What is a Specialist Area
In recent years, the government and local authorities have become increasingly concerned about over-development of properties, particularly in more rural areas. For this reason, many areas have been designated as specialist conservation areas.
A conservation area, as defined by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, states that a local authority must define any 'areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance' as a conservation area. Currently there are more than 8,000 designated conservation areas across Britain.
Other special areas include those designated as Greenfield or Greenbelt; these areas can be just as restrictive regarding property development.
Greenfield and Greenbelt Explained
Quite simply, a Greenfield site is one that has not previously been developed in any way.
A Greenbelt area is a more general term which relates to a region around an already developed area (often a growing town or city) and is aimed at protecting the suburban parts of the city from overdevelopment. These Greenbelt areas are designated by local authorities and are always identified on the council plans for the local area.
Greenbelt areas are now reasonably commonplace, across Britain, with 14 separate areas amounting to a massive 1,556,000 hectares with over 12 percent coverage. These areas are designated with certain aims in mind, including preservation of historic towns, conserving the countryside and placing checks on urban sprawl.
Impact of Specialist Areas
When considering the purchase of a property that falls within one of these specialist areas, it is important to bear in mind that you might be subject to considerable restrictions. For example, there are strict rules in terms of the level and extent of allowable developments; these regulations must be adhered to strictly when planning adaptations to your chosen property.
Whilst these areas can be particularly onerous for those looking to develop properties, there is a flip side to this restriction. By purchasing a property in a Greenbelt or conservation area, you will have a degree of guarantee that there will not be a massive development on your doorstep, ruining the tranquil surroundings.
Specialist areas include those that have been designated as conservation, Greenfield or Greenbelt regions;
these areas are created to protect the region from over-development;
purchasing a property in these areas may mean that you are restricted in terms of the development that you can undertake;
however, these areas are unlikely to become overdeveloped, thus offering a fantastic option for individuals wanting a degree of long-term certainty.