Information about Conservation Areas in the Winchester District

Winchester City Council has already designated thirty-seven conservation areas in the district and additions to this number will be considered periodically. They vary from the urban centre of Winchester to small, downland villages such as Ovington, or from New Alresford, with its market place surrounded by listed buildings, to Bishops Waltham, which includes ponds and the ruins of a bishop's palace.

Each of these areas is unique with its own 'sense of place', providing a variety of open spaces, buildings, trees, and water features which give the area its special character. Policies which seek the protection and enhancement of these conservation areas are included within the Winchester District Local Plan, adopted in 1998. These policies follow the Government's advice contained within PPS 5 and seek to ensure that new development is in accord with the special character of the conservation area concerned. When considering new development in conservation areas, the Council will therefore expect applicants to submit detailed plans and elevations, and they may also be asked to provide additional information to show the likely impact of their proposals on the surrounding area.

Link to LocalView, which is an online map, to search for an address and check whether it is within a conservation area:
Conservation Area Boundaries in Winchester and the District

Conservation Area Character Appraisals

To identify the special character of its conservation areas, the Council has already completed a number of 'Conservation Area Character Appraisals' which consider the historic development of each area and record its most notable features. These appraisals can be viewed on this website or copies can be obtained from the Historic Environment Team at a small charge.

What does Designation mean?

Conservation area designation automatically increases the Council's control over demolition of buildings and over certain alterations to residential properties occupied by a single family which would normally be 'permitted development'. These are specified in the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended, but briefly planning permission is required when any of the following are proposed:

  • Extend the building to the rear, if the extension would have more than one storey
  • Extend the building to the side
  • Erect a building such as a garden shed or garage, in the curtilage of a dwelling house, if any part of it is between the side elevation of the house and the boundary
  • Install external render or cladding such as weather-boarding, plastic, timber, tiles, stone or false stone
  • Install roof dormers or enlarge the roof
  • Fix a satellite dish to a chimney, wall or roof that faces onto, and is visible from, a highway, or to a building over 15 metres high
  • Fix a solar panel to a wall that faces onto, and is visible from a highway
  • Install a standalone solar panel in the garden, if it would be visible from a highway

This list is not meant to be definitive, so if you are in any doubt whether or not you need planning permission, please contact the Council before starting work. Buildings in non-residential uses (such as shops and offices), and buildings in multiple occupation (such as flats or bedsits), are covered by separate legislation and have fewer 'permitted development' rights than houses which are occupied by a single family.

Demolition in Conservation Areas

Following the publication of Circular 14/97, Conservation Area Consent (CAC) is required for the total or substantial demolition of any building with a total cubic content in excess of 115 cubic metres in a conservation area. Consent is also required for the total or substantial demolition of a boundary wall over one metre high adjoining a highway or over two metres elsewhere. If the building is listed, in ecclesiastical use, or a scheduled ancient monument, then different legislation applies.

Trees

Trees contribute greatly to the character and appearance of conservation areas, and designation provides a general protection for all trees over a certain size within the area. Some trees may already be protected by a specific Tree Preservation Order but for all others you must give the Council six weeks written notice before lopping or felling them.

To ensure that the public has an opportunity to comment on new development proposals, all planning applications which affect the character of a conservation area must also be advertised on site and in the local newspaper.

Article 4 Directions

The character of a conservation area can easily be spoilt by well-intentioned home improvements, such as the insertion of plastic windows or the addition of a new porch, which can result in a gradual loss of the special, historic details which contribute so much to the attractiveness of each area.

Therefore, to control unsympathetic alterations to unlisted family dwellings within conservation areas, Winchester City Council may decide to serve an Article 4(2) Direction, removing certain permitted development rights to these properties. This can be done without referral to central government although public consultation must be carried out.

The Direction can cover alterations to roofs (including chimneys and materials), front elevations (including porches, extensions, windows and doors), and front gardens (including vehicular hardstandings, walls, gates and fences). Other more comprehensive types of alteration can be controlled by an Article 4(1) Direction, but the approval of central government is needed. The Council will consider the need for such Directions periodically.