Tag: england

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Conservation Area: Your Questions Answered

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. And in other words, the features that make it unique. So, conservation areas protect all the natural resources that are critical to people on earth. The protected areas provide for life’s essentials.    

What does it mean to live in a conservation area?  

Living in a conservation area can make it more difficult to make changes to your home. You will be able to alter your home. However, if you decide to make the smallest of alterations, you will need to apply for planning permission. For example, replacing your doors and windows.  

Is a conservation area the same as AONB? 

AONB stands for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They are similar but are not the same. An AONB are areas in the countryside in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are areas that have been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value.  

Is it worth buying a property in a conservation zone?  

If you are happy to live with the restrictions in place regarding maintenance and home improvements, then you should buy a home in an area like this. Whereas, if you have a more creative side and enjoy renovating then purchasing a home outside a conservation area might be best for you. In addition, living in a conservation area is likely to increase the value of your home as your neighbourhood is very appealing and will stay that way.  

How many conservation areas are in the United Kingdom?  

In early 2021, there were just under 9,800 unique conservation areas in England. They provide heritage protection for around 2.3% of England’s land area and over 10% of properties.  

Can I change the exterior of my house?   

Permitted development allows you to alter the exterior of your home looks as long as you build with materials that match the property’s existing look. Furthermore, if you’d like to change your property exterior look completely you will need to apply for full planning permission.  

Photo courtesy of BlogTO.
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Can you build in an area of outstanding natural beauty? 

What is an area of outstanding natural beauty? 

An area of outstanding natural beauty is (ANOB) is an area of land which is protected by law to preserve and enhance its natural beauty.  

How are AONBs made? 

Natural England can make orders to designate areas of outstanding natural beauty or vary the boundaries of existing ones. Before natural England proposes an area to become an AONB, it must meet the natural beauty criterion. This could be multiple different factors, such as: 

  • Landscape quality. 
  • Scenic quality. 
  • Relative wildness, such as distance from housing or having few roads. 
  • Natural heritage features, such as distinct species and habitat. 
  • Relative tranquillity, where all you can hear is natural sounds. 
  • Cultural heritage. 

How many areas of outstanding natural beauty are there?  

There are 46 AONB in the throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Areas of natural beauty cover about 18% of the UK countryside. The types of natural beauty can range from woodlands, villages, moorlands, and meadows.  

No other country in the world has Areas of outstanding natural beauty.   

Can you get permission to build on an AONB? 

Overall, getting planning permission for a major development is very rare. If the development has a significant impact on the local environment, you should consult natural England about the planning proposal. If the developer can prove that there is a need and actual benefit of the proposed work, there are times where the permissions has been granted.  

Before developing your property, it is important for you to know what rights you have as a property owner in an AONB. Because of the area, your permitted development rights may be reduced, and planning permission grants may become more uncommon. 

Permitted development is a development that you can carry out without needing to apply for full planning permission. You may still need approval under other legislations. 

You might be able to extend a house in an AONB under permitted development if you follow the rules, are some examples: 

It must not go more than 4m beyond the rear wall of the property if it’s a detached house or 3m for any other dwelling. 

Must not be more than 4m high. 

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Basements: why are they uncommon in the UK?

Having a basement in your home may seem like a given if you are from most parts of the United States. However, if you are from England, you probably don’t know that much about having a basement. 

When were basements common?  

Although, you may have not seen many, basements/ cellars actually are pretty common in some places in the UK. The Victorians and Georgians loved them. So, any town with lots of Georgian and Victorian housing like Leeds, Manchester or Edinburgh will have lots of basements. As for the places that don’t, you can break them down into a few reasons: 

Age of home. While the technology required to build underground spaces has existed for thousands of years. However, the requirement to do so has not. Before mass urbanisation began in the early 1800s, 60% of people lived in small, communities where land was pretty cheap. The cost of digging a basement for your house compared poorly to the cost of just buying a field out back and building a bigger house. 

Ground conditions. Unlike Scotland, Wales and the west of England, much of eastern and central England is quite low lying, and a lot of the east coast was reclaimed from salt marshes by the Georgians. This means that the ground was too wet and muddy to build a basement in, especially when it’s expensive and impractical to pump the water out every time it rains heavily and the water table rises. 

The weather. One of the main reasons that basements became very common in America is the weather. Both the intense cold in some parts and the risk of adverse weather in others. Foundations have to be built far below the ground to stop them being damaged by frost, so you might as well fill all that space with an extra room or two. Similarly, a basement doubles up as a tornado shelter in other places. The UK has little extreme weather, so basements weren’t as functional in the past as they are in North America. 

