Kensington conservation areas

Living in a conservation area in Kensington ensures that the character of your property is preserved for future generations. It also requires you to comply with additional planning controls, making it important to understand these when pursuing building or home improvement works. If you’d like professional support with your planning application, the team at Wandsworth Sash Windows will be happy to help.

Wandsworth Sash Windows

Call 020 8131 2886 to discuss planning permission for conservation areas in Kensington.

Conservation areas in Kensington

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas safeguard the built environment by applying additional oversight to building alterations. This means that planning controls are used to manage the changes that are allowed within the designated area, preserving its historic and architectural character. Living in a conservation area does not mean that your property can’t change, only that it must remain in keeping with its surroundings.

Why does Kensington have conservation areas?

Kensington is particularly proud of its historic character and is keen to ensure that this isn’t diluted or lost over time. Almost 75% of the borough falls under the protection of conservation areas.

Where are the conservation areas in Kensington?

As mentioned above, most of the land within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is assigned to a dedicated conservation area. There are currently 35 distinct areas to be aware of.

Local conservation areas

  1. Avondale
  2. Avondale Park Gardens
  3. Brompton
  4. Chelsea
  5. Chelsea Estates
  6. Chelsea Park Carlyle
  7. Cheyne
  8. College of St. Mark and St. John
  9. Colville
  10. Cornwall
  11. Courtfield
  12. De Vere
  13. Earl’s Court Square
  14. Earl’s Court Village
  15. Edwardes Square, Scarsdale
  16. Holland Park
  17. Kensington
  18. Kensington Court
  19. Kensington Square
  20. Ladbroke
  21. Lexham Gardens
  22. Lots Village
  23. Nevern Square
  24. Norland
  25. Oxford Gardens
  26. Pembridge
  27. Philbeach
  28. Queensgate
  29. Royal Hospital
  30. Sloane Square
  31. Sloane Stanley
  32. Thames
  33. The Bilings
  34. The Boltons
  35. Thurloe Estate & Smith’s Charity

Speak to a member of our team

Call 020 8131 2886 or email to tell us your requirements if you live in a conservation area in Kensington. We’ll be happy to help you obtain planning permission.

    How does living in a conservation area affect Kensington residents?

    Information about each of the conservation areas and their unique character can be found on the local authority website. If you live within one of these areas it is important to familiarise yourself with the relevant guidelines before pursuing building works.

    Why do our customers love our sash window services?

    Additional restrictions

    Further restrictions can be applied if an Article 4 Direction is in place within a conservation area. This works by withdrawing permitted development rights and requiring property owners to seek planning permission instead. A complete list of Article 4 Directions in Kensington can be found here. These measures are intended to control the small-scale alterations that can gradually impact the historic character of an area, such as:

    • Changing front doors
    • Replacing windows
    • Altering boundary walls
    • Works to the front elevation
    • Roof alterations

    Gaining planning permission within one of Kensington’s conservation areas

    We’re here to support Kensington residents with their applications for planning permission, using our expertise to handle the process on their behalf. We’ve submitted more than 300 applications and are proud of the 100% success rate we have achieved within conservation areas. We understand the process and will help you to plan your home improvement project around the restrictions that are in place, even if the alteration you have in mind is as simple as installing new sash windows.

    How long does it take to apply and gain approval within a conservation area?

    When it comes to planning applications there are no set timelines. The time taken for approval can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including the backlog of submitted applications that the planning authority is dealing with. Nonetheless, we believe based on our experience that the following suggestions can work as rough guidelines:

    Preparing the application – 2-3 weeks

    The requirements within a conservation area can be complex, making preparation crucial. Allow several weeks to put your application together so you can be confident that your proposal meets the criteria.

    Assessing the application – 8 weeks

    The planning authority has 8 weeks to return a decision on your application, once it has been checked and marked as complete. This introduces a lot of flexibility as the planning officer can delay this countdown to their advantage. They may also extend the decision date if they request additional information. As an applicant, it’s important to accept this as part of the process as, unfortunately, these factors are out of your control.

    How long does it take to apply and gain approval for a Listed Building?

    There are over 3,800 listed buildings in Kensington and Chelsea. These are considered to be of national importance and are part of the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). You must apply for Listed Building Consent (LBC) when seeking to make any internal or external alterations to a listed building. Failure to do so is a criminal offence. As per the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea website, works involving any of the following features will require approval:

    • Replastering
    • Cornices, skirtings, fireplaces, internal doors, and architraves
    • Floorboards
    • New wall openings
    • Gates and railings
    • Suspended ceilings
    • Recessed lighting
    • Air conditioning
    • Window alterations
    • Alarm boxes
    • CCTV
    • Vents

    The process is extremely in depth and will take at least 12-18 weeks. The scale of the proposed works isn’t taken into account as the same process is followed regardless.

    What is the Listed Building Consent process?

    Listed building consent is an in-depth process that requires lots of back and forth with the planning authority. The same process is applied to any application, no matter the scale of the works being proposed. You will often need to submit additional information and should allow 12-18 weeks to receive a decision. In many cases multiple applications are needed before approval is granted. Take a look at our guide to Listed Building services to learn how we can handle this process on your behalf. We understand how to identify the approach that is most likely to be successful and will help you to have realistic expectations..

    Do you live in one of Kensington’s conservation areas?

    Call 020 8131 2886 or email to discuss your requirements with a member of our team. You can rely on our expertise to support you with your application for planning permission.