Throughout the UK, certain areas are designated as being of historic or architectural interest, and are known as Conservation Areas. There are now approximately 10,000 Conservation Areas in the UK, and each is subject to legal restrictions in respect of the changes that can be made to buildings and the surrounding land.
A study carried out by the London School of Economics in 2012 found that houses in conservation areas sold for up to 9% more than similar properties in unprotected areas. This is largely because the appearance of the neighbourhood is more likely to look, and stay, attractive.
But there are drawbacks – the rules which must be complied with in order to carry out simple work to your property can be very restrictive. For example, you would potentially need to seek consent from the local authority for minor changes such as replacing the windows or doors, or even changing the colour of the window or door frames.
The rules will vary from one local authority to the next, but you may find that you need to have your builder or a planning consultant submit any planning applications on your behalf to ensure that you do not fall foul of the red tape.
The potential penalty for carrying out unauthorised work in a Conservation Area is two years’ imprisonment, so make sure you know what you’re doing before going ahead.
If you are looking to purchase a property, please contact Andy Roscoe at Meaby & Co for advice: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7703 5034.
Meaby&Co is authorised and regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority (SRA Number 447880) and registered in England and Wales with registered number OC322672 at 2 Camberwell Church St, London, SE5 8QY.