A barge going round a bend in the Leeds and Liverpool canal.
Leeds and Liverpool Canal passing through the Skipton Conservation Area, North Yorkshire. © Historic England Explore our images
Leeds and Liverpool Canal passing through the Skipton Conservation Area, North Yorkshire. © Historic England Explore our images

Tips for Amenity Societies

Conservation areas protect the unique character and historic interest of an area. They cover some of our most historic places, both urban and rural.

Our tips for amenity societies below will help you to make the most of the opportunities you have to get involved in managing and monitoring local conservation areas. They also suggest ways you can engage with local communities interested in protecting the character of their local area.

Top 10 Tips

1. Respond to conservation area appraisals

Engage with the local community when responding to local authority conservation area appraisals. Our Advice Note on conservation area appraisal, designation and management explains the process in more detail. The perspective of people living and working in the area will add depth to the appraisal and generate support and understanding for future plans.

2. Respond to conservation area reviews

Local authorities are required to review conservation area designations from time to time. Respond to reviews when they take place or get in touch with the local authority regarding conservation area character and boundaries, and consider encouraging local people to do the same.

3. Comment on planning applications

Be sure to offer constructive comments and feedback on applications which may affect a conservation area. Details of planning applications can be found on the local council’s website.

4. Put forward local listings

Involve local community members in suggesting sites and structures for local listing by your local authority. Sites which are locally listed make a positive contribution to an area because of their heritage value, even though they're not nationally designated.

5. Support management plans

Contact your local planning authority to press for and support the preparation of conservation area management plans.

6. Get to know your Heritage Champion

Your local authority’s Heritage Champion is the voice for heritage in the authority. Get in contact and share your aims with them – they may be able to help you to achieve them. Find out more about Heritage Champions.

7. Sign up to email updates

Local authorities usually produce weekly or monthly updates containing information on recent applications to the council and other relevant local news.

8. Get involved in local plan consultations

Make sure you are aware of any upcoming consultations. Historic England offers advice to support local authorities in drawing up local plans. Use our Advice Note on local plans to find out more about best practice and planning policy.

9. Create a heritage trail

A heritage trail around your conservation area would help to get people involved and interested in the character of their area.

10. Make suggestions to the local authority

Suggest areas for local listing and designation for consideration by the authority when they review designations.