PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Conservation Areas: The Importance of Conservation Areas
7.2 Many of our cities, towns and villages contain areas of architectural or historic interest which have a particular character considered worthy of conservation. The Department has designated a number of these areas as conservation areas. Great importance is attached to the preservation of the existing character and appearance of such areas allied to the promotion of their economic well-being.
7.3 Article 50 (5) of the Planning (NI) Order 1991 requires that “where any area is for the time being designated as a conservation area special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing its character or appearance.” This will be the prime consideration for the Department in the exercise of its planning functions within conservation areas. There will be a presumption against the grant of planning permission or conservation area consent where development proposals would conflict with this requirement, although in exceptional cases this presumption may be overridden in favour of development which is desirable on the ground of some other public interest. The desirability of preserving or enhancing a conservation area is also considered to be a material consideration in assessing proposals for development beyond its boundaries which would however affect its setting, or views into or out of the area.