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Conservation area consent

- a modified form of listed building control, required in respect of demolition only, applied to unlisted buildings in conservation areas. Since 1997, following what has become known as the "Shimizu" case, conservation area consent, which always seemed a fairly straightforward matter, has developed a number of complications. In this case, a developer who wished to maximise floorspace, applied for listed building consent to remove chimney breasts. Consent was refused, but the applicant, after a House of Lords ruling, was granted comensation on the grounds that the works, considered as partial demolition by the local authority and therefore not eligible for compensation, was considered by the Lords as an alteration which was eligible for compensation. The practical implication of this decision, is that works of partial demolition previously always regarded as demolition for which conservation area consent was necessary, now constitute an alteration for which conservaton area consent is not required. If there are no Article 4 Directions in place, this means that there is no control over the partial removal of items such as walls and smaller outhouses, the cumulative effect of which could be disasterous on the character and appearance of certain conservation areas.