Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas) Act 1990 gives local Councils the power to
designate as Conservation Areas, "areas of special architectural or
historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is
desirable to preserve or enhance".
Conservation Areas vary, ranging from historic town centres to
industrial and rural villages. Bedford has many fine
buildings and areas which are distinguished by their architecture,
landscape and history, creating an attractive environment that
often is the product of several different eras. These areas are
important examples of our social, cultural and aesthetic history
and must be safeguarded from indiscriminate or ill-considered
change. Designation as a Conservation Area gives broader protection
than listing individual buildings and protects all features within
a designated area, listed or otherwise.
Designating a Conservation Area
The designation of a Conservation Area reduces permitted
development rights, and restricts work which involves demolition.
Proposals within a Conservation Area have to preserve or enhance
the character of that area. Local Conservation policies can be
found in the Bedford Development Framework and saved policies from
the Local Plan while national policy maybe found in
Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning and the Historic
Conservation Area Consent
Conservation Area Consent is required for the
demolition of most unlisted buildings and walls within a
Conservation Area, and is not normally given for those which are
considered to make a contribution to the character of the area.
Consent is not required for the whole or part demolition of a
building less than 115 cubic metres in volume. Planning
permission is also required for the exterior cladding of a building
within a Conservation Area as well as for the alteration of roof
shape and inserting dormer windows, most small extensions and
garden sheds, and in some cases the addition of satellite dishes.
Notice must also be given to the council for any proposals to cut
down, lop or top a tree in a Conservation Area, whether or not it
is protected by a Preservation Order. If you require more
information about the requirement of planning permission in
conservation areas please contact the Duty Officer on 01234
Design of new development
The Council has the power to require a very high
standard of design which is sympathetic to the existing
New development must preserve or enhance the character
of the area. In view of this the Council can require additional
information in support of any planning application showing how the
proposal will relate to the conservation area.
This can mean the submission of elevations of adjacent
buildings, full details of the proposal and examples of materials
and colours. Usually only a fully detailed planning application
will be considered, which should be accompanied by a design
The Council must advertise all planning applications
affecting the character of Conservation Areas both on site and in
the local paper.
Conservation Area Maps
Please click on the links below to view the
conservation area maps:
For further information contact the Council’s Historic
Environment Team on (01234) 718559.