Section 69(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 states that the statutory definition of a conservation area is "an area of special architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".
Torridge District Council's Conservation Areas are regularly under review. Following Government advice reviews are accompanied by a character assessment which forms the basis of a Conservation Area Appraisal. This is a published document that may be adopted by the District Council as supplementary planning guidance. Such an Appraisal will assist in the application of development plan policies and provide a sound, defensible basis for development control and other decisions.
CONSERVATION AREA POLICIES
DM07 & ST15: Details of which can be found on the following link: North Devon and Torridge Local Plan
ARTICLE 4(2) DIRECTION
Certain types of permitted development, particularly those applying to dwelling houses, if carried out in an insensitive manner, can have unfortunate effects upon the character and appearance of conservation areas. Torridge District Council has therefore made a number of Article 4(2) directions which controls certain categories of work to dwelling houses in specific conservation areas. Further information on the extent of an Article 4(2) Direction in a specific conservation area is available from the Council's Planning Services Department.
THE EFFECT OF DESIGNATION
(1) Conservation Area consent will be required for the demolition of all unlisted buildings (other than excepted buildings) in the Area.
(2) Planning applications for development which would in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority affect the character or appearance of the conservation area must be given publicity and representations received as a result of the publicity must be taken into account in determining the application.
(3) The Authority comes under a duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area in the exercise of their powers under the Planning acts and Part 1 of the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953.
(4) It is an offence, subject to certain exceptions, to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy any tree in the area except with the consent of the Local Planning Authority.
(5) Permitted development rights in a conservation area are more restricted than in other areas.
(6) The Local Planning Authority is under a duty to formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the Conservation Area.