Conservation areas are parts of our towns and villages that have a special architectural or historical interest.
It is important to preserve or enhance the special character of these areas and special attention is paid in the planning process to ensure historical features such as windows and doors are retained wherever possible.
Historical road layouts, groupings of buildings, street furniture and landscape all add to the appearance and character of these areas.
Under Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, we are required to review areas of special character that it thinks are worthy of preservation and designate them as conservation areas.
St Helens has eight conservation areas.
All of these have an appraisal and management plan, copies of which are available to view at the foot of this page.
Control over development
Within conservation areas, the council has powers to control demolition, extensions and other alterations. Planning permission may be needed for changes to buildings, which would normally be permitted elsewhere. Planning permission is needed to demolish a building or to demolish parts such as chimneys.
Extra controls in most conservation areas
In most of the conservation areas, extra controls are in place to manage or resist alterations that affect public views of the area, such as the installation of UPVC windows and doors, removal of front garden walls or creation of hard-standings for cars. Copies of these 'Article 4 Directions' can be viewed at the bottom of the page.
The council also has powers to protect trees in conservation areas. Anyone wishing to undertake any work to a tree in a conservation area would need to notify us and give at least six weeks' notice before starting any work. This is to ensure that the Trees and Woodland Officer can decide whether the work is necessary and whether a Tree Preservation Order should protect the tree further.