Archaeology, Heritage & Conservation

Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which should be protected or enhanced.

The special character relates not just to the buildings within it, but it is also defined by other features which contribute to particular views or make an area distinctive.

These features include:

  • the mix of uses
  • the historic layout
  • characteristic buildings
  • paving materials and street furniture
  • public and private spaces
  • the way roads, paths and boundaries are laid out

Conservation areas give protection across an area of land rather than listing individual buildings.

Central Bedfordshire contains a large number of buildings which, although not listed, are considered to make an important contribution to the heritage of the local area.

Get more information from the Historic Environmental Record (HER).

Many of these buildings have already been identified within the conservation area appraisals. Where buildings have been identified as Heritage Assets in this way, a planning application will be expected to be supported by a Heritage Asset Assessment in accordance with the government’s requirements in NPPF.

Permitted development – Article 4 Directions

Some conservation areas have Article 4 Directions. This means that planning permission is required for all householder development. The following conservation areas have Article 4 Directions:

  • Toddington
  • Husborne Crawley

Frequently asked questions

How do I find out if my property is listed or is located within a conservation area?

View a map of conservation areas

You can also search for your postcode to see if your property is within a conservation area, or if there are any listed properties nearby.

How being in a conservation area can affect my property?

Although conservation areas mean some extra planning controls and considerations, these exist to protect the historic and architectural elements which make the place special. They are most likely to affect owners who want to work on the outside of their building or any trees on their property.

Who do I ask about changes?

Contact our planning team if you live in a conservation area. We can advise you if there are special controls in place and explain whether permissions will be required.

How can I find out more about the conservation area that I live in?

You will find all necessary information about your conservation area in a Conservation Area Appraisal. An appraisal outlines the history of an area and explains what makes it special. It also provides some general guidelines on managing and carrying out development in the conservation area.

You can find a list of Conservation Area Appraisals below.

What is the financial benefit of conservation areas?

People value conservation areas for their distinctiveness, visual appeal and historic character and research by the London School of Economics and Historic England has found that this value is reflected in the price of properties in conservation areas.

Generally, they cost more and appreciate in price more than properties in other areas, even after adjusting for location and other factors.

What other information is available on conservation areas?

You can visit Historic England website for further information.

Conservation area appraisals

Each appraisal considers the character, appearance and setting of the conservation area. They seek to identify what creates the special interest of the conservation area and contributes to the sense of local well as identifying areas for possible future enhancement.

Appraisals have been carried out for the following conservation areas: