Clair Shields – Planning Policy & Conservation Officer
The Civic Amenities Act 1967 brought in the idea of Conservation Areas in reaction to wide spread uninhibited redevelopment. Conservation Areas are designated by the local Planning Authority (outside London) because of their ‘special architectural and historic interest’ – the aim is to maintain what makes these areas special and conserve the interest into the future.
Conservation Areas are found all over the country. In the North York Moors, most of the Conservation Areas are the centres of rural villages. Not all our villages have designated Conservation Areas.
Article 4 Directions set out what changes to features need permission which elsewhere might be permitted development. These changes can seem small but the impact of lots of little changes can be the gradual and unintended loss of the village character.
Alongside the Historic Buildings Grant which helps maintain individual listed buildings, the National Park Authority operates a Conservation Area Enhancement Grant. The grant can help householders maintain the local historic character as well as maintaining the integrity of their houses.
Here are a few examples of recent Conservation Area Enhancement Grants which highlight some of the work we in the Building Conservation Team have been up to reinstating lost historic window and door details. Sometimes it’s not so obvious which are before and after – the local historic character can be quite specific.
If you have a North York Moors traditional property within one of the 38 Conservation Areas with an Article 4 Direction and you’re interested in carrying out similar work – please get in touch