Conservation areas

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.

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.

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.