Development in conservation areas

A House of Lords decision has clarified the principles which should be applied where development is proposed in a conservation area, and should lay to rest ambiguities which had arisen over the interpretation of the key statutory provisions.

Conservation areas are designated by local planning authorities as being of special architectural or historic interest. Planning and other environmental controls are generally applied with more rigour within them, but it was the wording of a general statutory duty under the planning legislation which has caused recent problems.

Section 277(8) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 - now replaced by an equivalent provision in section 72

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