Area, under planning laws and our own policies.

Our policies on Conservation Areas are set out in the Birmingham Plan (the Unitary Development Plan for Birmingham) and in the Conservation Strategy, 1999 (which forms Supplementary Planning Guidance to the Birmingham Plan). Our aim is to preserve significant buildings in Conservation Areas, and to ensure that any development maintains or improves the special character of those areas.

We have powers under planning law which can help us achieve this aim. These include powers to:

  • control development
  • control demolition
  • protect trees
  • control advertisements
  • carry out urgent work necessary to preserve any vacant unlisted building that has fallen into serious disrepair, and to recover costs from the owner.

Extra Protection for Conservation Areas: Article 4 Directions

Central Government and Birmingham City Council can also introduce an Article 4 Direction which gives extra protection to certain residential Conservation Areas. This means that in these areas even minor residential alterations, for example constructing a porch, replacing windows or re-roofing will require planning permission.

Article 4 Directions have been introduced in the Conservation Areas below Others may be introduced elsewhere and residents will be notified, but you should still check with us before you carry out any work.

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Last Updated - 7th November 2013