Altering your home

Making changes to your home

Why do you need to talk to us? 

In order to ensure Letchworth remains true to its founding principles as the world's first Garden City, we need to make sure its buildings and premises maintain its special character. Homeowners in particular need to make sure any proposed changes to their homes meet certain criteria as to how they look and are designed. 

We use two main instruments that governs the process and keeps Letchworth looking good: 

The Scheme of Management

The Scheme of Management applies to all freehold premises within the Letchworth Garden City estate. The document gives obligations (or covenants) on freehold property owners, covering a number of areas including restrictions on the cutting down trees and hedges to running a business from home.

The Scheme of Management was introduced to preserve the appearance and character of Letchworth’s unique environment as the world’s first Garden City, and to ensure houses are in harmony with its original design and character. The Heritage Advice Property Team can offer guidance and support to ensure these principles of the garden city are managed and maintained.

Design Principles

In-line with the Scheme of Management, many homeowners require our consent when making external changes to their home. Many leasehold properties also have Covenants under which Landlord’s Consent for works is required.

We publish guidance documents, known as Design Principles, to support homeowners with this process, providing advice on everything from doors and windows, to extensions and chimneys helping homeowners to design exterior changes that maintain the special character of Letchworth Garden City.

The Design Principles split homes in the town into two categories, known as Character Areas. These Character Areas are:

  • Heritage Character Area
  • Modern Character Area

Find out more about what you need to do before applying to change your home, including printing off your own checklist.

If you want to talk to our Heritage Advice Service about this process, call us on 01462 530335.