A Conservation Area is defined as ‘an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Conservation Areas give broader protection than listing individual buildings and all the elements within the Area are recognised as contributing in some way to its character.
Conservation Areas are an important part of Dartmoor’s historic environment and focus on the historic cores of our settlements. There are currently 25 Conservation Areas designated within Dartmoor National Park. To help manage these, Dartmoor National Park Authority produces Conservation Area Character Appraisals which identify and define the special interest of each area.
The purpose of designation is not to prevent change but to manage it in ways that maintain or strengthen the area’s special qualities. If you live in a Conservation Area you may need planning permission from Dartmoor National Park Authority before making external alterations to your property. This includes substantial demolition of a building or structure. Under the National Planning Policy Framework, Conservation Areas are designated heritage assets and their conservation is given great weight in planning decisions.
> Check if I live in a Conservation Area
Trees in Conservation Areas
Trees within Conservation Areas are protected. If you are thinking of felling or pruning a tree you must notify Dartmoor National Park Authority 6 weeks in advance.