Conservation area advice

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are designated by the district council to protect those parts of towns and villages which have special architectural or historic character.  These areas are intended not solely to protect individual buildings but to retain and develop the general character of the area. The designation does not mean that the area will never change, but rather that new development will respect the established character of the area.

Living in a conservation area

The designation of a conservation area shows a positive commitment to preserve and enhance the quality of the local environment. The success of conservation areas depends upon the care given to properties by owners and residents. The most important effect of designation is the greater emphasis placed on matters of design when planning new development or alterations to existing properties. 

New development

The Council will ensure that any proposal for new development within a conservation area will preserve or enhance and will not harm the character or appearance of that area. Where new development is permitted, particular attention will be paid to its siting, scale, materials and detailing. Modern designs will not necessarily be rejected in conservation areas but they must be designed with great sympathy for the area, relating well to the surrounding buildings, spaces and trees.

Permitted development

Certain minor alterations and small extensions to existing dwellings in conservation areas can be undertaken without planning permission but the rules differ in conservation areas than elsewhere. 

Article 4 directions

An article 4 direction is a separate type of restriction which looks to retain high quality architectural features. Areas covered by article 4 directions are subject to the removal of certain permitted development rights. There are three areas in North Kesteven District covered by article 4 directions. Documentation for these can be found in the downloads section.

Conservation areas within North Kesteven District

There are 36 conservation areas in the district. Details of those conservation areas and their boundaries can be found in the Local Plan.


Conservation area reviews are carried out to provide more detailed information about the designated areas and also how they can be improved upon. For more information on the conservation area reviews which have been carried out, please see Conservation Area Reviews.