The Duchy Conservation Area

The Duchy Estate is part of the Harrogate Conservation Area, which was designated in 1973. The particular features of the Duchy Estate that the Conservation Area designation seeks to preserve include the “Arcadian” feel of the estate, with its many mature trees, hedges and large gardens, the low ratio of building to plot size (relative to other parts of Harrogate where gardens and other spaces have been subjected to “in-fill” building) and respect for privacy, with houses set back from the road, screened by greenery and overlooking each other as little as possible. Any applications to build or extend houses on the Duchy Estate are scrutinised by the planning department at the Borough Council, the Residents’ Association and the Civic Society to ensure that the objectives of the Conservation Area are met.

Living in a conservation area has many benefits, but also presents challenges to those living in homes that were largely built in the early part of the twentieth century, when people’s lifestyles were quite different to how they are now. Kitchens, for example are probably subject to the most change. When the majority of the houses on the Duchy Estate were built, kitchens were places where a cook or housekeeper would have prepared food for the family. They were built to be functional and often designed to take up as little room as possible somewhere in the back of the house. Many of the houses on the estate have had kitchens extended, kitchen dining rooms added or even kitchens put into the basement to make a more appealing space for what is now a key room in any home.

The question is always balancing the requirements of individual homeowners with the restrictions of the Conservation Area. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about living in a conservation area, and planning.