Planning Permission – Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas

The main guidelines for when planning permission is required as detailed in the “Planning Permission” section of this site apply, in general, to Listed Buildings and other buildings of historical importance. However, if you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads or any other local/national designation you may need planning permission even though it is not always necessary in other parts of the UK. For example, in general cladding the outside of your house does not require planning permission, however, if you live in a Conservation Area etc you will need to apply for planning permission before cladding the outside of your house whether this be with stone, tiles, artificial stone, plastic or timber.

Listed Building Consent

If you live in a listed building and wish to make some alterations it is vitally important that you obtain Listed Building Consent. It is a criminal offence to carry out work which requires Listed Building Consent before it has been obtained.

You will need to apply for Listed Building Consent in the following situations:

  • You want to alter (internally or externally) or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.
  • You may also need listed building consent for any works to buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

Conservation Area Consent

If you live in a conservation area, Conservation Area Consent is required if you wish to do any of the following to your property.

  • Demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres
  • To demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing over 1 metre high where next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or over 2 metres high elsewhere.

Many Conservation Areas are covered by an Article 4 Direction, meaning planning permission will be required.


Some houses may hold roosts of bats or provide a refuge for other protected species. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 gives special protection to bats because of their roosting requirements. English Nature must be notified of any proposed action (e.g. remedial timber treatment, renovation, demolition and extensions) which is likely to disturb bats or their roosts.

Wildlife Areas

English Nature must then be allowed time to advise on how best to prevent inconvenience to both bats and householders. Information on bats and the law is included in the booklet Focus on Bats which can be obtained free of charge from your local English Nature office.

Seek Professional Advice

As with all building work please seek professional advice from either your local council‘s planning department or a local architect or planner.

Post Your Question In The Forum