Planning permission in conservation areas

Conservation areas have stricter planning controls than other areas so you might need planning permission to carry out any development.

You’ll need planning permission if you want to:

  • extend a house by more than 50 cubic metres or 10% of the original house
  • clad any part of the exterior of a building
  • add to or alter the shape of a roof
  • erect a building larger than 10 cubic metres within the grounds of a house
  • install an antenna, satellite dish, solar panels or other renewables on a chimney or roof slope that faces a road or is publicly visible
  • demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres
  • demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing over 1 metre high next to a road, footpath or public open space
  • demolish any gate, fence, wall or railing over 2 metres high

Check if you need planning permission

If you’re not sure whether you need planning permission you can find guidance on the Planning Portal website.

If you’re planning any major work in a conservation area then you’ll need to make a pre-application enquiry so that a planning officer can visit the site and give you a formal view.

How long it takes

Decisions on a planning application are usually given within eight weeks, or up to 13 weeks for major work. This includes a statutory 21 day period where neighbours and other interested parties will be consulted.

Carrying out work to trees

All trees in a conservation area with a trunk diameter of 75mm when measured at 1.5m above the ground are protected.

If you’re thinking of cutting down, topping, trimming or uprooting a tree, or carrying out work close to a tree, then email development.management@bristol.gov.uk.

You should include the following in your email:

  • the location of tree or trees marked on a plan with the site address
  • details of species of tree
  • supporting photographs
  • a precise description of the work

We’ll assess how important the tree is to the conservation area and decide whether to make a Tree Preservation Order.

We need six weeks’ notice in most cases, but only five days’ notice if the tree is dead or dangerous.

Carrying out work without permission

It may be a criminal offence to demolish or carry out work to a building or tree in a conservation area without necessary permission.  Find out more about planning enforcement.