Conservation areas and listed buildings



If you want to make changes to a listed building or within a conservation area, there are certain planning rules you'll need to follow.

We want to conserve, protect and promote Waltham Forest's historic buildings.

Conservation areas Click to get info

We designate conservation areas to recognise and protect special architectural and historic interest.

External changes to properties within these areas are likely to require planning permission, and will be expected to preserve or enhance the character of the area. For more details, see the Article 4 directions section below.

To check if your property is within a conservation area, please check the maps:

Article 4 directions have been applied to most of the borough's conservation areas. These directions restrict permitted development rights within a specified area.

Article 4 directions are in place to retain high quality architectural features and to make sure any changes consider their surroundings. 

If you have a planning proposal for a single dwelling house, in one of these conservation areas below, please be aware you may need planning permission.

The Article 4 directions for Waltham Forest's conservation areas are:

Commercial properties and flats don't have permitted development rights, and are not therefore included within Article 4 directions. Planning permission is likely to be required for external changes to these properties.

'Listed buildings' are buildings, objects and structures designated by the Government on the advice of Historic England, for architectural and historic interest on a national scale.

You can find a full list of listed buildings in Waltham Forest on the Historic England website.

Any change to a listed building that would affect its character will require either planning permission or listed building consent, or both.

You can apply to us for planning permission and listed building consent.

Locally listed buildings Click to get info

We keep a list of locally significant buildings, which we review periodically. These buildings must be conserved and enhanced in ways appropriate to their significance.

Current list of locally significant buildings (PDF 272KB) 

To suggest an amendment to the local list please email us at

We have one designated Area of Special Character, which covers the Highams Park Estate.

Unlike a conservation area, no permitted development rights have been removed from properties within Highams Park Estate. However, we will look favourably on planning applications that respect and enhance its significance.

Highams Area of Special Character information leaflet (PDF 1.8MB) 

Article 4 Direction

Waltham Forest Council made an Article 4(1) Direction for the Highams Area of Special Character on 7 August 2019. Following public consultation the council has now confirmed this Direction, which comes into effect on 2nd September 2020.

The Article 4 Direction covers the whole of the Highams Area of Special Character and requires owners to seek planning permission for development that constitutes any of the four classes included within the Direction.

For more information please see the following documents:

Contact Click to get info

Ron Presswell (Manager)  or Mike Fox (Conservation Officer)

Design and Conservation
The Magistrates
Town Hall Complex
Forest Road
London E17 4JF

Telephone: 020 8496 3000