English Heritage has urged local planning authorities to make much greater use of Article 4 Directions to safeguard conservation areas. That call came as the Government’s adviser on historic buildings and monuments published its latest annual Heritage at Risk Register. It highlighted that one in seven of England’s 9,300 conservation areas were at risk of neglect, decay or damaging change and many more gave cause for concern.
The top threats were: plastic windows and doors; poorly maintained roads and pavements; street clutter; loss of front garden walls, fences and hedges; unsightly satellite dishes; the effects of traffic calming or traffic management; alterations to the fronts, roofs and chimneys of buildings; unsympathetic extensions; impact of advertisements and neglected green spaces. Now English Heritage is launching a Conservation Areas at Risk campaign to get residents, local groups and councils working together.
The 2009 register contains full details for the first time of all scheduled monuments and registered parks and gardens at risk. The register revealed that approximately: 1 in 30 Grade I and II* buildings is at risk; 1 in 40 Grade II-listed buildings in London is at risk; 1 in 5 scheduled monuments is at risk; 1 in 15 registered parks and gardens is at risk; 1 in 6 registered battlefields is at risk and 1 in 5 protected wreck sites is at risk.