After the Second World War the government recognised that there was little to protect historic buildings, and started to take a rather piecemeal approach to do so. However there was widespread public concern about the pace of redevelopment in historic towns and cities, and unregulated development in villages, so in 1967 the Civic Amenities Act was introduced, and with it the concept of Conservation Areas was born.
The purpose of a Conservation Area was to control:-
- the demolition of unlisted buildings
- works to trees
- unsympathetic alterations to houses that would otherwise not need planning permission
- outdoor advertising
District Councils are required by law to 'preserve and enhance' the appearance of CAs in the course of undertaking their planning duties; to review their boudaries from time to time and to bring forward proposals for preservation and enhancement.
There are currently around 10,000 Conservation Areas in England