Conservation Areas

If an area has a character or appearance that is of special architectural or historical interest we may have chosen to designate it as a conservation area so that its character and appearance can be preserved or enhanced.

Harborough has 62 designated conservation areas you can view a list of conservation areas here. The Grand Union Canal in the area has also been separately designated as a Conservation Area. There are also a number of registered parks and Schedule Ancient Monuments.

Making alterations in a conservation area

Planning controls for development, work to trees and advertisements are different within a conservation area. New development and alterations to existing buildings can still take place in conservation areas however, there is an expected level of high standard design and you are encouraged to maintain, restore and develop buildings in keeping with the character of the area.

Permitted Development rights are more restrictive and planning permission may be needed for alterations or development that outside the conservation area wouldn't require consent. You can find more information about Permitted Development rights here- the regulations may refer to conservation areas as Article 2(3) Land.

Some examples of common changes that require planning consent in a conservation area include:

  • The use of exterior cladding of stone, artificial stone, timber, plastic or tiles
  • The enlargement of a house by addition to or by alteration of the roof: this includes dormer windows
  • An extension that protrudes beyond a side elevation
  • Any two storey extension
  • Putting up a satellite dish visible from the street

Development should preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of a conservation area therefore we advise discussing proposals for development in conservation areas with a Planning Officer before submitting planning applications using our pre-application advice service. As part of your application you will need to assess how your proposal may effect the appearance or character of the surrounding conservation area. You can also use our pre-application advice service for more advice on whether your proposal needs permission. 

If you need to apply for planning permission you can find out more information about the planning application process and what to submit with your application here.

If you building is listed there are further considerations, read more about listed buildings here.

Demolition in a conservation area

Demolition of structures in conservation areas is generally resisted where the structure positively contributes to the special character of the area.

You will need planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area to do the following:

  • demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres.
  • to demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing more than one metre in height next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or more than two metres high elsewhere;
  • there are certain exemptions from the general requirement to seek planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area, further information can be viewed here

What to submit with your application for demolition in a conservation area

Alongside the general requirements for planning applications which you can view here. If you wish to apply to demolish a building or structure in a conservation area you will need to provide a justification for its loss. This should be submitted as supporting information with your application and should describe the significance of the building/structure, including any contribution it makes to the wider setting of the conservation area. The level of detail required should be proportionate to its importance within the conservation area.

You can apply for consent for demolition in a conservation area online here, or you can download the application form here.

There is no fee for applications for demolition in a conservation area.

Trees in conservation areas

Most trees in a conservation area are protected from deliberate damage and destruction you can find our more about carrying our work on a tree in a conservation area here

Advertising in conservation areas

Any advertisements within conservation areas should protect the special character of that area. In conservation areas all illuminated advertisements need Advertisement Consent - except for those indicating medical supplies or services. Certain advertisements on hoardings around building sites also need Advertisement Consent.

All the conservation areas in Harborough District (except Kibworth, Lutterworth and Market Harborough) lie within an Area of Special Advertisement Control. This places more restrictions on the size and positioning of advertisements.

You can find a guide to outdoor advertisements and signs here.

Registered Parks and Gardens

As well as our designated conservation areas there are also 6 Registered Parks and Gardens in Harborough:

The above Registered Parks and Gardens are of special historic interest. When assessing a planning application within or nearby one of these Registered Parks and Gardens we must consider the impact of the proposed development on the landscapes' special character. Therefore if you are proposing a development within or nearby one of these areas you should consider whether it will protect the special character of this area, this assessment should be included as part of a Design and Access Statement.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments

There are also a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the district which are recognised as nationally important archaeological sites. While some change to these may be possible, there is a strong presumption these sites will be handed on to future generations in much the same state that we have found them.

You can search for Scheduled Ancient Monuments here.