Conservation Areas have special architectural or historic interest. Designation by the council gives an area more protection against harmful development or redevelopment.

Attributes that define the special character of an area may include:

  • the areas' physical appearance - the form and features of buildings and the spaces between them
  • history - the historical development of the area and former uses of buildings. Where there are different phases of historical development and expansion, the character of individual parts of the Conservation Area may differ
  • contrasts between the appearance of areas and the combination of various ages, materials, and styles may contribute to its special character

In our district, Conservation Areas range in size from a large part of the Victorian centre of Harrogate to small rural hamlets like Middlesmoor.

Conservation Area Appraisals

Each of the district's 53 Conservation Areas has a Conservation Area Appraisal - a document which tells the story of the area and sets out the area's special character and interest. The Appraisal is used as a sound basis for making decisions on planning applications and to inform local planning policies. It is an interesting read and a useful reference or guide for residents and visitors alike.


Additional planning controls

Planning permission is required for some types of development that wouldn't normally need it. These include:

  • demolition of buildings or structures (including boundary walls) of a certain size
  • certain sizes and positions of extensions to a house
  • roof extensions, including dormer windows
  • cladding any part of the outside of a house
  • the installation of a flue, chimney or soil and vent pipe if it would face a road and is on the side or front of the building;
  • positioning a satellite dish on a wall, roof or chimney that faces a road or public space;
  • solar panels / equipment on a wall that faces a road;
  • some instances of biomass heating system flues, air source heat pumps and wind turbines;
  • tighter controls over advertisements

Also, notification to the council is required when works are proposed to trees within Conservation Areas with stem diameters of 75mm or greater, measured at 1.5m above ground.

Please visit the demolition of unlisted building within Conservation Area information to get a planning application form or a form for notice of intent to carry out tree work within a Conservation Area.

For information and forms relating to tree works in Conservation Areas, please visit the works to trees page.

Article 4 Directions

In addition to the above controls, Article 4 directions can be used to to bring under planning control types of development that wouldn't normally need planning permission. To find out more about the confirmed Article 4 directions for Great Ouseburn and Harrogate, please visit our Article 4 direction page.

You can check our list to find out if a property falls within one of the 53 Conservation Areas in the district. A boundary map for each Conservation Area is included in its associated Conservation Area Appraisal. Or you can search via My Property.

Additional information relating to Conservation Area legislation and other relevant considerations, such as designing appropriate new development and alterations to historic buildings, can be found within the council's Heritage Management guidance.

Page last updated 16/11/2018