Why did the UK stop making basements? 

However, nowadays almost all new build homes have no cellar or basement. This is due to the extra cost of digging down further into the sub-soil and a requirement for much deeper foundations and waterproof tanking.  

How much would It cost to build a basement? 

If you are thinking of building an entirely new basement under your home, you should expect the starting costs to be around £2000 – £3,500 per square meter. On top of this you would need to pay for the contractors to complete the job. So, it’s not often a cheap project.  

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Where are all of the Areas of outstanding natural beauty?

What are areas of outstanding natural beauty? 

An area of outstanding natural beauty is land protected by the Countryside and rights of way act 2000 (CROW Act). It protects the land to conserve and enhance its natural beauty. The CROW Act sets out the roles and responsibilities that different organisations must follow to manage AONBs.  

How many areas of outstanding natural beauty are there? 

There are 46 AONB in the throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Areas of natural beauty cover about 18% of the UK countryside.  

No other country in the world has Areas of outstanding natural beauty.  

Are AONB and national parks the same?  

So, national parks are legally obliged to provide public recreational opportunities. Whereas, areas of natural beauty are not. In addition, Natural England is responsible for designing AONBs in England and advising the government and others on how they should be protected and managed.  

What is the largest AONB?  

The largest AONB is the Cotswolds, which is 787 square miles. However, the smallest AONB is the Isle of Scilly, which is 6.2 square miles.  

Where are the UK’s areas of outstanding natural beauty? 


  • Firstly, Arnside & Silverdale 
  • Blackdown Hills  
  • Cannock Chase 
  • Chichester Harbour  
  • Chilterns 
  • Cornwall  
  • Cotswolds 
  • Cranborne Chase  
  • Dedham Vale  
  • Dorset  
  • East Devon  
  • Forest of Bowland  
  • High Weald 
  • Howardian Hills 
  • Isle of Wight 
  • Isles of Scilly  
  • Kent Downs  
  • Lincolnshire Wolds 
  • Malvern Hills 
  • Mendip Hills  
  • Nidderdale 
  • Norfolk Coast  
  • North Devon  
  • North Pennines 
  • As well as, North Wessex Downs 
  • Northumberland Coast  
  • Quantock Hills  
  • Shropshire Hills  
  • Solway Coast 
  • South Devon  
  • Suffolk Coast & Heaths 
  • Surrey Hills  
  • Tamar Valley  
  • Finally, Wye Valley  


  • Firstly, Anglesey  
  • Clwydian Range & Dee Valley  
  • Gower 
  • Llyn  
  • Finally, Wye Valley  

Northern Ireland:  

  • Firstly, Antrim Coast and Glens  
  • Binevenagh  
  • Causeway Coast  
  • Lagan Valley  
  • Ring of Gullion  
  • Sperrin  
  • Strangford Lough

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The largest AONB is the Cotswolds, which is 787 square miles. However, the smallest AONB

is the Isle of Scilly, which is 6.2 square miles.  

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Top 10 University In The UK For Architecture

A Uk architecture degree in University will focus on the design and mechanics behind the construction of buildings. Architecture study takes in the areas of technology, design, and theory. 

1. University of Cambridge – Cambridge, London  

Firstly, the department of architecture at Cambridge is an exciting place to study. In fact, it is one of the leading architecture schools in the world. The students at the school study under the guidance of world-renowned researchers and ground-breaking practitioners. 

Their design program is balanced with teaching the history and philosophy of architecture. Also, the contemporary culture and urbanism construction, structural design, and environmental design.  

Similarly, in 2021 the tuition fees will be around £9,250 for the year. 

University guide 2022: University of Cambridge | University guide | The  Guardian
University of Cambridge

2. University college London – London  

Secondly, as an architecture student, you will be spending your time in the studio and the workshop. And with approximately 70% of the program taught and assessed through your portfolio. Generally, at this university, the design teaching is delivered by leading practitioners, specialists, and academics in small groups or one-to-one tutorials.  

The tuition fees for undergraduate entry will be £9,250. 

University College London

3. University of Bath – Bath, England  

The university of bath combines periods of professional work experience within its courses. Which gives you the opportunity to benefit from a combination of academic and practical study. 

Throughout the course, you’ll develop design skills and learn cultural, historic, and economic factors. They also let you work with civil engineering students to develop your understanding of the technical aspects of designing structures.    

