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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

A Conservation Area is an area of special historical or architectural interest that we intend to preserve or enhance.

We have identified 22 Conservation Areas in Dudley Borough. Some are canal centred, some are set around open space or canals and others around local shopping or residential centres. They are a particularly important part of the Borough's heritage, which the Council is committed to preserving and enhancing.

  • Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest and fine examples of the Borough's unique and varied heritage. They invariably have a concentration of historic buildings many of which are statutorily listed buildings or locally listed buildings.
  • Conservation areas in Dudley Borough all reflect a local distinctiveness - that is they reflect the style of the area and have developed over many years. They normally include many varied features, both special and commonplace.
  • Their character and attraction comprise more than buildings alone. The uses they are put to and the spaces around and between them are also important. A conservation area, therefore, protects the whole area and not just the buildings within it.
  • The aim of designation is to control and manage change to conserve what is special about the area and, where possible, improve it.
  • The designation of a conservation area can attract heritage based funding that would not otherwise be available.
  • Conservation Areas are designated by Dudley Council, following public consultation. From time to time the Council reviews the areas and their boundaries.

Is my property in a conservation area?

You can find out if a property is in a conservation area by:

Planning controls in conservation areas

Change is managed in conservation areas in order to maintain the area's special character & appearance. Planning permission is required for the demolition of most buildings and some structures. For further information please visit the Planning Portal.

However in summary, in Conservation Areas:

  • planning permission is required for extension and alterations, these controls being applied more strictly in Mushroom Green, The Leasowes and Love Lane where an Article 4 direction is in-place, (where minor alterations will also trigger the requirement for planning consent);
  • trees with trunk diameters over 75mm at breast height (DBH) are protected. You must notify the Council in writing six weeks in advance of any intended tree work unless the trees are dead, dying or dangerous. In such cases, a replacement tree must be planted. More information about trees is available at the links below:

  • Special consideration is given to the preservation of historic and architectural detail of buildings, including features like single-glazed timber framed sash windows. These can be replaced on a like-for-like basis without having to meet energy efficiency standards, however, we can provide information on ways to make your historic building more energy efficient whilst still preserving its conservation value;
  • if the building exceeds 115 cubic metres, planning permission will be required for its demolition, regardless of whether the building is listed or not; and
  • where the intent is to alter or demolish a building or to erect a new building, a Heritage Statement will be required. In addition to the standard plan drawings expected as part of any application for planning permission, the Heritage Statement will set out the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the development and how this fits in with the current context of the area.
  • Satellite dishes

Demolition in conservation areas

You need permission for the demolition of an unlisted building and permission to take down any wall, gate or fence.

From 1 October 2013, the Government has changed the legislation so there will no longer be the requirement to submit a separate application for conservation area consent for the demolition of these structures in a conservation area, demolition works in conservation areas will now require planning permission.

This change means that whilst the permission of the Council is still required, it's no longer necessary to submit two applications for development proposals involving the demolition and replacement of a building in a conservation area (one for planning permission and one for conservation area consent). The existing fee exemption will continue to apply where the planning application relates solely to demolition works.

Article 4 directions

Extensions and alterations which are normally permitted are controlled in designated areas by what is known as an Article 4 Direction. 

Conservation Area character appraisals and management plans

We have a number of published Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans which describe the main features of special architectural and historic interest which contribute to the character and appearance of Dudley’s Conservation Areas and justify their designation.

They should be used alongside existing statutory planning policies, detailed guidance and site-specific development briefs to provide additional information for development proposals.

Conservation Area Character Appraisals & Management Plans

Appraisals analyse and describe the character and appearance of an area. They should be used alongside existing statutory planning policies, detailed guidance and site-specific development briefs to provide additional information for development proposals.

Conservation Area Character Appraisals and Management Plans have been produced for the following Conservation Areas in Dudley: