Skip to main content
  1. Home
  2. Planning and building
  3. Historic buildings and conservation areas
  4. Conservation area maps and appraisals

Conservation area maps and appraisals

The Forest of Dean has 27 conservation areas, and half of them have character appraisals. Appraisals help with decisions about the suitability of proposals within conservation areas.

Select a town from the list to view its conservation area map and appraisal (if an appraisal has been carried out).

Conservation Areas are places of special architectural or historic interest, which have a particular character or appearance worthy of preservation or enhancement. Groups of buildings, walls, trees and hedges, open spaces, views and the historic settlement patterns all combine to create an individual sense of place. It is this character, rather than individual buildings, that conservation areas status seeks to protect. 

Implications of Conservation Area status

Conservation Area status does not mean that no further change or development will be permitted in that place, but rather that any potential changes will be managed in a way that preserves or enhances the conservation area. An accumulation of poorly judged additions or losses of traditional features, each apparently minor in its own right, can cause significant harm to the character of a conservation area as a whole.


Planning applications for development within conservation areas, including new buildings and alterations to existing buildings, should demonstrate how the proposals would preserve or enhance the character of the area. Special attention should be given to the design, scale and use of materials, so that the existing character of the area is not damaged.

Conservation Area status brings with it certain restrictions to the permitted development rights enjoyed by homeowners and businesses (such as the rights to carry out development without planning permission).

Here is a list of the types of residential development that may require planning permission within a conservation area. It's not a definitive list so if you're unsure if planning permission is required please contact us.

  • Extensions to the side of a property
  • Two-storey extensions to the rear of a property
  • External cladding of a property (including stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles)
  • Alterations to roofs for the enlargement of a property (including dormer windows)
  • Windows and doors, in some limited circumstances
  • Satellite dishes, antennae, chimneys, flues and other elements added to, and protruding from walls or roof slopes fronting the highway or forming the main or side elevation of a property
  • The erection of some structures within the grounds of a property (including garages, sheds and outbuildings)


For the demolition of structures in conservation areas with volumes exceeding 115 cubic metres, an application for Conservation Area Consent is usually needed in addition to any other permissions required for subsequent development. If a replacement structure is proposed, particularly where the structure it is proposed to demolish has some merit, the relative merits of the proposed replacement will need to be set against those of the existing structure. The two are not indivisible, and in such cases applications for Conservation Area Consent should not be made in isolation.


Owners of trees in conservation areas must give the council six weeks notice of their intention to carry out works (such as lopping, topping or felling) to a tree or trees before carrying out any works. Read more about working on protected trees.

Read more about conservation areas on the Historic England website.

Article Four (2) Directions

Article Four (2) Directions will only be placed on conservation areas which are thought to be of considerable importance and with the support of the local community. Article Four (2) Directions on properties within conservation areas restrict the permitted development rights of the owners.

There two local Article Four directions:

  • In Newnham Conservation Area to further protect a historic area and prevent inappropriate alterations, for example the introduction of uPVC windows in a historic building. This was approved by the Executive Committee on the 16 November 2006.
  • On land off Redhouse Lane, Murrells Road and Smithy Close in English Bicknor which aims to protect designated important open areas from enclosure by walls or fences. This was agreed by the Development Control Committee on the 14 June 2011. View the map: 

Heritage Character Assessment

This character assessment offers a broad overview of the wide range of heritage assets enjoyed by the whole district (designated and non-designated), where they are and how they are unique to the area. 

This assessment provides an evidence base for making informed and balanced decisions on whether future development sites will have an impact (negative or positive) on our special historical features and the potential for enhancing and protecting these assets. This assessment does not attempt to cover each and every heritage asset within the district, but seeks to identify and capture a flavour of the general history and characteristics which make this district so special.