Rossendale Borough Council

Conservation areas

Information on conservation areas

Rossendale currently has 9 Conservation Areas, designated under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and defined as "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance."

The reasons for designation vary widely but all Conservation Areas have in common historic and architectural features which make them worthy of additional protection. The Council recognises that this places extra responsibilities, and in some cases extra costs, on owners when proposing material changes to their properties. For this reason, the Council encourages owners to contact the Conservation team at the earliest opportunity when proposing works, to check whether permission will be necessary and for advice on the detail of their proposals, for instance on the design of features or specification of materials.

Conservation Area Consent

In most case where the demolition of a building or structure within a conservation area is proposed, owners must apply for Conservation Area Consent. The application forms and guidance can be downloaded from the Planning Portal

Planning Permission

Within conservation areas, the sensitive re-use of existing buildings is generally encouraged. Proposals for new development should respect the prevailing character of the area and exhibit high standards of design. In addition, certain forms of development that would normally be classified as permitted development will require planning permission. These can include:

- Extensions / alterations to a house or its roof

- Cladding, rendering or similar treatments

- Buildings erected in the grounds / curtilage of dwellings

- Chimneys, flues, soil or vent pipes

- Satellite dishes or other antenna

- Certain extensions to industrial buildings or warehouses

- Certain electricity or telecommunication buildings or installations

If you have any doubt about whether permission will be required, you are strongly advised to contact the Council's Development Control or Conservation Section using the details below.

Any development or demolition proposals within a conservation area need to be fully justified and supporting heritage statement will be required. Details of what is expected within a heritage statement canbe found in the council's planning validation policy (which can be found in Related Downloads to the right of the screen).

Article 4 Directions

In addition to normal Conservation Area restrictions, the Council may withdraw certain or all permitted development rights where there is perceived to be a threat to the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. Such action is referred to as the making of an Article 4 Direction. There are currently 3 Conservation Areas within the Borough where Article 4 Directions have been authorised and where stringent requirements for any type of development will apply:

- Chatterton / Strongstry

- Irwell Vale

- Bacup Town Centre

A copy of these three Article 4 Directions can be found in Related Downloads to the right of the screen.


Trees and woodland often form an important part of the character and setting of Conservation Areas. Anyone wishing to fell, prune or uproot a tree in a Conservation Area must give the council 6 weeks prior written notice. The Council then has an opportunity to determine the contribution and importance of the tree and, if appropriate, make a Tree Preservation Order. Application forms adn guidance notes for a 'works to trees' application can be found on the Planning Portal Please also see the council's validation policy to check what supporting information needs to be included with your application (see Related Downloads).

You can check if your property or land is within a conservation area on the council's online map service.

Conservation Area Appraisals

The council completed the appraisal of all 9 conservation areas during 2010/ 2011. The process involved the comprehensive assessment of the historic, architectural and spatial qualities of each area. The appraisal documents, togther with a management plan for each area, have been adopted by the council. All the appraisals and maps can be viewed in Related Downloads to thr right of the screen.


Department: Development Control

Telephone: 01706 238642

One Stop Shop, Lord Street, Rawtenstall, BB4 7LZ