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Glasgow City Council

Conservation Area Designation

How does Conservation Area Designation affect you?

In a conservation area it is the whole area, made up of the buildings and the spaces in between them, that is of architectural or historic interest. Planning control is therefore directed at maintaining the integrity of the entire area and enhancing its special character.

Conservation area status does not mean that new development is always unacceptable, but that care must be taken to ensure that new development will preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the area.

The main Policy guidance relative to conservation areas designation can be found within SG9: Historic Environment of the City Development Plan.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

There are additional controls called Article 4 Directions in place in most conservation areas.

These Directions control minor alterations that can cumulatively lead to the erosion of character and appearance but do not otherwise require permission. Historically, Article 4 Directions have been used as a further way of ensuring that a conservation area maintains its character and appearance.

Typical minor works covered by the Directions include the replacement of doors and windows, the erection of gates, walls and fences, sheds, garages, porches, etc.

Where an Article 4 Direction is in place, Planning Permission will be required for these works. Our Online Map allows to check whether a property is located within a conservation area where Article 4 Directions may be in place. If the building affected by the works is listed, Listed Building Consent will also be required.

Article 4 Directions apply in most conservation areas. They are detailed for each conservation area in the dedicated .

Please Note:  Article 4 Directions have been superseded by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Amendment Order which came into force on the 6 February 2011. This removed all permitted development rights for householders (i.e dwellings or flatted residential properties) within conservation areas. Flatted dwellings have no Permitted Development rights in a conservation area. This means that where Article 4 Directions exist for householder development, these are in effect superseded by the new General Permitted Development Order.

Works under Planning Control

Conservation area designation automatically brings the following works under planning control:

  • Demolition of buildings
  • Development involving small house extensions
  • Roof alterations
  • Stone cleaning or painting of the exterior
  • Provision of hard surfaces
  • Satellite dishes
  • Window and exterior door replacement
  • Any improvement or alteration to the external appearance of a flatted dwelling that is not an enlargement.
  • New gates, walls, fences, sheds, garages and porches
  • Renewal, alteration or replacement of commercial/shop frontages
  • New signage or advertising on commercial units
  • Trees are also automatically protected and you must give the council 6 weeks notice in writing or via Email of the intended works.

It is recognised that not only do large changes, such as the demolition of buildings, threaten the special qualities of our conservation areas. Small, incremental changes, can also significantly erode the quality and appearance of the historic buildings and spaces that contribute to the character of the Conservation Area. Insensitive new developments and removal of original features can harm the appearance of the area as much as overgrown gardens and crumbling masonry.

This is why it is important that works such as painting of buildings, changes to windows and doors, the addition of extensions or conservatories, the demolition of outbuildings and boundary walls and alterations to shop fronts, fascias and shop signs are done in a sensitive way.  Advice on how to go about such work is available on our Website.

Glasgow's City Development Plan was adopted in March 2017 and sets out the Council's vision and strategy for land use whilst also providing the basis for assessing planning applications along with its associated Supplementary Guidance.  

The policy CDP9 - Historic Environment and associated supplementary guidance SG9: Historic Environment both set guidance for works carried out in Conservation Areas or affecting Listed Buildings. They should be consulted when considering development works in conservation areas where planning control apply.

Your Role

Owners and occupiers have a central role to play in protecting the quality of each conservation area. Regular maintenance is the single best way of extending the life and value of your property and also helps protect the special appearance of your area. Regular clearing of gutters, repair of leaky down pipes, re-pointing of stonework, painting of windows and the replacement of broken or missing slates will all help keep your building wind and watertight and prevent decay.


Owners should search on the Council's website to bring up all property details associated with an address and to check if they are in a Conservation Area on the Property Search register or if their property is a listed building before commencing any work.

If you are in doubt as to whether you require Planning Permission, please consult the Heritage team or Planning Enquiries. Unauthorised alterations are liable to enforcement action by the Council and may result in fines. Under current legislation, property owners seeking to sell their property will require in their Home Report to declare if alterations to their properties have been authorised by the Local Authority, or seek retrospective approval for the works.

Communal fabric repairs such as re-roofing, stone cleaning and stone repair will generally also require Planning Permission and Listed Building consent where applicable. Co-owners/factors are advised to contact the Planning Department in the first instance regarding such works to determine what permissions are necessary in advance.

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