Conservation Areas

How are conservation areas chosen?

They are chosen because they are considered to have special architectural or historic interest locally and regionally rather than nationally.

Conservation areas usually comprise groups of historic buildings and/or areas of attractive landscape.  Conservation areas in the borough vary from larger rural villages to Newcastle-under-Lyme town centre and cover parts of the Trent and Mersey and the Shropshire Union canals.  An area's special character comes from a lot of factors including layout of roads, paths and boundaries.  All features are recognised as part of its character.  Designation seeks to preserve and enhance the area as a whole and impose additional controls over demolition of certain buildings, minor extensions, detached buildings, position of satellite dishes and the protection of trees.  

The demolition or substantial demolition of any building in a conservation area (larger than 115 cubic metres) needs consent from the local planning authority.  There is generally a presumption in favour of retaining buildings and walls which make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area.  

Trees are protected within a conservation area because they form an important part of an area's character and contribute to the local environment.  Anyone proposing work to a tree in a conservation area has to give notice to the Council.  They must then consider the nature of the work and how important the tree is to the character of the area and make a tree preservation order in order to protect it.  Link to Tree Preservation Page in Landscape section

There are currently 21 conservation areas in the borough.  The areas are set out below with the date they were designated and any amendments.

Audley (PDF 948kb) 1976: extended 2013 Mucklestone (PDF 196kb) 1977
Basford (PDF 252kb) 2006: extended 2007 Newcastle-under-Lyme (PDF 937kb) 1973: extended 2000 and 2008
Betley (PDF 350kb) 1970: extended 2008 Shropshire Union Canal (PDF 1.3mb) 1984
The Brampton (853kb) 1984: extended 2016 Silverdale (PDF 423kb) 1993
Butterton (PDF 506kb) 2006 Stubbs Walk (PDF 584kb) 1993 reviewed 2016
Clayton (PDF 791kb) 1992 Talke (PDF 571kb) 2000
Keele (PDF 450kb) 1989: extended June 2018 Trent and Mersey Canal (PDF 725kb) 1988
Keele Hall (PDF 656kb) 1993 Watlands Park (PDF 828kb) 2016
Kidsgrove (PDF 403kb) 1997 Whitmore (PDF 415kb) 1971
Madeley (PDF 1.3mb) 1972: extended 2012 Wolstanton (PDF 442kb) 1993: extended 1997
Maer (PDF 941kb) 1970: extended 2019    

Minor developments

If you live in a conservation area you have to get permission before making any changes that may be normally permitted elsewhere to ensure that the alterations do not detract from the area’s appearance.  These changes include cladding, dormer windows, satellite dishes visible from the road and the cutting and lopping of most trees.

Article 4 Directions - The Council can remove and make certain restrictions on the kind of alterations allowed, depending on how it might affect the area's character.  This is called an Article 4 Direction and it affects things like porches, changing historic doors and windows and other distinctive architectural features and removing or putting up walls gates for fences.  The Council considers carefully which developments to control in each conservation area and they are all different, so it is always best to check by contacting the planning department.

Article 4 Direction for Maer Conservation Area came into force on 17 August 2019.  See leaflet for more information.

Article 4 Direction for Keele Conservation Area came into force on 10 January 2019.    See leaflet for more information.

Article 4 Direction for the Brampton Conservation Area and Watlands Park Conservation Area came into force on 29 June 2017.  See leaflet for more information.

Article 4 Direction for Stubbs Walk Conservation Area came into force on 1 May 2017. This leaflet explains more.

Article 4 Direction - 7 Park Avenue, Wolstanton was confirmed by the Council on 6 October 2016.  A copy of the Article 4 Direction and a map showing the land can be viewed.

Article 4 Direction for Whitmore Conservation Area  came into force on 18 November 2016.

Article 4 Direction for Madeley Conservation Areas came into force on 31 October 2016. Madeley Art 4 leaflet

Audley Article 4 Direction came into force on 31 March 2017. This leaflet explains more.

Betley Conservation Area Article 4 Direction. Betley Article 4 Leaflet

Basford and Butterton Article 4 Direction  Butterton Article 4 Map  Basford Article 4 Map

The council has also made an Article 4 Direction which is partially within the Brampton Conservation Area which removes permitted development rights to change from a dwellinghouse use (Class C3) to small houses in multiple occupation (Class C4).

Conservation Area reviews

We have a duty to review our conservation areas from time to time and to formulate and publish proposals for them.   An Appraisal outlines the special character and appearance of the Conservation Area in question, defining its important architectural or historic elements or features and highlighting any positive, negative or neutral aspects within the area.  This overarching character and significance of the place is unlikely to change.  Management Plans seek to preserve or enhance the special character and appearance of the Conservation Area and assist in managing change without compromising the quality of the historic environment.   The Management Proposals indicate ways of managing the areas and helping to retain the special character of an area.  11 of the 21 Conservation Areas with NULBC have Appraisals and Management Plans. Six do not.  

A  programme for the preparation of appraisals and management plans was considered by the Borough in July 2019.  This has been drawn up by considering factors such as the date of the original designation, the size and complexity of the area, development pressure and expected level of change.  The table below shows the identified CAs which had no Appraisal or review or where the Appraisal is over 10 years old and which will therefore have a summary statement or an Appraisal planned in the next 10 years.

Conservation Area  Programme Proposals
Newcastle-under-Lyme Town Centre Summary
Keele Hall Summary and Appraisal 2020
Betley Summary 
Clayton Summary and Appraisal 2022
Silverdale  Summary and Appraisal 2024
Butterton Summary and Appraisal 2025
Wolstanton Summary and Appraisal 2026
Talke Summary and Appraisal 2028
Basford Summary and Appraisal 2029
Kidsgrove (Town Centre) Summary and Appraisal 2030


The policy context now is that Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle are undertaking a joint local plan which will help to define and guide development over the next 15 years.  These summary statements are part of providing up to date background information for a sound evidence base which will help inform this process in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  Summary Statements and Appraisals already completed are highlighted above.

Appraisals and Management Plans

Maer review Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals,(SPD)  Townscape Appraisal Map and Proposals Map

Keele Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals (SPD) 2018 and TAM Map

Brampton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals (SPD) Brampton Townscape Appraisal Map 2016

Watlands Park Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals (SPD)  Watlands Park Townscape Appraisal Map 2016

Stubbs Walk Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals SPD 2016 (SPD)

Madeley Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan  (SPD) 2012 

Audley Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposal 2013 (SPD)

Betley Conservation Area Appraisal  Betley Conservation Area Appraisal Map  Betley Conservation Area Management Plan  Betley Conservation Area Management Plan Map 2008 (SPD)

Basford Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan 2007 

Butterton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan 2006 

Newcastle Town Centre Conservation Area Appraisal  Newcastle Town Centre Conservation Area Management Plan Newcastle Town Centre Character Area Map  Newcastle Townscape Appraisal Map  Newcastle Town Centre Management Proposals Map Boundary and Buffer Map 2008 (SPD)

Please contact the Planning department for details of the Trent and Mersey Canal and Shropshire Union Canal Conservation Area reviews as these are extensive documents and cover the whole stretch of the canal through Staffordshire/Stoke-on-Trent.

Last updated 27 May 2020

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