Prop­erty com­ment

It’s been 50 years since con­ser­va­tion ar­eas were in­tro­duced. Many peo­ple are in favour of these bas­tions of the unique and his­toric, which can boost prop­erty val­ues, but some see them as a sign of un­nec­es­sary govern­ment med­dling. Ara­bella Youens ex­am­ines

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Edited by An­nun­ci­ata El­wes

FOR ad­vo­cates, con­ser­va­tion ar­eas have been re­spon­si­ble for pre­serv­ing some of Eng­land’s finest ex­am­ples of built her­itage; for oth­ers, they al­low lo­cal plan­ners too much power over seem­ingly in­con­se­quen­tial mat­ters such as down­pipes and tree heights. Like it or not, this year marks the 50th an­niver­sary of the Civic Ameni­ties Act 1967, which saw the in­tro­duc­tion of the first con­ser­va­tion ar­eas in the UK.

The idea of in­tro­duc­ing preser­va­tion orders on some of the best ex­am­ples of ur­ban and vil­lage built her­itage had al­ready been mooted in the early 1960s. A to­tal of 51 ‘gem towns’ were iden­ti­fied by the Coun­cil for Bri­tish Ar­chae­ol­ogy in re­sponse to wide­spread road ex­pan­sion projects tak­ing place around the coun­try— among other ex­am­ples was the loss of her­itage as­sets in Worces­ter fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the town cen­tre.

It was in­tended that the first con­ser­va­tion ar­eas would be cre­ated in these towns, which in­cluded York, Ch­ester, Chich­ester and Bath, but, thanks to the ef­forts of a dy­namic plan­ner in Stam­ford, who

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