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Suffolk Coastal Conservation areas

Conservation area appraisals

Yoxford conservation area appraisal and boundary review

Currently, the Council has designated 36 conservation areas within the district. These range from the centre of older villages and towns to hamlets and include open spaces, trees and historic features. Please see below for a summary of the implications of living or owning a property in a conservation area.

All our conservation areas have their own individual appraisals which define their special architectural and historic character. Each appraisal has been adopted by the Council as a supplementary planning document and is intended to be used a guide for residents and those wanting to make a planning application for a site within a conservation area. The appraisals have a useful summary map at the back which is worth referring to for a quick guide.

Our conservation areas are reviewed from time to time to look at their boundaries and to update and improve their appraisals. We also consider the designation of new conservation areas following requests to do so by parish councils or through neighbourhood plans.

You can use our Geographic Information System to view online maps of conservation areas.

Advice and guidance

The principal consequences of conservation area designation are as follows:

  • The Council is under a duty to prepare proposals to ensure the preservation or enhancement of the area;
  • Consent must be obtained from the Council for the demolition of any unlisted building or structure in the area larger than 115 cubic metres; and the local authority or the Secretary of State may take enforcement action or institute a criminal prosecution if consent is not obtained;
  • It is an offence under section 196D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to undertake ‘relevant demolition’ of an unlisted building in a Conservation Area without the necessary planning permission. .
  • Special publicity must be given to planning applications for development in the area;
  • In carrying out any functions under the planning Acts and, in particular, in determining applications for planning permission and listed building consent, the Council and the Secretary of State are required to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area;
  • The details as to the limits of what works may be carried out without planning permission are different and are summarised below;
  • Six weeks’ notice must be given to the Council before works are carried out to any tree in the area that is more than 75mm in diameter measured at 1.5 metres above ground level. The penalties for undertaking works to trees within a Conservation Area within the six-week period are similar to those for undertaking unauthorised works to a tree covered by a tree preservation order (s.211 Town & Country Planning Act 1990).
  • The Secretary of State may direct that Section 54 (urgent works) of the 1990 Act shall apply to preserve unoccupied buildings that appear to him or her to be important for maintaining the character or appearance of the area;
  • Grants and loans may be made by Historic England for the preservation or enhancement of Conservation Areas;
  • The display of advertisements may be more restricted than elsewhere; and
  • Historic England must be notified of development affecting the character or appearance of a Conservation Area where the area of the application site is more than 1,000 square metres; or where the construction of any building will be more than 20 metres in height.

Summary of permitted development rights in a Conservation Area

Type of WorkPlanning application?

Demolition of building whose total volume is less than 115 cubic metres as ascertained by external measurement)

Not needed

Demolition of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure less than 1 metre high where fronting a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway), waterway or open space; or less than 2 metres high in any other case.

Not needed

Demolition of any building erected since 1 January 1914 and in use, or last used, for the purposes of agriculture or forestry

Not needed

Demolition works required or permitted under certain legislation

Not needed

Demolition of entire building of more than 115 cubic metres in volume

Always needed

Demolition of entire building except façade prior to redevelopment

Probably needed

Other partial demolition

Needed if the works amount to a building operation

 External alteration or extension of building (not “permitted development”)

Always needed

External alteration or extension building (permitted development)

Not needed except where required by an Article 4 direction or a condition on a previous permission

Non-material minor external alteration to building (not “development”)

Not needed

Alteration to interior of building

Not needed

Erection of new building

Almost always needed

Please contact our Design and Conservation team for further conservation area advice.