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  4. Conservation area maps

Conservation area maps

Conservation areas are places of special architectural or historic interest, which have a particular character or appearance worth preserving or enhancing. Groups of buildings, walls, trees and hedges, open spaces, views and the historic settlement patterns all combine to create an individual sense of place. It is this character, rather than individual buildings, that a conservation area seeks to protect.

West Oxfordshire District has 51 conservation areas.

Select a town from the list below to view its conservation area map. (Some areas have accompanying statements and appraisals which provide useful background information for local residents, property owners and developers).

Planning

Planning applications for development within conservation area, including new buildings and alterations to existing buildings, must demonstrate how the proposals would preserve or enhance the character of the area. Special attention should be given to the design, scale and use of materials, so that the existing character of the area is not harmed.

There are certain restrictions to the Permitted Development Rights enjoyed by homeowners and businesses (the rights to carry out development without Planning Permission).

Here are some examples of residential development that may require Planning Permission within a conservation area, but that may not require it outside one:

  • Extensions to the side of a property
  • Two-storey extensions to the rear of a property
  • External cladding of a property (including stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles)
  • Alterations to roofs for the enlargement of a property (including dormer windows)
  • Windows and doors, in some limited circumstances
  • Satellite dishes, antennae, chimneys, flues and other elements added to, and protruding from walls or roof slopes fronting the highway or forming the main or side elevation of a property
  • The erection of some structures within the grounds of a property (including garages, sheds, outbuildings etc.)

To find out whether your proposed works require planning permission, email planning@westoxon.gov.uk (include a detailed description of the proposed works, a sketch plan of the building, photographs and any other relevant information).

Demolitions

For the demolition of structures in conservation areas with volumes exceeding 115 cubic metres, an application for Conservation Area Consent will usually be needed in addition to any other permissions required for subsequent development. If a replacement structure is proposed, particularly where the structure it is proposed to demolish has some merit, the relative merits of the proposed replacement will need to be set against those of the existing structure. The two are not indivisible, and in such cases applications for Conservation Area Consent should not be made in isolation.

Trees

Owners of trees in a conservation area must give us six weeks' notice of their intention to carry out works (for example lopping, topping or felling). More details on how to apply and what work is exempt is available on the Protected trees page.