What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is 'an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. There are 61 conservation areas within Huntingdonshire (see map below).

The areas may vary in character and size from a small group of buildings to a major part of a town, but their status means that they are worthy of protection.

We have extra controls within and alongside a conservation area over things such as:

  • proposals to demolish buildings - most buildings in a conservation area are protected, whether they are old or not

  • alterations to residential properties that would normally be permitted under ‘permitted development’

  • the protection of trees.

These controls ensure that building design quality is strengthened, so that the area can be preserved and its character and appearance improved. View the Huntingdonshire Design Guide.

Conservation areas in Huntingdonshire

 Conservation Area      Listed Buildings

What if my property is in a conservation area?

All planning applications for sites located within or next to a conservation area must include a Heritage Statement which explains the impact of the development on its character, appearance or setting. This may form part of the Design and Access Statement which will show how the development makes a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness.

The residents and businesses in a conservation area all have an important part to play in preserving and enhancing the special character that led to its designation. We encourage high quality design for all new development. Carefully designed new buildings and extensions, sensitive proposals for new signage and shop fronts and the sympathetic reuse of existing buildings can make a positive contribution to the character of a place. Insensitive development can harm the character or appearance that we are trying to protect.

Proposals to demolish buildings or build new buildings within or next to a conservation area require a Householder Planning and Demolition in a Conservation Area Application to be completed.

Boundary reviews

Local planning authorities should review their conservation areas from time to time to take into consideration changes to those areas. This may lead to a revision of the conservation area boundary and the adoption of an updated character statement. Residents and other interested parties have the right to comment on the proposals during a period of consultation which generally lasts for six weeks. We will publicise the consultation period on the website and in the local media.

Character statements

We produce character statements for the conservation areas in our district. The statements describe the features, history and development of the conservation area. They are a useful guide to the type of new development that could be considered to make a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness. The character statement should be referred to in any Heritage Statement submitted as part of a planning application if the site is located within a conservation area.

View the adopted character assessment statements.

Listed buildings

Usually there are a number of listed buildings within a conservation area.

Find out about listed buildings