Conservation areas

Conservation areas can be defined as "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".

We are fortunate in having many fine buildings and areas that are distinguished by their architecture, landscape and history, creating an attractive environment that often is the product of several different eras. These areas are important examples of our social, cultural and aesthetic history and must be safeguarded from indiscriminate or ill-considered change.

These areas often contain listed buildings. However, it is not always enough to protect these buildings in isolation. Their surroundings and general environment are often of equal importance and conservation areas are intended to protect that environment. We have a responsibility to ensure that the character of these areas is not diminished in our lifetime.

There are 16 conservation areas in Caerphilly county borough:

  • Bute Town
  • Cwmcarn Memorial Park
  • Draethen
  • Gelligaer
  • Gelligroes
  • Gellihaf
  • Groeswen
  • Llanbradach
  • Maesycwmmer/Hengoed
  • Nelson
  • Newbridge Gateway
  • Pontywaun Garden Suburbs
  • Rhymney Town
  • Ruperra Castle & Park
  • Tredomen
  • Oakdale
Conservation area boundaries (PDF 2.5mb)

Living in a conservation area

When you buy a property, the land charges search will reveal whether you live in a conservation area or not and whether an Article 4 Direction applies. Plans showing properties included within a conservation area can also be seen at Planning Reception at our offices at Pontllanfraith. If you own a property in an conservation area, you are strongly advised to check with planning if any additional controls apply before you carry out any works to your property.

The principle effects of conservation area designation are as follows:

  • Conservation area consent is required for the demolition of any building or structure and the local authority or the National Assembly for Wales have the power to take enforcement action or instigate a criminal prosecution if consent is not obtained;
  • Notice must be given to the local authority before works are carried out to any tree in the area and the local authority have 6 weeks to consider whether a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) should be made;
  • Some minor forms of development that are normally 'permitted' without planning permission outside conservation areas may require consent within the designated area prior to works being undertaken. For example, stone cladding or positioning of satellite dishes;
  • Extra publicity is given to planning applications affecting conservation areas and the planning authority must take into account the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character of the area when determining such applications;
  • We are under a general duty to ensure the preservation and enhancement of conservation areas and in particular to prepare proposals through a public consultation process to that end;
  • The display of advertisements may be more restricted than elsewhere;
  • Where land or property is used in a way that 'adversely affects the amenity of the area,' the local planning authority may use its powers to ensure owners undertake maintenance or clearance works to a derelict property, for example;
  • Limited financial assistance may be available for the repair of the building in the area.

If you require any further details on any of the grants outlined above, please contact our Conservation and Design Officer on 01443 866766.

Do I need permission to do work to a property in a conservation area?

If you live in a conservation area and intend to carry out works to your building or within the garden of your building, which you believe may effect the character of the area and you are unsure whether planning permission is required, please contact or Planning department prior to starting any works.

You contact us if you plan to carry out any of the following:

  • Alterations to the external appearance of properties
  • Any works that will alter the external appearance of your property such as re-roofing, replacement windows etc.
  • Altering or removing boundary walls or hedges
  • Altering vehicle access or parking arrangements around the property.
  • Any pruning or cutting, or "lopping" or "topping", to any trees or shrubs with a stem diameter measuring over 75mm (at chest height) (See Tree preservation orders for details of how to apply for consent)

Conservation area design guides

Conservation area design guides are prepared to give clear and consistent guidance to those looking to build or alter properties in the conservation area. Visit our Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG)section for the latest conservation area design guides.

Article 4 Directions

Directions authorised by Article 4 of the Town and Country planning (General permitted development) Order 1995 are used to remove certain permitted development rights. This is because although there are tighter controls over the level of permitted development within conservation areas than elsewhere, in many cases such control may still not be enough to safeguard the character of an area, particularly where there are a significant number of unlisted buildings in residential use.

Several small changes such as replacing original roof tiles with sympathetic modern materials, substituting traditional windows with uPVC or aluminium replacements and removing front boundary walls or hedges to provide off-street parking can cumulatively detract from the 'special' character of an area.

There are currently Article 4 Directions served in three conservation areas namely, Bute Town Pontywaun Garden Suburbs, Crosskeys and Rhymney Town. However, we are regularly monitoring this situation to consider the possibility of extending the use of Article 4 Directions to other Conservation Areas.

If you require any further information about Article 4 Directions, please contact our Conservation and Design Officer on 01443 866766.

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