Conservation Areas

Rossendale currently has 10 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. We recognise that this places extra responsibilities, and in some cases extra costs, on owners when proposing material changes to their properties. For this reason, we encourage 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.

Download the Conservation Area datasets here

This data is provided by Rossendale Borough Council under the Open Government Licence.

Conservation Area Consent

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 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 our Development Management Team 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 can be found in our Validation Checklist

Article 4 Directions

In addition to normal Conservation Area restrictions, we 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:

There are other Article 4 Directions which apply outside of Conservation Areas:

These additional four Article 4 Directions have been retrieved as part of the Digital Planning Improvement Project and published on the Council's website as of 14 June 2024. They might be open to challenge, although no evidence were found which suggest that these Directions have been cancelled since made. The Council is not minded to enforce any works undertaken under permitted development rights which have been removed from these four additional Article 4 Directions between the date they were made and the date of publication on the website (14 June 2024).

Download the Article 4 Direction datasets here

This data is provided by Rossendale Borough Council under the Open Government Licence.


For information on trees in a Conservation Area, please refer to Tree Works.

Conservation Area Appraisals

We completed the appraisal of all 9 conservation areas during 2010/ 2011, as well as the proposed Haslingden Conservation Area (which has since been designated). The process involved the comprehensive assessment of the historic, architectural and spatial qualities of each area. We have adopted the appraisal documents, together with a management plan for each area. All the appraisals and maps can be viewed below:

New Conservation Area Proposals

A consultation on new Conservation Areas has been undertaken as part of the draft Local Plan and ended on Monday 9 October 2017. Four additional Conservation Areas were proposed in Haslingden, Helmshore, Crawshawbooth and Newchurch and an extension to Chatterton and Strongstry Conservation Area was also being considered. Please note that the Haslingden Conservation Area has since been designated.

More information about the proposals are available in the Proposed new Conservation areas and extension to existing Conservation area document. The comments received during the consultation can be seen here.