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Chapter 14
Heritage Conservation

Conservation Areas

HC1

Development in Conservation Areas

HC2

Demolition of Listed Buildings and Demolition in Conservation Areas

Listed Buildings

HC3

Development or Change of Use Affecting a Listed Building

HC4

Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building

Parks And Gardens Of Special Historic Interest

HC5

Historic Parks and Gardens

Archaeology

HC6

Sites and Areas of Archaeological Importance


Objective

To ensure that the historic and archaeological resource of the Borough is protected, preserved and, where appropriate, enhanced.

 

Indicators

14.1 The number of Listed Buildings on the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register.

 

Key partners

English Heritage
Merseyside Archaeology Service

 


Introduction

14.1 Sefton has a diverse heritage which plays an important role in forming its identity. The quality and distinctiveness of the historic environment can be easily eroded by ill conceived and short sighted actions. Once lost, the historic environment is difficult to restore.

 

14.2 The policies of this chapter will help protect historic buildings and environments and, where appropriate, ensure that they can be adapted to accommodate new uses and lifestyles without harming their essential character.

 

14.3 In this way the Borough’s heritage will be able to be enjoyed by future generations, which will make an important contribution to sustainable development. It is increasingly accepted that the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment also has a significant role to play in regenerating urban areas

 

14.4 The most important elements of Sefton’s heritage are identified by the following statutory designations:

 

14.5 However, there may be areas and buildings of historic importance that are not currently protected through any designation, but which may have historic significance. The historic significance of these undesignated buildings and areas will need to be taken into account when making development control decisions e.g. in relation to developments affecting:

 

Conservation Areas

14.6 The Council has a duty1 to declare as Conservation Areas those areas of the Borough that have special architectural or historic interest, and whose character or appearance it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

 

14.7 Twenty five Conservation Areas cover approximately 5% of the Borough. These are shown on the Proposals Map and in figure 14.1.

 

14.8 The designation reports for most of the Conservation Areas provide an assessment of their character and appearance. Detailed character statements for Conservation Areas are being produced which explain the value of each area.

 

14.9 Conservation Areas are not intended to prevent change or development but to ensure that where they do take place, they preserve or enhance the essential character of the area. To achieve this, rigorous design standards will be applied in addition to policy DQ1 ‘Design’. Applicants will need to demonstrate that their proposals are sensitive to the contextG of the area. Works to the highway and other public spaces within Conservation Areas (Conservation Area Appraisals) will be expected to meet the same standard of design.

 

POLICY HC1
DEVELOPMENT IN CONSERVATION AREAS

  1. Development within or adjacent to Conservation Areas will be permitted where the appearance and character of the area will be preserved or enhanced.

     

  2. Where proposals involve new buildings, structures or extensions to existing properties, applicants will need to demonstrate that their proposals are of a high standard and that:

     

    1. the scale, form, massing, height, materials and architectural detail of development respects the character of surrounding buildings;

       

    2. the layout of the site, including the use of hard and soft landscaping, respects the character of the area;

       

    3. historically significant boundaries, or other elements contributing to the established pattern of development, are retained;

       

    4. open spaces and street patterns, important to the character or historic value of the area, are protected;

       

    5. important views and vistas within, into and out of the area are protected;

       

    6. trees and landscape features, including historic street furniture and paving that contribute to the character of the area, are protected.

       

  3. Proposals for change of use should help maintain the area’s established type or mix of uses.

     

Procedures

  1. Applications for outline planning permission will not be accepted within Conservation Areas.

     

  2. Design Statements shall accompany planning applications.

     


Explanation

14.10 The Conservation Area’s designation report and character statement (see paragraph 14.8) will be used to help determine the effect of a proposal on the character or appearance of a Conservation Area. In the long run this will help to ensure that Conservation Areas are improved and will allow them to be managed in an appropriate way.

 

14.11 A Design Statement2 should accompany proposals to show how they will affect the character or appearance of the area.

 

14.12 The policy also seeks to control the type and mix of uses within a Conservation Area because of the impact that different land uses can have on the character of an area. Proposals for change of use should be consistent with the existing type or mix of uses so as to maintain an Area’s vitality and viability. New uses may be permitted where there will be no harm to the viability of the area or to the amenity of neighbouring uses.

 

Implementation

14.13 This policy will be implemented through the development control process.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

No changes made to policy but explanation now covers improvement and management of Conservation Areas.

 

Policy Links

DQ1 Design.

 

Background documents

‘Conservation Area Character Statements’, Sefton MBC (various dates)

 

Figure 14.1 Sites of Historic Importance

 

Figure 14.1 Sites of Historic Importance

POLICY HC2
DEMOLITION OF LISTED BUILDINGS AND DEMOLITION IN CONSERVATION AREAS

  1. Proposals involving the demolition of a Listed Building, or an unlisted building or structure in a Conservation Area, in whole or in part, will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that:

     

    1. the cost of repairing and maintaining the building outweighs both the building’s importance and the economic value that can be derived from its continued use; and

       

    2. efforts have been made to continue the building’s present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building

       

  2. Proposals involving the demolition of an unlisted building or structure in a Conservation Area will only be permitted where the building makes no positive contribution to the character or appearance of the Conservation Area.

