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Conservation Area

In 1967 the Civic Amenities Act introduced Conservation Areas to the UK. Conservation areas are defined as ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve and enhance’.

Lancaster City Council has 38 Conservation Areas, many of which have been designated for very different architectural and historic interests. For example, the city of Lancaster has an extraordinary collection of Georgian townhouses and shops, Victorian and Edwardian public buildings.

Morecambe has the novelty of the seaside resort architectural style; an eclectic mix of revival and art deco styles. Many rural conservation areas within the district are characterised by their vernacular building construction.

A Conservation Area Appraisal sets out how an area has evolved historically and highlights what are the key contributors to the architectural quality and character of the place. The appraisal will identify opportunities for beneficial change or the need for additional protection.

Purpose of a Conservation Area Appraisal

The purpose of this appraisal is to make sure Melling’s historic contribution to the District’s heritage is widely recognised as it crucially contributes to our sense of place and community. Building traditions and settlement patterns have developed uniquely to each area and it should be explicitly outlined why the area of Melling was designated as a conservation area in 1981 to better inform future decisions for change. This appraisal has been prepared by Lancaster City Council’s conservation team during October 2015. It was taken to public consultation during December 2015 and was adopted in February 2016. 

Conservation Areas – a Guide for Residents in Melling and in Wrayton

 

What is a Conservation Area?

Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 imposes a duty on local planning authorities to designate any ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’ as conservation areas. Lancaster district has 38 conservation areas, including Melling, and Wrayton.

 

Which properties and land in Melling-with-Wrayton lie within a Conservation Area?

In both Melling and Wrayton, almost all the residential properties, and their land, lie within a designated Conservation Area [CA], together with some of the non-residential and agricultural land in the parish of Melling-with-Wrayton. 

 

A map of our parish, showing our two Conservation Areas, can be found by going to: http://mario.lancashire.gov.uk/agsmario/default.aspx  Click on the tab ‘Countryside Environment and Waste’ and then select ‘Conservation Areas’. In Melling, according to this map, Lune View and all properties NE of the railway (except Galley Hill Farm) are outside the CA. In Wrayton, Hawthorn Cottage, Sunny Croft Farm, and Wrayton Hall Farm are outside the CA.

 

What does this mean for us as householders?

Within a conservation area, there are some restricted development rights. Planning permission may be required for certain developments. There are particular planning restrictions for listed buildings. For additional information, see:

https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/conservation/conservation-areas

 

Trees

Living in a rural CA such as ours requires us to take particular care, and follow defined procedures, when it comes to undertaking any work with trees. ‘Anyone proposing to prune, lop, top or remove a tree with a trunk diameter of 75mm measured at 1.5m above ground level within a conservation area, must give the local authority written notification six weeks prior to beginning those works’ (City Council website).

 

If the City Council refuses permission for the proposed works, it may issue a tree preservation order (TPO). The principal effect of a TPO is to prohibit the cutting down, uprooting, topping, lopping, wilful damage, or wilful destruction of protected trees or woodlands.

 

Guidance for proposed tree works, and an application form, can be found by going to: https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/planning/trees/tree-preservation-orders For all enquiries concerning Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation orders, the City Council phone number is 01524 582950.

 

Why these restrictions?

According to the City Council, ‘Change within a conservation area is inevitable. The Council does not seek to prevent this, but simply to manage it in a way which is beneficial to the character and appearance of the area.’ 

 

David Nott, on behalf of Melling-with-Wrayton Parish Council