Conservation overview

Find out more about conservation and heritage, and what you must know if you're carrying out building work.

Croydon's historic buildings and places make an essential contribution to the character of the borough. They provide an important connection to the past and are part of our shared cultural heritage. The council works to identify, protect and enhance our historic environment, which is irreplaceable.

Buildings, structures, landscapes and places that have historic, architectural or archaeological interest are called ‘heritage assets’. Croydon is home to a range of heritage assets: centuries-old buildings such as the former palace of the Archbishops of Canterbury (now Old Palace School), busy Victorian high streets at the heart of local neighbourhoods, sites associated with historic events and technological innovation such as Croydon Airport, and modernist landmarks like No1 Croydon by architect Richard Seifert. 

The Council is required to set out a positive strategy for the preservation and enhancement of the historic environment. We do this by:

  • including heritage policies in the Local Plan
  • identifying and designating conservation areas, and maintaining registers of local heritage assets
  • producing guidance on heritage including Supplementary Planning Documents

New development and other changes

If a development proposal will affect a heritage asset or the area around it (its setting), we will test it against the heritage legislation and planning policies. Planning permission and listed building consent can be refused if a development would cause harm to heritage.

If you're developing a proposal that would affect a heritage asset, or considering applying for planning permission or listed building consent, you must:

  • have consent before you start work, or you may be committing a criminal offence
  • find out whether your work will affect any heritage assets or their setting
  • find out what is significant about the heritage assets that will be affected 
  • check the relevant policies and guidance in this section,such as Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans, Design Guides and Supplementary Planning Documents
  • write a heritage statement as part of your development proposal
  • seek advice from heritage specialists and/or chartered architects with heritage experience
  • seek pre-application advice from the Council wherever possible

Additional detail may be required as part of your application to help us assess the impact on a heritage asset and its setting. This may include views analysis, structural and condition surveys, large scale construction detail drawings, specifications for materials and techniques, archaeological impact assessments, or recording.


The "setting" of a heritage asset is defined as the "surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced". Further information on setting is available from Historic England.

Heritage statements

Before submitting your proposal, you should research the history and architectural significance of all of the heritage assets that would be affected by the work. This should be used to design your proposal. You must submit a heritage statement as part of your application, summarising your research and how it has affected your designs. Further information on heritage statements is available from Historic England.


Croydon Museum and Archive service for the local archive, research room and Museum of Croydon.

Historic England is the government’s expert advisor on heritage. They publish a large amount of information and guidance, and administer the National Heritage List for England.

Institute of Historic Building Conservation is the professional body for conservation practitioners, offering research and guidance, learning resources, and specialist registers.

The Royal Institute of British Architects is the professional body for architects. They provide information on finding and working with an architect, and keep a register of special conservation architects