Conservation areas

Conservation areas are areas of special character, whose qualities we aim to protect and enhance. See

There are currently 76 Conservation areas within Cheshire East, ranging from the whole town centre of Knutsford to small village groups such as Disley and Lower Peover, or industrial settlements like Styal and Bollington.

We have a duty under present legislation to designate areas of land considered to have outstanding historic or architectural interest. Conservation areas protect the best of the townscape and natural environment, illustrate the evolution of Cheshire East and provide an historic framework for future development. The Local Planning Authority is required to keep the designation of Conservation areas under review.

Have your say in future consultations

Visit our Conservation area appraisal page for detailed information on each one. Upcoming Conservation area public consultations are also posted on these pages, so you can have a say in the review process.

Use our interactive mapping to find further information or to view Cheshire Historic Environment Records:

Article 4 directions

Article 4 Directions allow the Council to ensure that Conservation areas are suitably protected from inappropriate development. Individually, many minor changes may appear insignificant. However, if they are added together, they can have a significant impact upon the character and appearance of a Conservation area.

Find out if my land or building is in a Conservation area

If you live in a Conservation area and want to see if your property is covered by an Article 4 Direction, visit our mapping system.

Applying for planning permission in Conservation areas

It is important that your application contains detailed information in order for a decision to be made. Further information on what to include in your submission, can be found on our heritage planning applications page.

Planning applications within Conservation areas must be full applications, not outline ones. Outline applications do not usually offer sufficient information to judge the probable visual impact of a proposal on its surroundings.

If you need further assistance, contact

See the planning portal permissions page to find out what permissions you may need in a Conservaton area. 

Some developments that are normally allowed, may need specific planning approval, including the demolition of a building or structure. 

Owners have an obligation to obtain permission for various changes to:

  • façades
  • cladding
  • dormer windows on the roof
  • and the display of satellite dishes on roadside elevations.

The size of a house extension that can be built without planning permission is smaller than elsewhere. If an extension does require planning permission, it will have to meet an expected standard of good design and be constructed in materials sympathetic to its surroundings. Planning applications will also need to be supported by a heritage statement, identifying the significance of the location and demonstrating the measures that will be taken to protect its character and appearance.

Trees in conservation areas

You would also be obliged to give six weeks written treework notice to the Council if you wish to fell a tree within a conservation area or lop branches from it, if it is over a certain size. This gives the Council time to raise a tree preservation order, if the tree makes a contribution to amenity or the street scene.

More information on Conservation

Contact the Built Heritage team

Telephone: 0300 123 5014

Page last reviewed: 24 May 2024