Conservation Areas are defined as areas of special architectural or historic interest the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.
The designated Conservation Areas in Rother District are:
Battle, Bexhill Old Town, Bexhill Town Centre, Burwash, Northiam, Sedlescombe, Robertsbridge, Rye,Ticehurst, Winchelsea. Details of the extent of the Conservation Areas can be found in the Conservation Area Appraisals (available to download) but are primarily the centres of the above towns and villages. These appraisals are gradually being added to the Council's Website, and are available to view at the Town Hall offices.
The extent of the designated Conservation areas may be viewed in PDF format.
Development in Conservation Areas
Development in Conservation Areas is more strictly controlled than elsewhere, the intention being not to prevent change but to ensure that the main features of the area are conserved and that new development is sympathetic in character. Thus, only detailed plans and not outline applications will normally be considered for new development in Conservation Areas. The Local Planning Authority will require new development in Conservation Areas to have close regard to the scale, traditional building forms, materials and techniques characteristic of the areas. The height, size, design, roofscape, plot width and visual appearance of new development and the design of any new vehicular access, will be required to respect the character of the Conservation Area. The character is composed of many elements; the mixture of historical periods, the informality of the streetscape; the absence of formal rectilinear compositions; broken sight lines and profiles of buildings and interesting skylines. This not to say that contemporary design themes will not be allowed but a recognition that they present the designer with a considerable challenge if they are to be successful.
Demolitions in Conservation Areas
Anyone wishing to totally demolish a building or other structure (for example, a wall) within a Conservation Area, must first apply to the Local Planning Authority for Conservation Area consent. This is a separate procedure from applying for planning permission or listed building consent. There is a general presumption against the demolition of buildings or structures that are within the Conservation Area and contribute it its character and appearance.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Trees form an important element of many Conservation Areas and anyone proposing to fell or carry out work on trees in a Conservation Area must give the Local Planning Authority six weeks notice of their intention. This enables the Local Planning Authority to make a Tree Preservation Order if the proposed work is considered not to be in the interest of the tree or of the amenity of the area in which its stands.