What is a conservation area?

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)

There are currently 29 Conservation Areas in Birmingham, ranging from the Jewellery Quarter which contains Birmingham’s largest and best surviving group of Victorian and early 20th century buildings devoted to the manufacture of jewellery and similar small goods, to the internationally acclaimed Bournville Village, which dates from the late 19th century.

The council is responsible for deciding whether an area should be given Conservation Area status after extensive research and consultation with people living and owning property in the area.

Our aim is to preserve significant buildings in Conservation areas and ensure that any development maintains or improves the special character of those areas. See the Birmingham Plan and the Conservation Strategy for more detail on our Conservation Area policies.

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 to preserve any vacant unlisted building that has fallen into serious disrepair, and to recover costs from the owner

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