     

Procedures

 

  1. Detailed proposals for the re-use of the site shall accompany applications for Conservation Area Consent.

     

  2. An uninterrupted, phased programme for demolition and development shall be agreed, and a contract for the redevelopment works signed, before the building or structure is demolished.

     


Explanation

14.14 Listed Buildings should be retained. The demolition of a Listed Building requires Listed Building Consent. This is distinct from planning permission. The criteria for controlling the demolition of a Listed Building has been included in this policy because such proposals could affect a related planning application for the redevelopment of the site.

 

14.15 The demolition of unlisted buildings and structures within Conservation Areas requires Conservation Area Consent. This is also different from planning permission.

 

14.16 This policy sets out the criteria which must be met when a planning application is received for the redevelopment of a site which also requires the demolition of a Listed Building or an unlisted building or structure in a conservation area. In these instances an application for Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent will need to be considered together with an application for planning permission. The reason for this is that the Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent could affect the decision on the related planning application.

 

14.17 Buildings or structures which make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a Conservation Area should be retained. In exceptional cases, where it can be demonstrated that a building is incapable of accommodating an appropriate and viable beneficial use, Conservation Area Consent may be granted for its demolition.

 

14.18 The process of demolition and redevelopment needs to be carefully controlled. Unattractive gap sites can be created where demolition takes place long before re-development. This damages the appearance or character of a Conservation Area. This is because it is the layout, form and arrangement of buildings and spaces that give Conservation Areas their special character or appearance.

 

14.19 Policy HC4 ‘Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building’ will apply in instances where the demolition of an unlisted building or structure within a Conservation Area, and the subsequent redevelopment of the site, will affect the setting of a Listed Building.

 

Implementation

14.20 This policy will be implemented through the development control process.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

Policy not changed as demolition of unsafe structures in Conservation Areas is covered by other legislation.

 

Policy Links

DQ1 Design;
HC4 Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building.

 

Background documents

Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’, 1994.

 

Listed Buildings

POLICY HC3
DEVELOPMENT OR CHANGE OF USE AFFECTING A LISTED BUILDING

  1. Proposals to extend or alter a Listed Building, to change the use of part or the whole of a Listed Building, will not be permitted unless the building, its setting and any features of the building of special architectural or historic interest are preserved.

     

  2. Proposals affecting curtilage buildings and structures relating to the Listed Building will be subject to the same considerations as those affecting the principal building.

     

Procedures

 

  1. Proposals for the change of use of part or the whole of a Listed Building should include details of all intended alterations to the building and curtilage to show how they affect the appearance, character and setting of the Listed Building.

     


Explanation

14.21 It is important to balance alterations and extensions to Listed Buildings with the need to secure the buildings in the long-term. Many Listed Buildings can sustain some degree of careful alteration or extension, while others are sensitive to even slight alterations. In judging the effect of any alteration or extension, it is essential to assess the elements that make up the special interest of the building in question.

 

14.22 Extensions or alterations to Listed Buildings or buildings within the curtilage of a Listed Building should be designed to take account of the:

 

14.23 Access may be required during works to alter or extend a Listed Building or curtilage building to record features of interest that may be revealed.

 

Implementation

14.24 This policy will be implemented through the development control process.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

Policy not changed but explanation now deals with detail of demolition and sensitivity of alterations.

 

Policy Links

None

 

Background Documents

Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’,1994; ‘The Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act’, 1990; Sefton Building Conservation Directory, SMBC, 2001.

 

POLICY HC4
DEVELOPMENT AFFECTING THE SETTING OF A LISTED BUILDING

  1. Development will not be permitted which would harm the setting of a Listed Building.

     

  2. In assessing proposals likely to affect the setting of a Listed Building the following will be taken into account:

     

    1. the scale, massing and siting of the proposed development;

       

    2. the extent to which the design and form of structures complement the features of the Listed Building and make a positive contribution to its setting;

       

    3. the impact of the proposed development on the grounds, gardens, landscaping or other features surrounding the Listed Building;

       

    4. the impact the development will have on important views of the Listed Building.

       


Explanation

14.25 The setting of a Listed Building is often an essential part of its character. The economic viability as well as the character of a historic building may suffer, and the contribution they make to the townscape or countryside may be harmed, if they become isolated from their surroundings by other developments.

 

Implementation

14.26 This policy will be implemented through the development control process.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

Policy not changed as the explanation now defines ‘harm’

 

Policy Links

None

 

Background Documents

Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’, 1994; ‘The Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act’, 1990; Sefton Building Conservation Directory, Sefton MBC, 2001.

 

Parks and Gardens Of Special Historic Interest

14.27 A register of parks and gardens of special historic interest has been compiled by English Heritage. In Sefton five parks are registered:

 

(Botanic Gardens, Ince Blundell and Kings Gardens, Derby Park and South Marine Gardens are also within Conservation Areas). These Historic Parks and Gardens are shown on the Proposals Map and on figure 14.1.