The tuition fee for a full-time campus-based course will be £9,250. And for MArch Architecture year 1 is £5,550 

University of Bath

4. Cardiff University – Cardiff, Wales  

This school of architecture has the reputation of being one of the best in the UK. They teach a full range of skills that you need to become an architect. For example creative design, building construction and performance, environmental design, matters of professional responsibility, and the duties of an architect. And they have an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of architecture and urban design.  

Likewise, the tuition fee in 2021 was £9,000.  

Cardiff University

5. University of Nottingham – Nottingham, England  

Their courses will give students the knowledge needed to design spaces that improve their surroundings. They also look at how to create new o improve existing buildings through environmental design.  

Furthermore, with a mixture of teaching through workshops, fieldwork trips, and working with real customers on projects, their course gives you the skills that the architectural industry looks for.  

The tuition fee per year is £9,250. However, you should factor additional costs into your budget. This School gives you the option to go to South Africa for a live build field trip.  

University of Nottingham

6. Queens University Belfast – Belfast, Northern Ireland 

Queen’s University is one of the best places to study, it ranked 6th overall in the UK for studying architecture. With students supported by a diverse group of academic staff and external tutors engaged in international, award-winning research and practice. In like fashion, over 75% of students graduate with a 1st class or 2.1 degrees.  

Queens University Belfast

7. University of Strathclyde – Glasgow, Scotland 

In fact, Strathclyde is ranked number 1 in Scotland and number 3 in the Uk for architecture. 

As a result, you will be taught in a studio-based environment taught by some of the best.  

To list, they offer three types of architectural programs: Undergraduate and postgraduate programs, specialist postgraduate taught programs, and research degrees 

University of Strathclyde - Wikipedia
University of Strathclyde

8. Oxford brooks University – Oxford, England  

The university is located in the historical and culturally diverse city of oxford. Their undergraduate programs include a RIBS part 1 BA architecture, ARB and LAM accredited course, and a BA interior architecture course. In addition, these courses give you the opportunity to challenge, explore and develop not only you as an individual but also your portfolio.  

Oxford brooks University

9. Manchester school of architecture – Manchester, England 

Nevertheless, they are currently known as being one of the top fifteen architecture schools in the world.  Being a student at MSA gives you the unique advantage of studying at two of Manchester’s universities.  

“We profit from access to an unparalleled number of workshops, libraries, and studios across both campuses, and benefit from superior tuition and facilities” – Benjamin Carter, architecture graduate.  

Manchester School of Architecture

10. University of Sheffield – Sheffield, England 

Finally, their degree provides a balance of theory, design work, and professional experience. You will learn how to lead on projects, solve complex problems and communicate your ideas while thinking about the wider responsibilities of the architect. 

Most importantly, the standard tuition fee in 2021 is £9,250. However, if you have a scholarship, you can pay £1,200 each year. You would also need additional costs to fund field trips and anything else you might need. 

University of Sheffield

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Top Things You Need To Know About Listed Buildings

What is a listed building? 

A listed building is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England, historic environment Scottland, and in Wales and historic Northern Ireland. A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority. 

There are three types of listed buildings and they are:  

  • A Grade l – Buildings of exceptional interest. 
  • Grade ll* – Particularly important building of more than special interest.  
  • Grade ll – Buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them. 

How to know if your buildings are listed?  

You are able to check if the property is listed by viewing the national heritage list for England.  

If you are planning to buy a listed building, a full building survey (RICS level 3) is recommended. And these surveys are tailored to each individual property and cover everything that is possible to access and assess.  

When building on a listed property you will firstly need to get both planning permission and consent. So you will then need patience, stamina, and a good architect. This is because there’s a lot that goes into building on a listed property. 

What happens if you don’t get consent?  

Carrying out building works to a listed building or changing it in any way without consent can result in court action and legal penalties. And it is also illegal to fail to comply with an enforcement notice.  

Because of how much more work it is renovating or trying to get permission, it can cost between 30-50% more to make changes to a listed building than a normal one.  

Listed buildings account for about 2% of English building stock. And in March 2010, there were about 374,000 list entries, of which 92% were grade ll, 5.5% were grade ll* and 2.5% were grade l. So it’s estimated that there are about 500,000 actual listed buildings in England. 

If your house is Grade I or Grade II* listed it may be appropriate to use traditional paints with white lead pigment or high solvent content. However, their toxicity means they are restricted by environmental legislation and their use permitted only under licence. 

Buying a listed building? Expert advice to ease the process | Tayler and  Fletcher
Listed buildings

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