We want to conserve, protect, and promote, Waltham Forest's historic buildings. If you want to make changes to a listed building or within a conservation area, you’ll need to follow certain planning rules.

Conservation areas

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

You’ll likely need planning permission to make external changes to properties within these areas. Such changes are also expected to preserve or enhance the character of the area. See the Article 4 section below for more detail.

You can use our maps to check if your property is within a conservation area:

Article 4 directions for conservation areas

There are Article 4 directions in place across most of our local conservation areas. These directions restrict permitted development rights within a specified area.

Their purpose is to retain high-quality architectural features and ensure that any changes consider their surroundings. 

If you have a planning proposal for a single dwelling house, in one of the following conservation areas, 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, so are not covered by Article 4 directions. You'll still probably need planning permission to make external changes to these properties.

Find out more about local Article 4 directions

Statutory listed buildings

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

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.

Apply to us for planning permission and listed building consent.

Locally listed buildings

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

Current list of locally significant buildings (PDF)

Make a nomination to add something to the Local Heritage List.
The current call for new nominations runs until 28 January 2024.

Email for general inquiries about the Local Heritage List. 

Highams Area of Special Character

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

Unlike a conservation area, properties within Highams Park Estate still have permitted development rights. However, we favour planning applications that respect and enhance its significance.

Highams Area of Special Character information leaflet (PDF)

Article 4 direction

We made an Article 4(1) Direction for the Highams Area of Special Character on 7 August 2019. Following public consultation, this came into effect on 2 September 2020.

The direction covers the whole of the Highams Area of Special Character. It means that owners must seek planning permission for development within any of the four classes it includes.


Get in touch

Contact details

020 8496 3000 (Contact Mike Fox, Conservation Officer)


Design and Conservation

Place and Design
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Fellowship Square
Forest Road
London E17 4JF