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Conservation Areas

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are designated for their 'special architectural and historic interest'. They vary in character, form and size from a small group of buildings to a large part of a town, but their designation means that they are all worthy of protection as areas of special merit. 

There are 57 conservation areas in Dover District. You can check if your property is within a conservation area by using the link to our online map above and searching using the postcode or street name.

Living in a conservation area

The designation of a conservation area indicates our positive commitment to the heritage of these areas. We have a duty to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of conservation areas, and to do this we may apply additional planning controls over particular types of development. However, the aim is not to prevent change but rather to manage it to ensure that an area retains its special historic or architectural character whilst remaining a vibrant and desirable place to live, work and visit.

Development in conservation areas is more strictly controlled than elsewhere. You will need to apply for planning permission for demolition and for certain alterations which would normally be 'permitted development'. For example, planning permission is required when any of the following are proposed:

  • Installation of external cladding such as weather-boarding or false stone
  • Erection of roof dormers
  • Demolition of any wall, gate or fence which is more than 1m in height and adjacent to a highway, or more than 2m elsewhere.

This list is not definitive, so if you are in any doubt whether or not you need planning permission, please see our making planning applications page.

Conservation Area Appraisals

As part of our duty to preserve or enhance conservation areas it is important to understand what makes it a special place and we do this by producing conservation area appraisals.  An appraisal identifies features which make a positive or negative contribution to the character or appearance of the conservation area, and can present recommendations, for example, identifying opportunities to make beneficial changes or to apply further planning controls to help retain the special interest of the area.  Unfortunately the majority of our conservation areas do not have appraisals, so the council is working either with local community groups or consultants to address this.  

The following links will take you to the current approved conservation area appraisals and their relevant maps and other documents, including Article 4 Directions where relevant:

Article 4 Directions

Some of our conservation areas have had Article 4 Directions applied.  This is a planning tool which limits permitted development rights for dwelling houses in order to ensure that any changes are managed with the character or appearance of the conservation area in mind.

The following conservation areas have had Article 4 Directions applied, details of which can be found on the main pages for each conservation area (above) or by clicking the link below:

 Further information


Contact us

Tel: 01304 872486

Email: conservation@dover.gov.uk