Conservation areas

What is a Conservation Area?

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A Conservation Area is an area that we consider to be of 'special architectural or historic interest' and where it is important that this special character is preserved or enhanced.

The special character of each conservation area does not come from the quality of the buildings alone. Equally important are features such as the layout of roads and paths, grouping of buildings (townscape), the materials used, landscape features and the quality of public and private spaces.

There are 21 Conservation Areas across the Borough.

Conservation Area designation

Conservation areas are designated usually because of their buildings but they can also be designated because of their history, layout or private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens. Conservation areas give broader protection than listing individual buildings and all features within the area, listed or otherwise, may be recognised as part of its character.

Conservation areas in Trafford vary, ranging from historic town centres to rural villages.

Owning land or a property in a Conservation Area does not always mean that new development or alterations to existing buildings cannot take place, but that they should be designed to preserve or enhance the special character that has led to the Conservation Area being designated. Conservation Area designation protects and enhances the special character of an area in a number of ways:

  • The demolition of buildings or structures (including the demolition of boundary walls), whether listed or not, usually requires our consent. Contact Planning Department to check.
  • The extent of minor "permitted" development, such as the installation of satellite dishes or some smaller extensions, is reduced. In some areas we will make "Article 4 Directions" to further control some or all minor alterations that affect the external appearance of buildings (the introduction of such controls is the subject of consultation with owners to establish their need and support).  Properties in the Linotype Conservation Area and parts of The Downs Conservation Area are covered by an Article 4 direction.  Further information can be found on Trafford's Article 4 directions.
  • All works to trees require our consent.

If you live in a Conservation Area, and are unsure if work you wish to do needs permission, please check with us.

Conservation area appraisals

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The Council is committed to preparing conservation area appraisals for each of these conservation areas. These documents are intended to identify the special interest of the conservation area along with elements that are worthy of retention or enhancement as well as those elements that detract from the character and appearance. They will also act as a framework for development management, providing a greater understanding of the special interest of the area.

Appraisals offer an overview of the whole conservation area and are not intended to be comprehensive. Omission of any particular building, feature or space should not be taken to imply that it is of no interest.

Revision of Conservation Areas

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The Council is revising all of its Conservation Areas. Details of consultations can be found on the Consultation page.

Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans have now been adopted for :-Barton Upon Irwell, Linotype, Old Market Place, Stamford New Road, Goose Green, George Street, The Downs, Ashley Heath, Bowdon, Devisdale, Hale Station and Sandiway which can be found under Supplementary Planning Documents.

What does the Council normally do in Conservation Areas?

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Within a conservation area, in addition to controlling demolition, the Council will seek to:

  • Ensure that all new development harmonises with its context.
  • Make environmental improvements.
  • Control advertisements and shop signs.
  • Ensure that traffic control measures harmonise with the character of the area.
  • Make grants available for the repair of buildings.

What policies are used to control development?

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The main body of conservation policy is contained in Trafford's Revised Unitary Development Plan and Core Strategy. Policies in the conservation section generally presume against the loss of features that contribute positively to the special interest of the areas. These policies, in conjunction with Supplementary Planning Guidelines,  are used to inform the decision-making process in relation to planning applications in conservation areas. We also take into account Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment when determining these applications.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013: Changes to heritage planning

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Significant changes to Conservation Areas leglislation came into force on the 1st October 2013.

The need to obtain Conservation Area Consent for the demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area in England will be removed.

Instead, such works will require planning permission. The need to obtain the consent of the local planning authority will therefore remain, but it will no longer be necessary to make two applications (one for planning permission and one for Conservation Area Consent) for a scheme involving the demolition and replacement of a building in a conservation area.

Applying for Conservation Area Consent

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You can submit an application for Conservation Area consent online through the Planning Portal, or you can download an application form and post it to the Planning Service.