An Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) is a place, area, group of structures or townscape that is of special architectural, historical, archaeological, technical, social, cultural, or scientific, interest, or that contributes to the appreciation of a Protected Structure. It is a mechanism, which aims to identify and protect areas of special significance and promote an awareness of this significance.
What does this designation mean?
Buildings falling within the boundaries of an ACA can be both protected structures and non-protected structures. There are certain implications for development within an ACA - protection generally relates to the external appearance of structures and features of the streetscape. It does not prevent internal changes or rearrangements provided that these changes do not impact on the external appearance of the structure.
Generally any works that may have a potential impact on the exterior would require planning permission, such as changes to the original roofing material, windows, boundary walls etc. The aim of ACA designation is not to prevent development, rather to guide sensitive, good quality development, which will enhance both the historical character of the area and the amenity of those who enjoy it.
Each area designated an ACA has been individually assessed and has its own character appraisal and policy framework document prepared. These are listed below. The boundaries for each of the ACA's can be viewed on the County Development Plan 2016-2022 maps.