Projects within Conservation Areas

GBS Architectural on January 20, 2021

We are regularly engaged in projects or potential projects located within conservation areas, there is usually, but not always an air of apprehension in the voices of the homeowners calling us about these potential projects, we hope that this blog post helps to alleviate some if not all those worries.

It is important to state first that from our view there is no real cause for concern when working on these types of projects, it is simply a case of understanding the conservation area in question and applying a robust design process in line with the local authorities’ appraisal of the conservation area. Like most information pertaining to the built environment the information is out there but extracting the relevant points and policies can be difficult and this is where we at GBS Architectural are on hand to work through the process on your behalf.

Whether you have a Loft Conversion in Fulham, a Ground and First Floor Extension in Wimbledon or a Ground Floor and Loft Extension with a complete Internal Re-Model in Clapham it is very possible that you can achieve your ideal project within your conservation area. We know this because those listed projects are all projects that we have on at this moment that have already gained planning approval in the past 3 months.

With an ever-expanding number of conservation areas in London it is not hard to imagine a time were the number of properties within conservation areas out numbers those without, with the ever increasing need to develop within the city it becomes more important to conserve those with unique features or architectural merit.

As mentioned, understanding the requirements will put us and yourself within a position of strength for the project as whole. To do this we investigate the local authorities’ guidance for both standard works and the conservation area appraisal and in doing so key points can be highlighted that will directly affect the project and that guidance can then be incorporated into our design process to ensure that your project brief is met.

It would be remiss of us to not state that it is to be expected to see that there will be some restrictions on the potential works you may be able to do but this is usually down to the final aesthetic and the design choice such as material choices and overall massing of the proposal.

When works are of a larger sizer or of a more contentious nature, we would look to recommend that we engage the local authority in their pre-application process. This would allow us to gain initial feedback on a proposal without the more time-consuming formal planning route by allowing us to discuss the proposal with the local conservation officer who will have a large input in any final planning decision. This process may add a little time to the project, but it is common for the time spent earlier to be re-couped later in a more efficient planning application.

If you are ready and looking to start your next project within in a Conservation Area in London or for more information, please do give our team of Chartered Architectural Technologists and Architectural Designers a call on 020 3384 9464 or email us at

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