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Dartmoor’s Conservation Areas

Conservation areas are an important part of Dartmoor’s historic environment and focus in particular upon the historic cores of our settlements.  From time to time the National Park is required to consider designation of further Conservation Areas and to keep all of them under review.  There are currently 25 Conservation Areas within Dartmoor National Park.

A Conservation Area is defined as ‘an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which, it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.

Dartmoor’s designated Conservation Areas contain listed buildings (protected in their own right), historic buildings and structures, spaces and views, trees etc., and this necessitates the Authority paying special attention to change in the character, setting and approaches to these areas. Demolition of certain buildings within an area for example may require Conservation Area Consent.  

As part of this process of change we undertake the production of Conservation Area Character Appraisals which identify and define the special interest of an area. We also give specialist advice on enhancement proposals for conservation areas and identify other areas which may be suitable for future designation. To date, 19 Character Appraisals and 6 Draft Character Appraisals have been prepared for all of our conservation areas.

As well as buildings and landscape features, trees also contribute to the special interest of a Conservation Area. The importance of Trees in Conservation Areas is recognised in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (external site, opens new window) which makes special provision for trees in Conservation Areas which are not already protected by a Tree Preservation Order.

View the map of Conservation Areas View the map of Ashburton Conservation Area

Page last updated: 17 Jan 2012