New guidance on protecting local character
Separate from Conservation Area Appraisal, this is intended to help local authority staff and developers involved in the early planning stages of eco-towns, regeneration schemes, housing growth areas, redevelopment schemes, or in the formulation of master plans, Heritage Partnership Agreements or Area Action Plans. The guidance will help them to identify quickly which historic features contribute to the character of the area and should be restored, protected and enhanced. It also argues the case for ensuring that new developments within the area enhance the existing character.
Examples are drawn from places such as the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, the village of Harmondsworth near Heathrow, Berwick-upon-Tweed, the Sea Mills Garden Suburb in Bristol and South Shoreditch.
Pat Aird, Head of National Planning Advice, English Heritage, said: “The rich variety and unique character present at intimate local levels are what make places attractive to businesses, visitors and residents. This guidance will help people understand and protect those finer grain details that make our neighbourhoods special … [if they] understand their surroundings better, they will be able to discuss and decide on new developments from an informed position which ultimately leads to a better stewardship of the historic environment without hindering positive change.”
The full version of Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessment — Principles and Practice, and a shorter version specifically aimed at local authorities and developers, are available from the Historic Environment Local Management site.