A conservation area is formally defined as:

"An area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which is desirable to preserve or enhance"

The area will usually constitute the 'historic core' of an area. The area will likely contain a number of listed buildings, which each have their own protection.

Most buildings within a conservation area may be unlisted, but are still important. They provide the setting for listed buildings, and may enclose interesting spaces - or form a group - in their own right.

For more information about listed buildings and conservation areas, please refer to our third party Heritage resources.

How is a conservation area designated?

We, as the local planning authority, designate conservation areas within our district.

An area may be designated as a conservation area, due to the number of listed buildings it contains.

However, they may contain other special characteristics, such as:

  • The way the buildings are grouped. They may be in clusters, around greens, enclosing squares or market places. This may be in rows - which are formal - or a more interesting mixture of styles
  • The variety or special unity of the buildings (of which only some - or even none - are listed)
  • The spaces themselves. There may be winding streets, green islands, or streets which contain many characterful buildings. These may be listed structures (such as a church) or unlisted buildings, with walls of brick and flint
  • Street furniture, such as pumps, railings, sign posts and paving materials
  • Soft landscaping, which can serve as a foil for buildings - or become focal points in their own right. They range from oak trees to grass verges, hedges or formal gardens

Conservation areas in Babergh

There are 29 conservation areas in Babergh.

We have adopted 27 conservation area appraisals as non-statutory supplementary planning guidance.

Living in a conservation area

If you own a property that's within a conservation area, you will be subject to more planning restrictions than usual.

Even if your property or building is not a listed building, it may have interesting features.

These features might be traditional materials, or local building details. You building may also belong to a group of buildings which together, have a special visual quality.

This means that it will be both visually and financially rewarding to take care with any alterations that you make.

These alterations could include changes to:

  • the roof
  • walling materials
  • doors or windows
  • colour schemes

Please remember that once an interesting feature has been lost, it may be impossible (or very expensive) to recreate it.

Article 4(2) Directions

We may remove permitted development rights in a conservation area if Article 4(2) Directions is applicable.

We can use Article 4 Directions to exert tighter controls on changes to the outside of houses (that face a road or open space), which could damage the character and appearance of the conservation area.

They mean that you would need planning permission to carry out minor works that would normally be automatically permitted.

The works might be:

  • door or window replacements
  • porches
  • other small extensions

Permitted development rights can also be removed by the conditions of a planning permission.

Article 4(2) Directions in Babergh

There is one conservation area in our district where Article4(2) Directions apply - it is in Glemsford.

Read the Direction made under Article 4(2) in Glemsford.

Trees in conservation areas

Trees in conservation areas have special protection.

Access our interactive map to check which trees in our district have a Tree Preservation Order.

Please also read our interactive map's terms and conditions.

To find out more about trees in conservation areas, please read our additional information on trees here