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Lewes Conservation Area Advisory Group

Home About Us What is a CA?
What is a Conservation Area?

The first Conservation Areas were designated in 1967 and there are now over 8,000 Conservation Areas (CAs) in England. They are designated for their special architectural and historic interest.

Most CAs have been created, or designated, to conserve historic town and city centres. Others include historic industrial villages, 18th century suburbs, stately homes and canals.

In a CA, it is the protection of the quality and special interest of the neighbourhood or area as a whole that is intended, rather than specific buildings. For example, the layout of boundaries, roads, vistas and viewpoints, trees and green features, street furniture - lighting, signs, etc. and surfaces, the characteristic building materials of the area, the mix of different uses and the design of shop fronts may all be taken into account when deciding whether an area has a particular special architectural or historic interest. It is the role of the listed building process to protect individual buildings, although many of these are also located within designated CAs and make a contribution to the special architectural or historic character of the area.

There are additional planning controls over certain works carried out within the CA. For example, demolition within CAs requires planning consent. Being in a CA does not stop development from taking place, but does require that developments preserve or enhance the historic character of the area, for example by ensuring that newly constructed buildings are of a high quality design. CA status also removes some permitted development rights that apply in areas that are not designated as CAs.

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