Question: We are buying and hoping to renovate in a conservation area. Does this make things more difficult?

Answer: Conservation areas, both urban and rural, offer some very attractive settings to live in and often with a high demand driven by their location and surroundings.

Properties in, or neighbouring, conservation areas do have some additional requirements in terms of planning permission.

Previously being in a conservation area meant you had to obtain planning permission before making changes which would normally have been a matter of permitted development elsewhere.

This includes certain types of cladding, inserting dormer windows or solar panels and installing external satellites as well as nearly any form of extension.

However, the Government recently relaxed these rules so now they apply if demolishing a building over 115 cubic meters or externals features, such as gates, fence, walls or railings.

However, if you are looking to buy in a conservation area it will be necessary to check if any alterations have been made so that your solicitor can look into them specifically as they may have previously required planning permission but not have it.

For this reason it is so important to speak to your solicitor during the purchase process about what the implications of this may be on your future plans.

For more information about purchasing in or next to a conservation area and how it could affect you contact Zoë Baxter on 01256 854623 or email your questions to and visit our website at