If your property is located within a conservation area or it is a listed building it is advisable to ask for planning advice before making an application.
Due to the sensitive nature of these properties you may find that certain types of development would not be supported by the Conservation Officer, therefore it is best to discuss your intentions initially so that a supported scheme is eventually submitted.
Please refer to all the points detailed below (where applicable to your enquiry). Our Historic areas and buildings page has more information on listed buildings. Download our booklet for information on adverts and shopfronts in conservation areas.
How to ask for planning advice
All enquiries are chargeable and must be submitted in writing at www.bedford.gov.uk/planningenquiries there is also a list of the applicable fees and exemptions.
On the Planning Enquiries page please also check permitted development in STEP 2 before submitting a request.
A full detailed description of the proposed development is required along with any plans, photographs, supporting statements etc. It is important to specify detail in your enquiry, for example, if you intend to build an extension the Officer would need to know the type of materials proposed along with the construction method. If you do not have plans or photographs to show what you intend to do please specify the detail in writing however, detailed plans are preferred. A location plan is required on all requests.
Householder developments in conservation areas
The following developments require planning permission in conservation areas:
- All development to the side of the dwelling (extensions or outbuildings)
- Two storey extensions to the rear of the dwelling
- Any exterior cladding (stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles)
- Dormer windows
- Satellite dishes visible from a highway
- Chimneys, flues or soil pipes on either a principal elevation or side elevation and fronting a highway
- Replacement windows and doors do not normally require planning permission even if your property is located within the conservation area.
- Please note that all development requires planning permission if your property is a FLAT - this includes replacement windows and doors.
A Heritage Statement should be submitted with any application within or affecting the setting of:
- designated conservation areas
- registered historic parks or gardens
- known archaeological sites
- applications for Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent
The scope and degree of detail necessary in a Heritage Statement will vary according to the particular circumstances of each application. Applicants / Agents are advised to discuss proposals with Officers via the planning advice service before any application is made.
What should be included in a Heritage Statement
The following is a guide to the sort of information that may be required for different types of application. Matters set out in the statement should be clearly identified at an appropriate level of detail in the submitted survey and proposal plans.
A written statement will be required that includes:
- schedule of works proposed
- description of the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. See the National Planning Policy Framework and Historic England guidance conservation principlesfor further explanation of significance.
The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance.
The extent and type of works proposed may require consultation with the Historic Environment Record (HER) and assessment of the heritage assets using appropriate expertise where necessary.
A structural survey may be required in support of an application for listed building consent.
A Heritage Statement to cover archaeology will be required where there is a reasonable probability of archaeological remains, whether below or above ground, being present on the site. Domestic extensions and alterations will not require such an assessment unless located on a scheduled monument.
The need for a Heritage Statement in relation to archaeology will depend on the scale of the development, as well as the nature of the archaeology. Where there will be significant ground disturbance, especially where there are known archaeological remains recorded on the Historic Environment Record (or in areas over 0.5 hectares which have the potential to contain significant remains), then a field evaluation including trial trenching leading to a mitigation strategy may be necessary as part of the Heritage Statement.