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Historic areas and buildings

Bedford Borough has many fine areas and buildings distinguished by their architecture, landscape and history, which creates an attractive and mixed environment.

These areas are important examples of our history and must be protected against unsympathetic change.

Conservation areas and listed buildings are two main ways this can be achieved.

Conservation areas

Conservation areas give additional protection to an area of special historical value and architectural interest by restricting what development can be carried out.

Development proposals within a conservation area have to preserve or enhance the character of that area.

See our Heritage Advice page for details on householder developments in conservation areas.

If you wish to propose development within a conservation area please refer to step 4 on our planning enquiries page

Maps of conservation areas within Bedford Borough

These maps are in PDF format:

Conservation area appraisals

A Conservation Area Appraisal defines the special nature and distinctiveness of the area in order to enable well founded decisions to be made about its future management.

It looks at the historical development of the area, historic buildings, spaces and structures still present and any issues which may affect its future preservation.

The appraisal is then used to produce a management plan which sets out the measures required to safeguard the future preservation of the character of the conservation area.

Several conservation areas within Bedford Borough do not currently possess an up-to-date appraisal or management plan.

Bedford conservation area management plan

All documents are in PDF format:

Other conservation area appraisals and management plans

Listed buildings

A listed building is one that is given additional protection from development and alterations because of its special architectural or historic interest.

Search the National Heritage List for England to see which buildings are listed.

Read more about listing buildings, including the types of work which can be carried out and the consent needed, at Historic England