Things that might affect your property | Colchester Borough Council

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Things that might affect your property

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Find out about factors that may affect your property when applying for planning permission such as Conservation Areas, Restricted Development Areas & TPOs


  • A list of factors to consider when thinking about applying for planning permission
  • What they mean for your property/area

When it comes to planning building works to your property or site there are a number of factors that could restrict what can be done or prohibit certain things entirely. It’s important to look into the following and see if any apply to your property or site when preparing to apply for planning permission.  


Tree Preservation Orders 

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is put in place to preserve single or groups of trees which are of acknowledged amenity value. This means that the trees are protected to maintain the natural beauty of a place or area. 

If you are looking to carry out works on a tree on your property you should check first on the deeds to your property or on our online map if it is protected by a TPO. If it is protected you will need to apply for Tree Works Consent before you start any work. 

If property is located within a Conservation Area you must also apply for Tree Works Consent.  

Read more about Tree Preservation Orders and trees in Conservation Areas here 

If you are planning something large-scale and there is more than one tree protected by a TPO on your development site then you may need to do a Tree Constraints Plan and Arboricultural Implications Assessment in the design stages of your plan.  

Read more about trees on development sites here.  

Apply for Tree Works Consent 


Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas are areas of natural beauty or of special architectural or historic interest. Works in Conservation Areas are controlled or restricted to project or improve the character or appearance of the area.  

If your property is located within a Conservation Area then this may affect your planning application in the way that, for example, a condition could be that you carry out your works with the same materials used for existing buildings in the area. It may also mean that certain works are restricted. 

You can see if you are in a Conservation Area by checking our interactive map here [link] 


Listed Sites/Properties 

If your property is listed it means that it is of special historic or architectural interest and is protected to ensure the survival of its appearance and character. Listed buildings or sites can be graded I, II* or II. Grade I is the highest.  

For buildings, listing includes the interior as well as the exterior, and includes any buildings or permanent structures surrounding it within its boundary.  

You should already know if your property has listed status, details of this will be in your deeds. You can also find listed buildings by searching our interactive map

If you’re thinking about carrying out works to a listed building you will need to apply for Listed Building Consent before applying for planning permission. Applying for Listed Building Consent is free. Please bear in mind that certain works may be restricted or prohibited, or they may be granted provided certain conditions are met.

Read more about listed sites and properties, search the list and find advice here on Historic England's website.  

Apply for Listed Buidling Consent


Restricted or Withdrawn Permitted Development 

You can carry out some types of work under 'Permitted Development Rights' without needing to apply for planning permission. Permitted Development Rights are a set of classes of development for which planning permission is automatically granted. 

However, in some areas Permitted Development Rights are more restricted and in some cases, they can be withdrawn. For example, in a very built-up area, Permitted Development Rights could be restricted or withdrawn to prevent more development from taking place.  

When thinking of carrying out works it's important to know whether your property is located within one of these areas. You can check by searching our interactive map

If you are unsure whether your project could be carried out under Permitted Development Rights you can always contact us for a chat [link to contact Planning page] 

Read more about restricted and withdrawn Permitted Development Rights here.  


Past Planning Conditions 

Planning Conditions are applied to an application to help to enhance the quality of the development. They allow proposed works to be done where they would otherwise be refused by changing and negotiating the less desirable aspects of the development.  

Past planning conditions could restrict what works could be done to a site or property in the future. It's important that you check whether there are any past conditions attached to your property before applying for planning permission or carrying out works. Please note that some works may be refused or restricted due to past conditions.  

You can search for past planning conditions using our interactive map

Or, you can contact our Local Land Charges team who can help you to carry out a search on your property.