The Telegraph has featured observations on Stamford’s historic centre, as the first conservation area, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its designation this year.
The Telegraph writes:
More regency than Beau Brummell and as perfectly crafted as a Jane Austen novel, Stamford’s historic centre is an un-spoilt Georgian gem. This is largely because 50 years ago this month the Lincolnshire town was declared a conservation area. It was the first to be given this protected status and other towns quickly followed suit – parts of Exeter and Plymouth were created conservation areas the same year, soon joined by Bath, York and the London areas of Blackheath and Greenwich in 1968. There are now more than 8,000 of these protected enclaves in England.
Steve Ingram, strategic director for Stamford’s South Kesteven District Council said: ‘We are a crowded little island where people value the ambience and nature of a place,’ and he said that preserving and protecting the area is ‘a key part of our make-up’.
Conservation areas are defined as places of architectural, historic or environmental interest, which are legally protected against certain changes. This means that if you own a home in one, any alterations you wish to make are restricted. Whether you want to lop a tree or replace a front door, you need to contact your local planning authority. The upside is that you might never have to look upon the horror of PVC windows ever again. Conservation areas appeal because they tend to be more attractive, but owners also like them because they offer stability.
Nick Evans of Humberts estate agency says: ‘The extra planning constraints mean that the immediate environs are not going to have substantial change. And there is also a little bit of prestige about them, too.’…
So are conservation areas successful? Lucy Denton from Bidwells property consultancy’s heritage and research team said: ‘For the most part, yes, but not necessarily uniformly.’…
Find out about the conservation areas, including IHBC’s Anniversary fund via the NewsBlogs