Cheltenham Conservation Areas

Conservation areas are ‘any areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Conservation areas are protected under the same primary legislation as listed buildings, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, which requires that ‘special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area’.

The designation gives broader protection than listing as all features are recognised as part of its character. The emphasis is on buildings and their settings, including the appearance, proportion, height, and massing of buildings; street patterns, building lines and exterior spaces; and roofscapes, views and skyline features. Architectural details such as windows and doors are also important.

In Cheltenham, the Central Conservation Area includes the whole of the town centre, most of the Victorian, Edwardian and some of the later 20th century suburbs. It extends to 599 Hectares, and is split into 19 character areas. Six additional Conservation Areas have been designated at Swindon Village, St Mary’s (Charlton Kings), Prestbury, Cudnall Street, Bafford (Charlton Kings) and Poets (St Mark’s).

The Council has prepared  Character Appraisals & Management Plans for each of the Conservation Areas in the town (see Resources). These documents summarise the characteristics of significance within these historic areas and provide guidance to enable future proposals for change to be considered, and are adopted as supplementary planning documents. They therefore also carry significant weight in development control decisions.