Policy HER 3: Conservation areas
- Development within or affecting the setting of a conservation area must pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area. Proposals should take account of the established townscape and landscape character of the area and its wider setting, including (but not limited to):
- local topography, landscape setting and natural features;
- existing townscape, local landmarks, views and skylines;
- the quality and nature of material, both traditional and modern;
- the established layout and spatial character of building plots, the existing alignments and widths of historic routes and street hierarchy (where physically and historically evident);
- the contribution that open areas make to the special character and appearance of the conservation area;
- the scale, height, bulk and massing;
- architectural historical and archaeological features and their settings;
- the need to retain historic boundary and surface treatments;
- the local dominant building materials;
- the building typology that best reflects the special character and appearance of the area, features and detailing;
- minimising and mitigating the loss of trees, hedgerows and other landscape features; and
- any positive improvements in the quality of the historic environment as a result of the development.
- Proposals for the demolition of a building or group of buildings that positively contribute to the character or appearance of a conservation area will not be supported unless the harm or loss is outweighed by the public benefits of an approved replacement scheme.
5.12 National policy encourages local planning authorities to look for opportunities for new development in conservation areas to enhance or better reveal their significance. Proposals that preserve those elements of the setting that make a positive contribution to or better reveal the significance of the area and its setting will be treated favourably.
5.13 Cheshire East has a large number of conservation areas, each with particularly distinctive or important historic environment features and significance. Development within or affecting the setting of conservation areas will be supported where it responds positively to local character, distinctiveness and history; reflects the identity and materials; and preserves or enhances its character and appearance.
5.14 Site specific design guidance through development briefs should inform new development within the setting of conservation areas. The Cheshire East Design Guide should be used alongside to inform the correct approach. Development briefs will encourage new development in historic environments that complements the established grain, settlement pattern and overall character, ensuring the new development makes a positive contribution to the significance of the conservation area.
5.15 Many conservation areas within Cheshire East have a sylvan character and therefore development that would erode this character, through subdivision of existing large plots or the over development of plots is unlikely to be supported.
5.16 In many cases, buildings that make a positive contribution will be identified specifically within conservation area appraisals. Buildings making a positive contribution to the significance of a conservation area may or may not be identified on the Cheshire East Local List of Historic Buildings.
5.17 Where consent for demolition of buildings within a conservation area is granted, conditions will be attached to make sure that no demolition can take place until the buildings are appropriately recorded before demolition, in accordance with ‘A Guide to Good Recording Practice’ (2016, Historic England). A copy of this record should be submitted to the local authority’s Historic Environment Record.
5.18 Planning applications for development within conservation areas should be submitted as full applications because outline applications do not usually offer sufficient information to make an informed judgement of the likely visual impact of a proposal on its surroundings.
5.19 Article 4 Directions may also be used to manage change in conservation areas.
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