Conservation areas are defined as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.
The council has a duty to determine from time to time which parts of its area are of special interest and designate them as conservation areas. The decision to designate a proposed conservation area rests with the council; however, it must consult with the local community prior to designation and have regard to the representations received. Designation does not prevent change but is intended to provide the basis for the positive management of an area and for planning authorities to bring forward proposals for their preservation or enhancement.
There are 12 such areas within the borough that generally contain a high proportion of surviving historic buildings or are particularly attractive in appearance. They are designated because of their special architectural or historic interest. The council has produced character appraisals and management plans for each conservation area that assess and define what makes them so special.
Church Close - within town centre
Development controlled by conservation area designation includes:
- new development (eg, construction of new buildings)
- extensions and alterations of existing buildings
- the demolition of existing buildings and structures – demolition requires conservation area consent
- the siting of advertisements
- the installation of solar panels and wind turbines
- the siting of satellite dishes
- works to trees requiring notice to be given to the council
- minor developments (such as stone cladding or hard standings)
Article 4 Directions
In addition to conservation area designations, the council can impose Article 4 Directions, which restrict permitted development rights for works which would ordinarily be permitted without planning permission. The Direction itself does not prohibit any action, but means that a landowner is required to seek planning consent, whereas without the Direction this would not be necessary.
In Chesterfield there are three Article 4 Directions in force that control works in particular conservation area designations, and one Article 4 Direction in force for a site elsewhere in the borough:
- Abercrombie Street conservation area
- Barrow Hill conservation area
- town centre conservation area
- Upper Newbold Close/Moorhay Close and Water Meadow Lane
The document below details each of the four Article 4 Directions alphabetically and indicates exactly what permitted development rights have been removed or restricted.