Conservation Areas

Page updated on: 12/04/2024

Conservation Areas are parts of a town or village which have ‘special architectural or historic interest’ relating to buildings and notable characteristics of an area. Such characteristics could include significant views, a historic street layout, distinguishing buildings or evidence of historic uses of areas. Where these elements come together, they create a distinctive historic environment.Green infrastructure such as parks, gardens, hedges, trees and water features are also important in a conservation area and contribute to its character.

Conservation Areas have extra planning controls applied to them to help preserve or enhance their character and protect their settings

Carmarthenshire has 27 conservation areas that have been designated for their special architectural or historic interest:-

And the following in Carmarthen:-


Planning Permission is required to:

  • demolish any building or certain boundaries within a conservation area
  • substantially alter or build a new structure/boundary - a Heritage Impact Assessment is also required in this instance.
  • raise the ridge/expanding the size of a roof or install a dormer window.
  • install a roof light.
  • clad walls – in most cases, unless repairing or renewing an existing surface
  • install satellite dishes - on an elevation fronting a highway, on a chimney, and on a building over 15 metres high.
  • demolish a chimney.
  • install, alter or replace a chimney, flue soil or vent pipe on a wall or roof on a principal or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • build front, side and two-storey rear extensions.
  • build detached ancillary buildings, garden sheds or stores to the side of the dwelling house.
  • undertake surfacing and ground works.

You will need Conservation Area Consent in addition to Planning Permission to:

  • demolish any building or certain boundaries within a conservation area

You may need planning permission to do the following:

  • maintenance and repairs
  • renew or replace a roof covering.
  • install solar panels – subject to certain conditions.
  • build single storey rear extensions constructed in materials of similar appearance to those used on the existing house – subject to other criteria in respect of height and rear projection.

Extra planning regulations in Conservation Areas

In some conservation areas additional planning regulations may be applicable. These are known as Article 4 Directions and remove permitted development rights for certain alterations extensions and changes of use. This means that planning permission is required where an Article 4 Direction is in place. To find out if an Article 4 Direction is in place in a specific conservation area please see below tab.

Works to trees

All trees in Conservation Areas are protected, essentially having the same level of protection as a Tree with a Tree Preservation Order.  If you are considering any works to trees in a Conservation Area, please click here for further information.

The Welsh Government Planning Portal is a useful source of information.

If you are unsure about whether or not you need to obtain planning permission or conservation area consent for a change you are considering, please contact the Built Heritage Team on


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.

Apply for planning consent in a conservation area   Apply for consent for demolition in a conservation area



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:

  • Cwmdu
  • Laugharne / Taf Estuary
  • Llandovery
  • Llangadog