Conservation Areas are designated to preserve and enhance the special character of areas of architectural or historic interest. We have a duty to consider the designation of such areas under Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
The special interest of a conservation area is expressed through a combination of characteristics. Examples of these characteristics include the:
- pattern of settlement
- organisation of space and buildings plots
- network of routes
- style and type of buildings, including their materials/detailing
Green infrastructure is also important and parks, gardens, hedges, trees and water features can all contribute to the character of a conservation area.
Carmarthenshire has 27 conservation areas that have been designated for their special architectural or historic interest:-
- Newcastle Emlyn
- St Clears
And the following in Carmarthen:-
- Carmarthen Town
- Lammas Street
- North Carmarthen
- Parcmaen Street / St Davids
- Picton Terrace / Penllwyn Park
- Pontgarreg and St David's Hospital
- Priory Street
- The Parade / Esplande
- The Quay / Towyside
- Water Street
The purpose of designating a Conservation Area is to provide the Council with an additional measure of control over an area that they consider to be of special historic of architectural value.
This does not mean that development proposals cannot take place, or that works to your property will be automatically refused. It means however that the Council will have regard to the effect of your proposals on the designation in addition to their normal assessment.
If you live in a conservation area, you will need conservation area consent to do the following:
- Demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres. There are a few exceptions - you can get further information from the relevant council.
- To demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing more than one metre high next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or more than two metres high elsewhere
- There are certain exemptions from the general requirement to seek conservation area consent for the demolition of buildings in conservation areas.
Directions authorised by Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 are used to remove certain permitted development rights.
There are tighter controls over the level of permitted development within conservation areas than elsewhere, in many cases such control may still not be enough to safeguard the special character of an area, and prevent the incremental erosion of the areas’ special character and appearance, particularly where there are a significant number of unlisted buildings in residential use.
Several small changes such as replacing original roof tiles with sympathetic modern materials, substituting traditional windows with uPVC or aluminium replacements and removing front boundary walls or hedges to provide off-street parking can cumulatively detract from the 'special' character of an area .
There are currently four Article 4 Directions served in three conservation areas namely:
- Laugharne / Taf Estuary
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