Local authorities have a duty to designate areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.
This is achieved through the use of Conservation Areas in the historic parts of towns and villages, and there are currently 27 of these in our district. Administration of the law relating to development within these Conservation Areas lies with us.
In Wakefield we have a variety of types ranging from city centre conservation areas to conservation areas covering rural hamlets.
Instead of protecting an individual building, a conservation area seeks to preserve an area's whole character. This character may be made up of:
Designation brings with it a number of controls including:
Control over the demolition of buildings
Strengthened controls over minor development
Special provision for the protection of trees
The objective of these measures is to provide for the preservation and enhancement of the special interest of the place. The intention is not to stifle change, but to provide for the positive management of these unique areas.
Trees in Conservation Areas are afforded special protection.
Conservation area appraisals
The Council is undertaking a programme of conservation area appraisals. These appraisals assess the special character of a conservation area and justify its designation.
The Conservation areas are:
Linked to each of the above are management guidelines which include policies for the protection and enhancement of that special character. This process enables a clear understanding of what is special about an area and helps inform and support decisions regarding development.