Conservation areas

These are areas of special architectural or historic interest whose appearance and character we want to preserve or enhance. Kingston now has 26 designated conservation areas.

When creating a conservation area we look at things like historical qualities, age and arrangement of buildings, and what other features of special interest like trees and landscaping there are.

You can read more about them on the Historic England site

Status and creation

Conservation areas have a legal status as areas "of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".

All the borough’s streets and buildings make up its historic character. Centuries of growth has created distinctive local identities and each conservation area’s ‘special character’.

They can be created through a process of expert studies and public consultations with residents and local, regional and national bodies.

Special planning controls and policies

Although modern lifestyles can demand change, even in conservation areas, we have controls and policies to make sure that their unique character can be preserved or enhanced.

Certain types of work will need our approval in conservation areas, where normally they wouldn't.

Some conservation areas have detailed background information and associated special studies.

If you want to:

  • demolish a main building, garage, outbuilding or wall
  • make an external alteration or extension
  • put up a sign or advertisement
  • put up a new building

Owner occupiers' responsibilities

If you are an owner occupier in a conservation area you can help preserve its character by:

  • asking us for advice a few months before you start any work
  • instructing an agent and contractor with experience at carrying out comparable work in a conservation area
  • choosing design forms and materials for new building works, which respect the character of the individual building and the wider area – this may benefit the value of your property
  • carrying out routine maintenance to your property, outbuildings, walls, fences, gardens and trees, including decorating with appropriate products and retaining or reinstating the architectural features such as brickwork, timber windows, cornices, and architraves
  • being involved in any local body which has the preservation of the local environment as one of its aims (e.g. a residents association, the Conservation Areas Advisory Committee)
  • responding to any opportunity you may be given to make comments on other people's proposals, or on draft guidance or policies.

Our responsibilities

The Council will preserve or enhance the character of conservation areas by:

  • paying special attention to the character of each conservation area when making decisions on planning and other types of applications
  • applying the policies in the Core Strategy, Central Government Guidance, and any adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance when making decisions on planning and other types of applications
  • ensuring that the required site and press notices, and consultations are carried out on planning applications
  • making available expert advice on building conservation and tree matters for land and property
  • supporting the work of the independent Conservation Areas Advisory Committee who give comments on planning applications and other proposals in conservation areas as an additional source of advice to officers
  • ensuring that the special character of each conservation area is understood and published
  • preparing and publishing policies and proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the special character of each conservation area.

Conservation Area General Guidance 

Kingston Council is preparing a Conservation Area General Guidance document. A draft has been published for people to review and share their feedback on its clarity and content.

Last Modified: 22/05/2024 09:43:14