Letchworth is special! It is the world’s first Garden City, set out to achieve the perfect balance of town and country.
Letchworth Garden City has a Scheme of Management which means that most homes - freehold and leasehold - require our written approval before any external changes are made.
This Scheme of Management has helped preserve the character of Letchworth by protecting the key features of individual houses and their setting.
There are many other examples of similar schemes across the country. In the South East these include, Hampstead Garden Suburb, the Dulwich and Grosvenor Estates, all introduced under the Land Registration Act legislation.
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.
If you wish to make external changes to your home you need to apply for our consent.
This requirement is separate from the permission required from the local authority under planning and listed building legislation and the building regulations.
Please be aware that works undertaken without our approval could lead to action being instigated, difficulty in selling your home or even legal action to remove the unauthorised works.
When considering proposals for alterations we support applications that reintroduce original designs and detailing that have been lost over time.
Not sure what changes you'd like?
We provide a free pre-application advice service to help you formulate your ideas, before an application is submitted. Speaking to us before you begin your application can make it easier and quicker to get approval.
Send us an email with your address, confirm you're the homeowner, and a brief explanation of the change you've got in mind. We'll do our best to help.
Ready to apply?
Once you have decided what changes you would like to carry out on your home, check your character area and read the Design Principles for your character area.
You are then ready to apply online!
Whether you’re a homeowner, ground lessee, agent, architect or tree surgeon, you can quickly make and track the progress of your application online.
What happens next?
Once your application has been received with all of the relevant documents, it will be assigned to a Case Officer, who will be your contact throughout the process. For most applications we will ask your neighbours thoughts on your proposal.
Your Case Officer will review your application with reference to the Design Principles, which sets out our usual requirements.
Most applications are dealt with by your Case Officer in 6 weeks. Read more about the application process here.
These principles provide advice to help you design exterior changes that maintain the special character of Letchworth Garden City. Your home will be either in the Heritage Character Area or Modern Character Area.
Scheme of Management
This applies to all freehold and some leasehold premises within the Letchworth Garden City estate. It covers a number of areas including restrictions on the cutting down trees and hedges to running a business from home.
If you'd like to speak to us about your application or your ideas, call us on 01462 530335 or email us.
The HAS team are always available on email, online and phone. We would recommend that you make an appointment if you would like to see a member of the team on a Tuesday or Thursday.
**Please note: From 1 September 2020, new charges have been introduced for some of our Heritage Advice and Property Team. Click here to find out more.**