Conservation Concerns – September 2021

Ruislip has a rich historic heritage including the Manor Farm site that comprises a 13th century Great Barn, a 13th Century church, a 16th Century Little Barn, an early medieval Motte & Bailey and a number of houses from the 16th Century onwards. It also contains a Conservation Area comprising houses built in the early 20th Century, when the area was developed on “garden suburb” lines.


Conservation is about the protection of these assets, and the preservation of the character of the area, for the benefit of current and future residents. The danger is that without continuous attention a series of minor alterations could, over time, easily result in the gradual but permanent damage to the heritage and character of Ruislip.


The London Borough of Hillingdon (LBH) designates specific areas as “Conservation Areas”, or “Areas of Special Local Character” (ASLCs), based on a score against nine criteria relating to townscape significance, architectural significance and historic significance.

Conservation Areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. ASLCs are areas which contain elements of local character and identity that the Council also wishes to preserve.

Within Ruislip there are two Conservation Areas and two ASLCs:

Ruislip Village Conservation Area: The Ruislip Village Conservation Area (RVCA) was designated in 1969, and was one of the first such areas to be agreed within LBH. It then contained only the medieval village centre comprising Manor Farm (the administrative centre of the Manor of Ruislip), St. Martin’s Church (the ecclesiastical centre of the Parish of Ruislip), and the ancient buildings at the north end of Ruislip High Street and south end of Bury Street – all of which are “Listed”.

In 2009 the RVCA was extended to include all of Ruislip High Street and the later residential “garden suburb” area immediately to the west, built upon the Park Estate and Withy Crofts – meadowland belonging to the King’s College Estate – as well as the old hamlets of Great King’s End and Little King’s End. It is a good example of “Metroland” development which followed the arrival of the railway in the early 1900s, having many high quality residential houses set in mature gardens.

The RVCA is rich in historic buildings and features – containing 23 Statutorily Listed buildings, 26 Locally Listed buildings and one Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Ruislip “Manor Way” Conservation Area: Manor Way is architecturally and socially important because it has the earliest cottages built by the Ruislip Manor Cottage Society, founded in 1911, to provide attractive and decent housing for working people.

The two ASLCs are “Midcroft” and “Moat Drive”.  Ruislip also contains an “Archaeological Priority Area” (APA) called the “Ruislip Motte & Bailey APA” – covering Park Wood, Ruislip Lido and adjacent areas. Within this area are two Scheduled Ancient Monuments: the Motte & Bailey – in the Manor Farm site, and Park Pale – an earthwork forming the boundary of the medieval deer park. These archaeological remains are an important and valuable local and national resource.


The areas shaded light red and purple on the map on the previous page indicate the location of two Conservation Areas and the ASLCs are in light blue and turquoise. You can view the Heritage Assets Map on the LBH website which displays all relevant designated and non-designated heritage assets in the Borough.


If you live within a conservation area it is important that you are aware that some
‘permitted development’ rights (that is, permission granted automatically for certain works to single family dwelling houses) are restricted. Therefore, planning permission is likely to be required to alter, extend and/or demolish buildings and even pruning trees can require permission within designated areas.

Planning applications for development in conservation areas should be supported by a heritage statement. Where they exist, conservation area appraisals and management plans should be taken into account when designing proposals. The assessment of all applications will take into account national and local planning policies – see Hillingdon’s Local Plan

Trees and other landscape features may contribute to the special character and appearance of a conservation area. Find more information in relation to carrying out works on trees in conservation areas refer to this page on the LBH website.

For further guidance on building in conservation areas refer to Historic England that provides some useful information, in the links below:

Living in a Conservation Area

Tips for Home Owners


Within a conservation area, planning permission is required for ‘relevant demolition’ of a building (with a volume of 115 cubic metres or more) or to take down any wall, gate or fence (more than 1m high along a highway, or 2m high elsewhere). In general, permission will not be granted for the demolition of any buildings or structures that make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area.

It’s an offence to carry out ‘relevant demolition’ without planning permission or compliance with relevant conditions of a planning consent, of which you can be prosecuted.

Report unauthorised works in conservation areas on the LBH Planning Enforcement webpage.

To make general enquiries you may email the LBH Conservation team on

For more in-depth discussions, or detailed advice regarding development proposals a pre-application would need to be submitted.


While the majority of Planning Applications are approved by the Council, there are a number that cause us some concern due to the potential impact on the Conservation Areas or Areas of Special Local Character (CA/ASLCs). If we have serious concerns about a proposed development, we contact the Council Planning Officer and request refusal, giving the main reasons for reaching that view. Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) there is now a presumption in favour of development, so we look at applications carefully and constructively, and sometimes suggest alternative designs.

The most common reasons for refusal of applications by the Council were:

  • the development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area,
  • the development would be overbearing, visually intrusive, and dominant in relation to neighbouring properties and the local street scene,
  • there would be insufficient parking provision or amenity space, and/or
  • it includes sub-standard accommodation (eg. lack of outlook, lack of natural light, low ceilings).

It is important that we respect the historic environment and recognising we are custodians. In appropriately preserving and/ or conserving the environment we are enabling future generations to be able to experience it and learn from it.

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