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About conservation areas

Conservation areas were first introduced by the Civic Amenities Act 1967, which gives local councils the power to designate areas which people generally feel have a special character worth protecting or enhancing. They depend on much more than the quality of individual buildings, and take into account features such as building layout, open spaces, boundaries, thoroughfares, the mix of uses, use of materials and street furniture. It is also common for a conservation area to include a number of listed buildings.

The designation of a conservation area by the council introduces additional planning procedures that are intended to make sure that any alterations do not detract from an area's character and appearance. The designation of a conservation area aims to guide, not prevent, change.

In order to provide a clear and sound understanding of a conservation area's special interest and how best to manage potential change, the council has prepared detailed character appraisals and management plans.

What is a conservation area?

A conservation area is an 'area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.

There are 11 conservation areas in South Tyneside. They are:

  • Cleadon conservation area
  • Cleadon Hills conservation area
  • East Boldon conservation area
  • Hebburn Hall conservation area
  • Mariners' Cottages conservation area
  • Mill Dam conservation area
  • Monkton conservation area
  • St Paul's conservation area
  • West Boldon conservation area
  • Westoe conservation area
  • Whitburn conservation area

Conservation areas are very much part of the familiar and cherished local scene and can vary considerably in terms of their special qualities, character and appearance. Conservation areas are predominantly of local value although in some instances they are of regional and national significance. It is the whole area rather than individual buildings that provide the focus of special interest.

The historic layout of roads and paths, characteristic building and paving materials, public and private spaces, greens and trees, and the different uses of the buildings all contribute to the quality and appearance of a historic area.

Living in a conservation area

Conservation areas are not about preserving areas exactly as they are and preventing any further development from taking place. They are concerned with how change should happen and where, ensuring that through the management of change, the special qualities of the conservation area are protected and enhanced.

For further information about owning a property in a conservation area, please refer to the document Living in a Conservation Area6.28MB

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