A conservation area is defined as an "area of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance." It is the quality and interest of the area, rather than the individual buildings which is of primary interest when designating a conservation area. Conservation areas in Elmbridge There are 26 designated conservation areas within the borough, which cover more than 2,000 properties. These include historic town centres, village greens, a philanthropic retirement village, a 1920s motor racing circuit and river navigation channels. Planning applications in conservation areas Most planning applications within a conservation area will require an accompanying Heritage Statement, see the advice: Document Advice on producing heritage statements and local validation requirements (PDF, 109.74KB) You can use My Neighbourhood to find out if your property is in a conservation area. Related guidance Document Conservation area guide (PDF, 350.86KB) Document Shopfronts in conservation areas (PDF, 472.96KB) GOV.UK: Trees in conservation areas For more information about conservation areas visit English Heritage.