The Village is fortunate to have two Conservation Areas within its boundaries. But living in a Conservation Area not only comes with great delights, but often a great many questions as well. In this 2-part series we look at everything from extensions to windows.
By Catherine Larmouth, WVRA planning sub-commitee
To help with those head-scratching queries, we’ve compiled a list of some FAQs and answers to help guide you through the ins and outs of living in an area where normal rules don’t always apply. This is just guidance, so do remember that you should always check with the council before undertaking any work.
What are conservation areas?
- Conservation areas are sections of land that have been designated as being of special architectural or historic interest.
- 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 and trees that are considered to make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area.
- Conservation areas are not designated to stop future development, but to ensure that new buildings fit in with the existing special character of the area.
How do I find out if my property is in one of the conservation areas?
You can check the Waltham Forest website to see if you are in a conservation area using the link: walthamforest.gov.uk/content/conservation-areas. You can also download leaflets about the areas from the website. There are 14 conservation areas in the borough of Waltham Forest, and two of these relate to Walthamstow Village: Walthamstow Village Conservation Area and Orford Road Conservation Area (see maps below).
What are Article 4 directions?
- Article 4 directions have been applied to most conservation areas to retain high- quality architectural features, and make sure any changes are considerate of their surroundings.
- These directions restrict permitted development rights within a specified street or area.
- They only apply to houses used as a single dwelling house, because commercial properties and flats don’t have permitted development rights.
Can I put an extension on my property or add a conservatory?
You will need to apply for full planning permission to add an extension or conservatory to your flat. If your flat is part of a listed building, you will also need to apply for listed building consent.
- No permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey
- Maximum height of a single storey rear extension is 4m
- Single storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3m if an attached house, or by 4m if a detached house
- No more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’ (as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948) can be covered by additions or other buildings
- Side extensions are not permitted•Verandas, balconies or raised platforms are not permitted
- Materials have to be similar in appearance to the existing house•No cladding of the exterior is permitted
- If your house is a listed building, you will need to apply for listed building consent to add a conservatory or extension
The temporary change to the rules meaning that householders can build larger single storey rear extensions under permitted development until 30th May 2019 (up to 6m for attached and 8m for detached), subject to receiving prior approval, does NOT apply in conservation areas.
Can I change windows or doors?
You will need to apply for full planning permission for changes to a window or door if:
- It will be installed where there was not one before
- It will be made of a different material to the existing one (for instance, replacing a timber window with a uPVC one)
- It will be of a different size to the existing one
- It will differ in appearance to the existing one (for instance, replacing a sash window with a casement window or altering the glazing bar pattern)
If the flat is part of a listed building you will also need to apply for listed building consent to alter, install or replace any windows or doors.
You will need to apply for householder planning permission for changes to a window or door if:
- It will be made of a different material to the existing (for instance, replacing a timber window with a uPVC window)
- Your house is covered by an Article 4 Direction and you want to install or replace windows/doors on the front of your house or side if visible from the street
- A new window will be located on the upper floor of the side of your house (including the roof slope) and would be clear-glazed and openable (unless the opening part of the window is more than 1.7m above the floor of the room in which it is installed).
Replacing timber windows with uPVC windows is not normally considered acceptable in conservation areas.
If your house is a listed building you will also need to apply for listed building consent to alter, install or replace any windows or doors.
Can I replace my single glazing with double glazing?
Flats and houses
If there is no change in material, colour, size and design and your flat is not a listed building or covered by an Article 4 Direction, planning permission would not be required to replace single glazed windows with double glazing. The same applies to houses.
Do always check with the council before starting any works.
This article first appeared in the Winter 2017 edition of “The Village” magazine.