Conservation areas

Conservation areas have special architectural or historic character. Planning permission is more likely to be needed for building work if it will affect a conservation area.

Conservation areas are areas of the borough with special architectural or historic interest that should be preserved and enhanced. They are identified and designated by the Council. There are currently 21 conservation areas in Croydon.

Use the Directory to find out if your property is in a conservation area, as well as further information about the history and character of each area (published within the Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (CAAMP) for each area.

Directory of conservation areas in Croydon

New development and other changes affecting conservation areas

When deciding whether to grant planning permission for development affecting a conservation area or its setting, the Council will take in to account the need to preserve or enhance the area’s special character. Proposals are considered against heritage planning policies. It is important to make sure development is designed to respond to the special character of the area, as an application can be refused where it causes harm to the character and appearance of a conservation area. 

The Council’s Conservation Area General Guidance Supplementary Planning Document provides detailed guidance on new development and maintenance in conservation areas. 

You should also consult the relevant Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (CAAMP) if proposing to make changes in a conservation area. These detailed documents describe the character and significance of the conservation area, and include further area-specific guidance for maintenance and new development. CAAMPS and further information on each of Croydon’s conservation areas are available in our directory.

Changes to permitted development

‘Permitted development’ is work that can be carried out without applying for planning permission. There are important differences to permitted development rights if the property is in a conservation area. The main differences are summarised below. 

This is not a comprehensive list. It is important to check whether planning permission is required before carrying out any works. For more information about permitted development rights and the requirements for planning permission, check the Planning Portal.


Planning permission is required for:

  • demolition of buildings (above a certain size)
  • demolition of gates, walls, fences and other means of enclosure (over a certain height)

It is a criminal offence to carry out demolition without planning permission.

Alterations to houses

Planning permission is required for extensions and alterations to the roof, side extensions, and for some extensions to the rear of the house

Other minor works

Planning permission is required for:

  • installing external cladding
  • installing some chimneys, flues, vents and satellite dishes

It may also be required for:

  • installing solar panels 
  • changes to boundary walls and fences, and for small structures in the garden

To find out if planning permission is needed for minor works, check the Planning Portal.

Changes of use 

Planning permission is required for change of use from a shop (A1) or financial or professional services (A2) to residential use (C3).

Article 4 Directions

In some cases the Council may introduce additional restrictions on permitted development rights. This is called an Article 4 Direction. Article 4 Directions are in place covering Chatsworth Road Conservation Area, The Waldrons Conservation Area and Kenley Aerodrome Conservation Area in order to protect the special character of those areas. Find out more about Article 4 directions in Croydon.


You must notify the Council at least 6 weeks before carrying out works to any tree in a conservation area. Find out more about tree preservation here.