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Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance. We have a duty to review the boundary of these from time to time.

Traditional buildings, their architectural details, materials and appearance contribute towards the special character of each conservation area. Just as important is the way in which buildings and spaces relate to each other, the historic layout of street patterns, views, open spaces, trees and other landscape features.

Conservation area status does not rule out the need for new development. Instead, it aims to direct changes so that the new can sit sympathetically alongside the old. We are always in favour of retaining existing buildings wherever possible.

Is my property in a conservation area?

You can check to see if your property is in a conservation area on our Interactive planning map. There are 16 conservation areas within the Staffordshire Moorlands (excluding the Peak District National Park).

Carrying out works within a conservation area

If you live in a conservation area and want to alter, extend or demolish your property, you must check to see if planning permission is required.

Article 4 Directions

Surviving historical and architectural details on buildings can make an immense contribution to a conservation area's character and appearance. For this reason, sympathetic repairs are very important.

Unsympathetic alterations to historical and architectural details can be very damaging to a conservation area, even though you don't always need planning permission to carry them out. We may, however, remove permitted development rights, or introduce an  Article 4 Direction

Article 4 directions already exist in some conservation areas, which means that you would need to apply for planning permission for any minor works. Find out where Article 4 directions are already in place using our Interactive planning map

Protected trees

You should seek advice before felling or cutting back any trees in a conservation area.

Trees in conservation areas

Advice and help from us

If you live in a conservation area and need guidance on which alterations may need planning permission, contact our planning team.

The council has also published a series of design guidance notes to help applicants and owners of historic buildings. 

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas in the Staffordshire Moorlands [2MB]

Repairs and Alterations to Historic Buildings [1MB]

Windows and Doors - Repair and Replacement [644KB]

Pointing Your Jointing [950KB]

Conversions [1MB]

Agricultural Buildings [1MB]

New Dwellings and Extensions [2MB]