the place to be
Monday December 4th 2023

Living in a Conservation area

The centre of Bletchingley village is within a historic conservation area as can be seen by the following table and map (in red):

Name Description Date of designation Area (in hectares)
Bletchingley Historic village – former market town. 1969 18
Brewer Street & Place Farm, Bletchingley Historic hamlet – containing Grade I listed Brewer Street Farm and site of former Bletchingley Palace 1990 22


Conservation areas exist to protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place – in other words the features that make it unique and distinctive. This page explains what it means to own a building in a conservation area. Further information on the history of Bletchingley buildings and why it deserves the status of a conservation area can be obtained by reading the BletchingleyAppraisal.

What does Conservation Area designation mean?

Within a conservation area the local authority has extra controls over:

  • demolition
  • minor developments
  • the protection of trees
  • the design of new development

Your House 

Being in a conservation area means that your house is affected by special controls, which restrict work you can normally do without planning permission such as replacing a door or window or altering gutters and downpipes. Within conservation areas there is greater control over work which would otherwise be ‘permitted development’. For example, permission would be required to install roof dormer windows, or for certain types of cladding such as stone of timber. In certain circumstances permission is also required for satellite dishes.


If you want to cut down, top or lop any but the smallest of trees in a conservation area you must notify your local planning authority six weeks before work begins. The authority will then consider the contribution the tree makes to the character of the area and if necessary create a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect it.


If you live in a conservation area and want to demolish your building, you will need Planning Permission. If the building is listed you will also need Listed building consent.


Special attention is paid to the design of new development in conservation areas. Though exact replication of traditional styles is not usually appropriate, a design which is sympathetic to the character of the area will be required.

In determining planning applications the Council will need to judge whether the proposal would preserve or enhance the character of the area. Materials should reflect those found locally and hard surfaces and landscaping should respect and integrate with the local scene.

Use of traditional materials

It should be remembered that designation is not intended as a means of preventing change – places need to be able to change and adapt as they have always done. Conservation area designation enables the local planning authority to better manage this change so that the character of the area is not undermined.