Thursday, 27 February 2014

Common FAQs About Living within a Conservation Area

A number of people have followed up on our recent release on replacement doors and windows, in some cases raising concerns with other conservation and planning issues.   This note is a response to all that was raised.   If anyone would like more detailed answers they should email us at

My Property is owned by Hyde.  Who do I contact?

Hyde tenants who think their properties are in need of repairs or maintenance should call Hyde South East.   Their number is 0800 328 2282.   We understand all calls are logged and callers are given a reference number.   They should quote this number if they need to call back before receiving a response.

Why can't I put up my Satellite dish where I want?

Let’s start by defining the problem:

1.     Dishes need to pick up satellite signals from a broadly south-easterly direction.   Imagine you are standing with your back to St. Barnabus’s Church on Rochester Way.   If you look just to the right of the new Kinesis Gym and Fitness Centre you are, more or less, facing south east.
2.     To quote published planning guidance, permission is unlikely to be granted for dishes on front-facing walls, roof slopes, chimneys or anywhere else where they overlook the street or break the roofline.
Thus, all the houses whose backs face south-east should receive a satisfactory signal from dishes mounted on the rear walls.
This probably leaves about half the population having to deal with.   The good news is that there are usually solutions.   People just need to ask whoever is installing their dish to suggest how the problem can be resolved.   The difficulty arises because Sky, for example, offer fixed price installations.   Therefore, we believe their teams are targeted to carry out installations as fast and as cheaply as possible.   Left to their own devices, they will mount dishes on the outside of the wall of the room where the TV set is situated.   For houses, this is often the ground floor facing the highway.
The author of this note lives in a south-east facing house with a front-facing living room.   When he and his wife had Sky installed they insisted the dish was mounted at the back of their house.   It is on a short pole and, apparently, ‘looks’ at the roof, yet the signal is perfect.   Similar installations appear to be used by people living in upstairs maisonettes in Granby Road; some can be seen between the houses in Arsenal Road.
There are also instances of south-east facing houses having their dishes at ground level in their front gardens.
We therefore believe that the vast majority of people are likely to be able to locate satellite dishes that are concealed using, where necessary, the architectural features of their homes to screen their dishes from public view.
Finally, it might be worth mentioning that Cable TV is available throughout our Estate.   This may be an option for people who are not that interested in Sky’s sports channels.

What about TV aerials?

Installation of these is subject to certain regulations, but as a general rule householders can mount one normal-sized aerial anywhere they choose.   We agree there are some unsightly installations and can only suggest that people consider the effects of a planned installation on their local environment before going ahead.

I'm trying to be green, can I install Solar panels?

There have been applications for two installations and both have been refused.   Our Estate has a very open aspect and, in reality, almost every roof is visible from somewhere or other.

Maintaining our Estate as a desirable place to live

Conservation needs to be viewed as a process devised for the greater good of the community as a whole.   The individual actions of all of us impact upon the desirability of living here for everyone else.   People move here because our being a Conservation Area is in itself an attraction.   Maintaining this is achieved through the Planning process.

Someone commented that Planning is a time-consuming and off-putting rigmarole.   We will try to assist any resident who thinks they are being given a hard time by Royal Greenwich’s planning department if they care to ask.

How do I report an infringement?

Anyone has the right to report an infringement of planning regulations to Royal Greenwich.   However, please bear the following in mind.

It is very important that people believe the infringements they are reporting have occurred in the preceding 4 years.   Many alterations were made to houses on our Estate before its Article 4 Direction was adopted (this being the development  that gave Greenwich Council, as it then was, the ability to enforce planning guidelines).   Works more than 4 years old cannot be reversed unless the owners want to change them.   For example, someone owning a house with leaded diamond windows will only be granted permission to replace them with windows that conform to current guidelines; they will not be granted permission to fit new leaded diamond windows. 

Anyone wishing to report a break of planning regulations is free to call Royal Greenwich’s Enforcement Team on 020 8921 5516 or contact them via email

Further information about the Team is available on-line at:

Google Earth images display an imagery date (month and year) in the left-hand side of the bottom bar that is visible when one's cursor is hovering over the image itself.   We would suggest people refer to this resource to satisfy themselves that the works they plan to  report are recent.   Best of all is to send a copy of the image to

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