Planning Portal

PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Conservation Areas: Policy BH 14

Policy BH 14 Demolition in a Conservation Area
The Department will normally only permit the demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area where the building makes no material contribution to the character or appearance of the area. Where conservation area consent for demolition is granted this will normally be conditional on prior agreement for the redevelopment of the site and appropriate arrangements for recording the building before its demolition.

Justification and Amplification

7.16 The demolition of even a single building and the construction of a new building or buildings in its place could result in the character or appearance of a conservation area, or part of it, being severely prejudiced. In such circumstances the whole purpose of designating the conservation area could be undermined.
7.17 The Department will operate a presumption in favour of retaining any building which makes a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area. In determining proposals for demolition of unlisted buildings the Department will therefore take account of the part played in the architectural or historic interest of the area by the building for which demolition is proposed, and in particular of the wider effects of demolition on the building’s surroundings and on the conservation area as a whole. In assessing proposals the Department will have regard to the same broad criteria outlined above for the demolition of listed buildings (see para 6.5 and policy BH 10 above).
7.18 In cases where demolition may be appropriate, for example where a building does not make any significant contribution to a conservation area, the Department will normally require full information and detailed plans about what is proposed for the site after demolition to accompany conservation area consent applications.
7.19 Where the Department decides to grant consent for demolition of a building in a conservation area conditions will normally be imposed:
  • requiring the redevelopment of the site to be based on previously agreed detailed proposals;
  • prohibiting demolition of the building until planning permission has been
  • granted and contracts have been signed for the approved redevelopment of the site7 ; and
  • requiring, where appropriate, the recording of the building prior to its demolition.
7.20 The preservation of the public elevations alone of an unlisted building in a conservation area which makes a material contribution to its appearance or character will only be acceptable in exceptional circumstances, provided the scale of the overall development proposal will not be detrimental to the areas character or appearance and the scheme can be implemented without serious risk to the retained structure. In such cases the Department, in addition to requiring detailed plans of the proposed development, will require the submission of a structural engineer’s report indicating what measures are to be taken to protect those parts of the building to be retained during construction work.
7 This power is provided by Article 45(5) of the 1991 Planning Order as applied by Article 51(5) and is to ensure that conservation areas are not marred by vacant sites awaiting redevelopment
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