Conservation areas

There are 10 conservation areas in Harlow, which we have protected for their special architectural or historic interest.  

Character appraisals and management plans

Conservation area character appraisals help both the council and our residents understand the history of an area and why it is special. They help shape future developments and planning policies, as well as giving residents an idea of what enhancements could be made.

Conservation area management plans help identify issues affecting the area and how they can be managed. They look at opportunities to manage and enhance the area’s character and review boundaries.

Management of Mark Hall North

In July and August 2022 we consulted on a character appraisal and management proposals for Mark Hall North conservation area.

The proposals include:

  • an Article 4 direction
  • a change to the conservation area boundary
  • publication of a management plan

You can now view final copies of the proposals and responses we received from the consultation:

Article 4 direction consultation

One of the proposals was to introduce an Article 4 direction for the area. The direction means that planning permission would be needed to make certain changes to a house. This allows the council to make sure that changes are positive and sympathetic to the original housing designs.

Due to the responses we received during the initial consultation, we have changed the types of development included in the direction.

Most of the direction now only applies to changes visible from a highway or at the front of a house. Solar panels or thermal equipment, aerials and satellite dishes are no longer included.

We made the direction on 24 October 2022. It is due come into force in October 2023.

We are now consulting on the direction, along with a draft management plan and guidance document which will provide guidance to people making planning applications for changes covered by the direction.

You can view a copy of these documents:

We would like to get your views on the documents. The consultation opens on Thursday 27 October and closes at 5pm on Friday 9 December 2022.

We are sending letters to all houses in Mark Hall North to inform them about the consultation.

How to respond

You can give us your comments by email to

You can also write to us at Forward Planning, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, College Square, Harlow CM20 1WG.

You can view the documents in Harlow Central Library, Mark Hall Library, Old Harlow Library and the Civic Centre during normal opening hours.

We are also holding public drop-in exhibitions at Harlow Museum, Muskham Road, Harlow, CM20 2LF, on Tuesday 22 November 2022 at 10am to 12pm and Thursday 24 November 2022 at 6pm to 8pm.

We will take your comments into account when we decide whether to confirm the direction.

We may not accept comments we receive after the closing date.

If you respond to the consultation, you give the council consent to hold and process your personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation. Your name, organisation and comments may be available for others to view at the council offices and on the council website.

Planning permission in conservation areas

If you apply for planning permission, you should bear in mind that we will need to make sure that any development does not harm the special character of the area.

You need to get conservation area consent from us before demolishing any building or part of a building in a conservation area.

If you want to carry out works to a tree in a conservation area, you need to notify us 6 weeks before you plan to start work.