LPP2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

Conservation Areas

4.45  Conservation Areas are designated under the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and are designated heritage assets identified for their special architectural or historic interest. Once designated, legislation requires that local planning authorities act with the aim of protecting, preserving and, where possible, enhancing the character and appearance of these areas.

4.46  Development in Conservation Areas should pay special regard to the importance to respond positively to the historic environment. This will often mean the use of traditional styles, methods and materials. Often such development can contribute to other environmental objectives, such as the use of sustainably sourced timber or reclaimed materials can contribute to supporting sustainable construction in line with Policy CC2 of Local Plan Part 1. High quality modern and innovative design can also contribute positively to the character and appearance of Conservation Areas where it responds to rather than works against the historic environment, through the sensitive reinterpretation of traditional design elements or materials.

4.47  The desire to preserve Conservation Areas can sometimes conflict with other objectives, such as improving accessibility or improving flood proofing, and developers should consider how they can resolve such conflicts through good design.

4.48  In Waverley, there are over 40 Conservation Areas. The Council is in the process of completing Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans for these. Seventeen Conservation Areas have been appraised, with the latest appraisals adopted by the Council on 25 April 2017. These documents should inform consideration of any planning applications within, or affecting the setting of, a Conservation Area.

4.49  The Council will seek to work with developers and communities to take opportunities to improve education and understanding of this important cultural resource when considering applications for development affecting Conservation Areas.

4.50  Trees are often of importance to the historic character of Conservation Areas. Six weeks notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level (or more than 100mm if reducing the number of trees to benefit the growth of other trees). This gives the Council an opportunity to consider whether a Tree Preservation Order should be made to protect the trees.

DM21: Conservation Areas

Development should preserve or enhance the character of Conservation Areas by:

  1. retaining buildings and other features, including trees, which make a significant contribution to the character of the Conservation Area;
  2. the design of all development, within or adjoining Conservation Areas, being of high quality and responding appropriately to the character of the area and surrounding buildings in terms of scale, height, layout, design, building style, detailing and materials;
  3. protecting open spaces and views important to the character and setting of the area;
  4. having regard to the cumulative harm of similar proposals within a conservation area. This includes the loss of boundary walls, front gardens and traditional architectural features;
  5. works to the public realm including the maintenance, repair and improvement of public highways and the provision of yellow lines, street direction signs and street lighting being carried out using materials and designs which are sensitive to the historic environment and;
  6. ensuring that the design of shopfronts and advertisements:
    1. respects the character of upper floors and neighbouring buildings in terms of scale, proportion, alignment, architectural style and materials;
    2. seeks to retain historic and traditional shopfronts and;
    3. includes consideration of both the need for illumination and the type of illumination which would be appropriate for the host building of illumination. Internally illuminated signs will not be permitted. Appropriately designed externally illuminated signs will be considered for premises with significant night time trade, unless the cumulative effect of such proposals would compromise the character of the area.

Proposals which would cause substantial harm to the heritage asset will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial public benefits gained would outweigh the loss of or harm to the heritage asset.

Proposals which would cause less than substantial harm to the significance of the heritage asset will be considered against the other public benefits to be gained. The Council will give great weight to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the Conservation Area, its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest. 

 Explanatory Notes:

4.51  Traditional architectural features can include: timber or metal window casements; true leaded lights or vertical sliding sashes; chimneys; traditional roof materials such as handmade clay tiles or slate; open eaves and exposed rafter feet; and unpainted brick and stone work. This is not an exhaustive list and may include other features.

4.52  Clause f)iii. relates to external signage which require consent, it excludes signage internal to the building which does not require consent.