Planning considerations for conservation areas

Conservation areas

Conservation Areas are "areas of special architectural or historic interest which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".

The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 states that local planning authorities should determine which parts of their area are worthy of protection and publish proposals for their preservation and enhancement.       

Conservation areas in Welwyn Hatfield

  • Welwyn Garden City town centre and residential areas to the west
  • Beehive area of Welwyn Garden City
  • Ayot Green historic core
  • Ayot St. Lawrence historic core
  • Welwyn village historic core
  • Essendon historic core
  • Old Hatfield historic core
  • Northaw historic core
  • Peartree Conservation Area

Planning policies are in place in these areas to preserve and enhance its character and to resist poor quality development proposals that would harm its character.

New developments in conservation areas

All new developments proposed in conservation areas should be:

  • of a very high quality
  • sympathetic to its special architectural and historic qualities, including scale, design, materials and space between buildings.

You may need to submit additional information to planning applications to show how the proposal relates to the conservation area and a design statement may be required for larger proposals for new dwellings or more than 100 square metres of new floorspace.

Changes to existing properties

Nationally permitted development rights do not exist in a conservation area.

If you live in a conservation area you will need planning permission to:

  • carry out changes to the external appearance of a property
  • demolish any buildings
  • carry out works to a tree.

It is a criminal offence to carry out demolition in a conservation area without planning permission.

Original doors and windows should be repaired wherever possible or replaced with ones that match the originals as closely as possible.

We consider breaches of planning control as a higher priority in conservation areas and are likely to take enforcement action.


For more information about conservation areas visit the Historic England website.

Lemsford Draft Character Assessment - Consultation

We ran a consultation on the Lemsford Draft Character Assessment. The consultation closed on 15 March 2023

View the consultation

Welwyn Village Planning Consultation

We ran a consultation on the Welwyn Village Draft Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan. The consultation closed on 6th January 2023.

View the consultation

Check if you are in a Conservation or Estate Management area

Open this link to our map. Type in your postcode and search. Then use the 'Local Knowledge' link on the left hand side to find Conservation and Welwyn Garden City Estate Management information.

Check Conservation and Estate Management areas on a map

Planning applications

Contact us for advice about a development proposal in a conservation area.

Conservation areas useful links