 

POLICY HC5
HISTORIC PARKS AND GARDENS

  1. Development will only be permitted within historic parks and gardens if:

     

    1. (a) it relates well to the key features of the park or garden and does not harm the integrity of its historic layout and structure;

       

    2. (b) its design, including the type and quality of materials used, respects the historic character and quality of the park or garden.

       

  2. Development will not be permitted if it would harm the setting of a historic park or garden.

     

Procedures

 

  1. Design Statements shall accompany planning applications.

     


Explanation

14.28 To minimise the impact of development on a historic park and garden and its settings, the following should be taken into account:

 

14.29 Proposals should be accompanied by a design statement to show how the development takes account of the features, layout and structure of the park or garden. Materials used for the construction of any buildings, structures or enclosures must be considered carefully to ensure that the quality and character of the park or garden are retained.

 

Implementation

14.30 This policy will be implemented through the development control process.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

No changes needed.

 

Policy Links

DQ1 Design.

 

Background Documents

Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’,1994; The Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act, 1990; Sefton Building Conservation Directory, SMBC, 2001.

 

Archaeology

14.31 Archaeological remains are irreplaceable assets which are valuable both for their own sake and their role in education, leisure and tourism. They are often highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. Care must be taken when making planning decisions that could affect archaeological remains to ensure that they are not needlessly destroyed.

 

14.32 Some archaeological remains of national importance enjoy special protection as ‘Scheduled Ancient Monuments’. Details of archaeological remains identified in Sefton are kept in the Archaeological Sites and Monuments Record for Merseyside, which is updated as new information becomes available. Those Scheduled Ancient Monuments identified to date are listed below and shown in figure 14.1:

 

  1. Hightown Cross, Hightown

     

  2. Standing Cross, Harkirk, Little Crosby

     

  3. Wayside Cross, Little Crosby

     

  4. Standing Cross, Ince Blundell

     

  5. Wayside Cross, Ince Blundell

     

  6. Standing Cross, Thornton

     

  7. Brooms Cross, Thornton

     

  8. Sefton Old Hall Moated Site & Fishponds, Sefton

     

  9. Maghull Manor Moated Site, Maghull

     

  10. St Katherine's Chapel, Lydiate

     

  11. Standing Cross, Melling

     

  12. Cross Base, Melling

     

  13. Cunscough Hall Moated Site, Melling.

     

14.33 The archaeological heritage of the Borough occurs not only as specific sites or buildings, such as Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings, but also as general landforms and patterns of settlement. Important landscapes are considered in Policy GBC6 ‘Landscape Character’ and in Chapter 12 ‘The Coast’.

 

POLICY HC6
SITES AND AREAS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE

Nationally important sites and their settings:

 

  1. Development will not be permitted if it would destroy or harm Scheduled Ancient Monuments and other nationally important archaeological remains and their settings.

     

Sites and areas of district and local importance:

 

  1. Development must not cause damage to known or presumed sites and areas of archaeological importance.

     

Procedures:

 

  1. Development is required to take into account the presence of known or presumed archaeological sites and areas.

     

Therefore:

 

  1. sufficient information should accompany planning applications to assess the character, condition and extent of the archaeological resource;

     

  2. where the preservation of archaeological remains in situ is not justified, planning conditions will be used to:
    1. require archaeological investigations to be completed before development begins; and
    2. ensure the excavation, recording, analysis and reporting of the archaeological resource.


Explanation

14.34 In assessing development proposals the relative importance of archaeology must be weighed against other factors, including the need for the proposed development.

 

14.35 Nationally important sites and their settings should be physically preserved. The preference is also for the preservation in situ of archaeology of less importance. Consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained for any works that affect a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This is distinct from planning permission.

 

14.36 The Merseyside Archaeological Service will use the Merseyside Sites and Monuments Record to assist in advising on those sites and areas, which are known to, or may, contain archaeological remains. Where evidence suggests that development could affect archaeological remains, investigations will be required to discover their character, condition and extent.

 

14.37 Where it is considered that archaeological remains are worthy of preservation in situ, development proposals likely to harm them will either be refused or will need to be modified.

 

14.38 However, where development could affect archaeological remains of district and local importance it may not be considered necessary to preserve them in situ. In such cases investigations will need to be carried out and provision should be made to excavate, record, analyse, and report the archaeology.

 

14.39 Detailed guidance on how the development process needs to take account of archaeology is set out in Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) Note ‘Archaeology’.

 

Implementation

14.40 This policy will be implemented through the development control process taking account of the SPG referred to above.

 

Sustainability Appraisal

Policy not changed as it already covers the importance of protecting or recording archaeological remains.

 

Policy Links

GBC6 ‘Landscape Character’

 

Background documents

Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 ‘Archaeology and Planning’,1990; The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, Archaeological Sites and Monuments Record for Merseyside.

 


1 Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

 

2 Design Statements will not be required for house extensions and other minor domestic development

 

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