Conservation areas and listed buildings

The borough currently has 14 conservation areas, 241 buildings of special architectural or historic interest (listed buildings) and some 83 buildings that have been identified as being of local interest. 

You can find out the locations of conservation areas and listed buildings by viewing the interactive map or calling 02392 446019.

Given the statutory protection afforded to listed buildings and sites within conservation areas, it is strongly advised you contact us before carrying out works to such buildings or in such areas. It is important to be aware that carrying out unauthorised works can be a criminal offence. If there are any queries relating to what type of works require consent, please contact us.  Planning Permission (Conservation Area Consent or Listed Building Consent) will most likely be required.

Under certain circumstances, we can provide support to the custodians of historic buildings through offering a degree of financial assistance in the form of grants, toward the cost of repairs to listed buildings.  This is on a discretionary basis only. The dedicated officer dealing with conservation enquiries and listed buildings is Peter Fellows (only usually available Wednesdays) Tel: 023 92446424 (unmanned answerphone service available for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) alternatively contact: 023 92446015 (Planning Customer Service).

Please follow the related pages link if you would like more detail on conservations areas within the borough.

Further advice on listed buildings and conservation areas

Have you provided any guidance notes?

We have provided a Guidance Note titled 'Windows in Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas' and this document is available to view at the foot of this page.

Further advice on listed buildings

What is included in the listing?

Every part of the building is listed including the interior. In addition to the building itself it has been considered that the following also fall within the definition of the listed building:

  • Any structure or object fixed to the building
  • Any free-standing object or structure which has formed part of the land since before 1 July 1948

Even if a feature (internal or external) is not included in the description, it does not mean that it is not of interest and it is still part of the listed building.

What work can I do to a listed building?

Owners of listed buildings must be aware that they are looking after an important part of the nation's heritage. When a listed building is taken on the owner or occupier effectively becomes its temporary guardian responsible for its welfare.

Listed building control is much more rigorous than is the case for more conventional buildings and owners and occupiers must be willing to accept this. Consent will be required to demolish a listed building (and normally it will not be granted). Consent will be required for any extension together with alteration or refurbishment which would affect its character. Regular maintenance and minor like-for-like repairs do not always need listed building consent but it always advisable to check with the Council beforehand. It is inappropriate to 'modernise' a listed building in the manner regularly found on other buildings.