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Conservation Areas

Information about the Conservation Areas in Fenland and what it means to live in one.

Neighbourhood Planning

A Conservation Area is an area which has been recognised for having "special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance."

Conservation Areas are designated by the Local Planning Authority (although in exceptional circumstances they could be created by Secretary of State or English Heritage.) They are created and afforded protection by virtue of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990.

The attributes that define the special character of an area will include the settlement morphology, buildings, street scenes and historical land. It also includes natural qualities of the area such as the public open spaces, gardens and trees.

Living in a Conservation Area

If you live within a Conservation Area, planning controls are tightened and there are greater controls over:

  • demolition
  • the protection of trees
  • development
  • minor works (including cladding a building, inserting dormers and attaching satellite dishes)

Where the Local Planning Authority is considering planning applications for development in Conservation Areas, the duty in law is that "special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area."

Conservation Areas in Fenland

Within Fenland there are 10 Conservation Areas focusing on historic parts of Chatteris, March, Whittlesey, Wisbech, Bowthorpe (in Wisbech), Leverington, Doddington, Parson Drove, Elm and Coates. These are shown by the maps below.

Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans

A Conservation Area Appraisal explains a Conservation Area's special interest and identifies the specific elements of the area which contribute to this. It is designed to allow everyone (including the public and planning professionals) to understand and appreciate what the special architectural and historic interest of the Conservation Area is about.

A Management Plan provides proposals for the preservation and enhancement of a Conservation Area. It presents a positive strategy for managing change, addressing issues and identifying enhancements within the Conservation Area. This ensures the area keeps its qualities as an area of special architectural and historic interest.

In the context of the planning system, a Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan are material considerations in the determination of planning applications affecting the Conservation Area and in the consideration of appeals dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate. Depending on the size of the Conservation Area, they may be published together or seperately. 

We have published these documents for all of Fenland's Conservation Areas - however, some documents are old and need to be updated and republished. The most up to date documents include the Wisbech Conservation Area Appraisal (March 2016), Wisbech Conservation Area Management Plan (March 2016), Doddington Conservation Area Appraisal (October 2011) and Leverington Conservation Area (January 2011). These can be downloaded below.

For copies of other conservation appraisals that are not listed below contact the Conservation Team at