Conservation Areas

We identify areas of ‘special architectural or historic interest that makes them worth protecting and improving.

The main purpose of creating a conservation area is to preserve and enhance the unique and distinctive character of an area through planning and other environmental measures.

Designation within a conservation doesn’t mean every building will be preserved and that no changes will be allowed, but instead helps to ensure changes respect the area’s character and appearance. The additional planning restrictions within conservation areas give more control over new development to ensure it is of good quality, and to provide protection for important features, spaces, or buildings.

Oxford has 18 Conservation Areas at present.  They include a diverse range of qualities from the compact college environment found in the city centre, the open green space found in the Headington Hill Conservation Area, to the vast meadows in Wolvercote and Godstow. See all Conservation Areas on a map.

Architectural styles and landscape qualities are diverse but they all have the common element of containing features that contribute to our historic past.  It is the protection of these elements that need to be properly managed, ensuring future generations will value and enjoy their special qualities.

Other conservation areas

Further details and maps of each of the Conservation Areas (including appraisals where they have been written) are available below: