Conservation areas

Conservation areas are defined as areas of special architectural or historic interest. The council designates these areas to ensure their character or appearance is preserved and enhanced for current and future generations. 

Designation is the formal process of establishing a new conservation but is it only the starting point of the council’s role in managing the new heritage asset. First, we carry out a conservation area appraisal to identify the character of the conservation area and justify the designation. The next step is to create a conservation area management plan. This is to fulfil our duties under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997, to review the conservation areas and their boundaries and formulate and publish proposals for their preservation and enhancement. It also provides the opportunity to extend the controls in the form of Article 4 Directions to statutory undertakers and the local authority to bring their obligations in line with homeowners.

If, following a conservation area appraisal and public consultation, the decision is made not to proceed to formal designation, then the conservation area appraisal becomes a built heritage appraisal

We have around 40 conservation areas in Aberdeenshire. They vary in character from central Stonehaven to the small coastal settlement of Pennan. They include:

  • The centres of our historic villages and towns
  • Fishing and coastal villages
  • Estate villages and planned towns

Aberdeenshire conservation area boundary maps

You can also view a list of conservation area appraisals and management plans (if available). 

Part of Aberdeenshire is situated within the Cairngorm National Park and so is covered by the Cairngorm National Park Plan as opposed to the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2023. View our conservation areas situated within the park.

Planning controls in conservation areas

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 enables us to make sure that new development will preserve or enhance the special character of the area.

Therefore if you intend to have work carried out on a property in a conservation area, you will normally need to apply to us for planning permission.

Demolition or substantial demolition of a building within a conservation area will usually require Conservation Area Consent. To find out if you need planning permission use form wizard on ePlanning website.

As the natural environment and spaces between buildings in conservation areas are also important, you also need permission from us to carry out works on protected trees such as felling or trimming.

Recent designations and review

Pennan Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

Following recommendation from the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, the consultation period for the Pennan Conservation Area is to be extended for an additional 6 months and it will remain open until 30th September 2023.  

View the drafted documents:

To provide comments on these documents please complete the Pennan Conservation Area Review survey.

Udny Green Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

The council have produced drafts of the Udny Green Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan documents and are seeking the comments and opinions of the local community to feed into the final documents.

The final documents will be adopted as part of the planning process and will assist planners, property owners, residents, architects and developers in the ongoing care and alteration of the properties within Udny Green Conservation Area. A public drop-in session will be held on 26th September 2023, between 3:30pm and 7:30pm at at Dr Spence Memorial Hall, Udny Green, where there will be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the documents.

There is a small, proposed change to the boundary of the conservation area to take account of modern development in the settlement. View the boundary map (PDF 2.16MB).

View the draft documents:

To provide comments on these documents please complete the Udny Green Conservation Area Review survey.

Peterhead Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

Currently in the planning stages of a review.

Cairnbulg and Inverallochy Conservation Area and Management Plan

This conservation area has been de-designated and is not longer included on the statutory list.