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Applying for Conservation Area Consent or for permission to build in a ANOB is a separate issue from applying for Conservatory Planning Permission, so you should speak to someone at your Local Authority, usually a Planning Officer or a Conservation Officer, whose job it is to ensure that the fabric of a conservation area is maintained.
A Conservation Area is an area with some architectural or historic interest or a desirable area that needs to be preserved. First created in 1967 there are over 8000 of them in England alone.
Conservation areas are chosen by a Local Authority whose job it is to maintain maps of the areas covered. Conservation areas are selected for many different reasons and include the centres of historic towns and cities, ancient villages and leafy residential suburbs.
Selection is not made purely on the quality of buildings; the character of their environment is just as important and gardens, street furniture and other local features are taken into consideration.
Conservatories in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Natural England is concerned with protecting landscapes for now and future generations and it is they that designate AONB.
An AONB is a landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so outstanding that it is in the nation’s interest that it is safeguarded. There are 33 in England, covering about 15% of the English countryside. The smallest is the Isles of Scilly at just 16 sq km, the largest the Cotswolds totalling 2,038 sq km.
If you are unsure whether you live within the boundaries of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, check the map available at Natural England and double check with your Local Authority if you are uncertain. This is particularly important if you live on or close to the boundary of an AONB, because even if you are some way outside it you can still be bound by the planning regulations since there may be view to your property from within it.
You can find out about the five ANOB’s in Wales at the Welsh Government website.
Building Materials in Conservation Areas
Planning Officers and Conservation Officers often find it easier to approve plans for a new or replacement conservatory if the materials used in construction complement those of the building it is attached to, or to those in the surrounding area.
Therefore, you should make sure that the correct brick or natural local stone is used for dwarf walls and that you also specify natural materials for the conservatory construction such as oak rather than man-made materials such as uPVC.
The use of timber in construction is often looked on favourably, although sometimes you may be required to paint the exterior to match window frames and doors on the existing property. Alternatively, the timber may be allowed to weather and gradually blend in with the area. As an indigenous timber, natural oak is usually looked on very favourably and powder coated aluminium roof capping is always acceptable.
PVCu Frames and Polycarbonate roofing will rarely be allowed, so glass should be specified.
Need a little more information?
To help you with your buying decision of your bespoke hardwood conservatory or orangery, we have put together the Richmond Oak Buyers Guide.
"What you need to know when planning to Improve Your Home with a Conservatory or Orangery".
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