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Conservation areas

50 years of conservation areas

July 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of conservation areas in the UK. When the legislation was introduced there was widespread public concern over the pace of redevelopment in our historic towns and cities and the areas were a way of carefully managing development of the historic environment. There are now nearly 10,000 conservation areas across England. In Hackney, the first conservation areas were designated in 1969 in Clapton Square, Clapton Common, Clapton Pond and Clissold Park. There are now 30 across the borough.

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest whose character or appearance we want to preserve or enhance. It is the area as a whole rather than the specific buildings that is of special interest. Listed buildings within conservation areas are also covered by the listed building consent process.

Conservation areas in Hackney

Click on the links in the map for more information about each conservation area. You can also use find my nearest to see if your home is in a conservation area.

Why designate conservation areas?

Hackney has a legal duty to designate as conservation areas any areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Conservation area designation is a means of recognising the importance of the quality of the area as a whole, as well as protecting individual buildings. Hackney designates conservation areas to preserve and enhance their character and appearance, and to control and manage change.

What are the effects of designation?

Conservation areas enjoy special protection under the law.

  • you will need conservation area consent to demolish a building in a conservation area
  • you must give us six weeks notice, in writing, before any work is done on trees in conservation areas
  • you will need to demonstrate that any development proposal preserves or enhances the character or appearance of a conservation area
  • you may need to apply for planning permission for alterations or extensions that would not normally need planning permission, such as minor roof alterations, dormer windows or a satellite dish
  • you may need to apply for permission to erect shop signs, posters or estate agents boards that would not normally need permission

Planning advice in conservation areas


Conservation area consent

Conservation area consent was required for the demolition of almost all unlisted buildings within conservation areas. Since 1 October 2013, the requirement for a separate conservation area consent has been abolished. Anything which previously required conservation area consent will now require planning permission (S69 and Schedule 17).

Failure to obtain the required planning permission for the demolition of certain unlisted buildings in conservation areas will be an offence under section 196D of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

There will be no fee for submitting an application for planning permission for the demolition of certain unlisted buildings in conservation areas.

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Report the demolition of a building in a conservation area

Demolition of a building in a conservation area without prior consent is a criminal offence. The investigation of reports of unauthorised demolition is a high priority for us. Contact us immediately, if you believe that a building, or major part of a building, is being demolished without consent.


Conservation area advisory committees

Conservation area advisory committees (CAACs) consist of local residents and businesses as well as representatives of local historical, civic and amenity societies. They help us consider applications that may affect the character or appearance of a conservation area and assist in the formulation of conservation and design policies throughout the borough. There are six CAACs in Hackney.

Contact your local CAAC

Page updated on: 9 July 2019

Planning Duty Desk


Hackney Service Centre
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E8 1DY


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