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“There is nothing permanent except change”


Review: Living in a Conservation area – how a building survey helped5Stars

Our client was looking to purchase an apartment in a converted semi-detached Victorian property in a Conservation area in Lewisham, London SE14 and found our building survey invaluable in making his decision whether to purchase or not.

Firstly we explain more about Conservation areas

Definition of a Conservation Area

Conservation areas are “areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.

If you are living or considering living in a Conservation area there are many such areas across the UK – approximately ten thousand. Conservation areas are sought after areas in attractive parts of the neighbourhood that are rick in architectural or historical interest and character.

When were Conservation areas first established?

In the UK Conservation areas were first established in the late 1960s initially applying rules to control more strictly the demolition of buildings and the felling or lopping of trees. This legislation was the Civic Amenities Act 1967.

Conservation rules

The rules and permissions for those living in Conservation areas have increased since the initial legislation with further legislation. Conservation areas have to take into consideration and abide by further rules such as those affecting satellite dishes for example. Permission will be required when replacing windows for example and for building extensions.

The materials used for works to buildings in Conservation areas too have to be adhered to for example if wishing to replace cast iron gutters, hopperheads and downpipes then plastic will not be allowed only cast iron.

Benefits to living in Conservation areas

Rules and regulations aside there are many benefits to living in Conservation areas as these areas are kept in a manner to retain their historical charm for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Some council’s offer grant aid to help towards extra costs incurred with the up keep of buildings which can be very helpful. Also development plans have to adhere to the strict rules thereby protecting residents in Conservation areas from poor quality development and ensuring the area is desirable.

Sliding sash windowSliding sash windows in Conservation areas

Our client wished to take advice regarding the timber sliding sash windows in the property.  Our surveyor examined the sliding sash windows to find that they were replacement sliding sash windows, which were of below average quality and did not fit particularly well, see adjacent photo.  The sliding sash windows were single glazed and as is typical of ageing single glazed sliding sash windows were poor in thermal efficiency.

Our surveyor was able to advise that adding a thin double glazing, which would allow the sliding sash windows to look similar to single glazing may be possible to be added after of course consultation with the Conservation Officer for the area.


Conservation areas within the London Borough of Lewisham

There are many conservation areas within the London Borough of Lewisham for full details contact the council Planning department.  The Conservation areas are Beckenham Place Park, Belmont, Blackheath, Brockley, Brookmill Road, Cobbs Corner, Culverley, Deptford Creekside, Deptford High Street / St Pauls, Deptford Town Hall, Forest Hill, Halifax Street, Hatcham, Jews Walk, Ladywell, Lee Manor, Mercia Grove, Perry Fields, St John’s, St Mary’s, St Stephens, Somerset Gardens, Stanstead Grove, Sydenham Hill / Kirkdale, Sydenham Park, Sydenham Thorpes and Telegraph Hill.

Our Independent Building Surveyors can provide structural building surveys on properties throughout the London Borough of Lewisham free phone 0800 298 5424 for a free survey quote – a building survey will save you money.

Take a look at our example surveys

example surveys click here copyWe are always happy to forward example surveys as there is no better way of seeing the quality of our surveys.  All our surveys are written in plain English with many survey photos and aerial view 360 photos, unique survey sketches and detailed executive summaries.

Click on the adjacent link to download an example or free phone 0800 298 5424 today for examples to be sent to you.