Conservation Areas

From time to time the Council will consider which parts of the district are "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance" and will designate such areas as 'Conservation Areas.'


There is no standard specification for designating or reviewing Conservation Areas. In considering whether an area has the "special character" to be designated as a Conservation Area the following are some of the features that would be considered:

  • the landform of the site;
  • attractive groups of buildings exhibiting a unity of scale, material and/or density;
  • a particular combination of land uses;
  • a historic street pattern;
  • open spaces such as village greens;
  • enclosed areas such as market squares;
  • trees, either individual specimens or in groups;
  • features of archaeological interest or historical association etc.

In assessing the suitability for designation, the emphasis is on the character of area rather than on individual buildings.

South Bucks has 21 Conservation Areas;  some of which have appraisals. Maps of the 21 Conservation Areas, and those that have appraisals, are available to download at the foot of the page. You can also see where the Conservation Areas are located within the District on the Proposals Map.

Planning Controls within a Conservation Area

Stricter planning controls apply in Conservation Areas so as to preserve and enhance their special character and their heritage. Permitted Development rights are also more restricted in Conservation Areas and certain demolition works will require Conservation Area Consent. The Local Plan contains a range of policies for Conservation Areas and further advice can be found on the Planning Portal - conservation areas

If you wish to build a new building within a Conservation Area, you are advised to seek advice from our Conservation & Design Officer via before submitting an application.

Please note that all applications for Conservation Area Consent should be accompanied by a design and access statement

Changes to Conservation Area Consent applications from 1 October 2013

From 1 October 2013 there will no longer be the requirement to submit a separate application for conservation area consent for the demolition of an unlisted building in a Conservation Area.

The government has changed legislation so that demolition works in Conservation Areas will now require planning permission. This change means that, whilst the permission of the Council is still required, it is no longer necessary to submit two separate applications - one for planning permission and one for conservation area consent - for the demolition and replacement of a building in a Conservation Area.

Trees within a Conservation Area

Works should not generally be carried out to trees within a Conservation Area without first notifying us. See the tree section of our website for more detail.