11. The Historic Environment

11.1.

North Kesteven has been the home to generations of people, and the character of the District as we see it today is largely the product of the social, economic and spiritual lives of each of these generations. The physical evidence of our predecessors is all around us: – the patterns of our boundaries, roads, paths and rivers; the layout of our towns, villages and farms; and the character of our buildings, parks and gardens. This heritage is fundamental in giving the District its distinct and attractive character, plays an important role in the District’s economy, and is greatly valued by those who live and work in the area as well as visitors.

11.2.

However, this heritage is irreplaceable – once it is gone, it is gone forever. Consequently, one of the roles of the Local Plan is to balance the on-going need for development and change with the need to protect and enhance the historic environment.

11.3.

To this end, the Council will use its powers to prevent development that would harm those parts of the District that exemplify the past, and will encourage developments that will reveal or improve them. The Council will protect the most visible or important examples, such as listed buildings, ancient monuments or conservation areas. However, the Council will not ignore locally-important remains, features, structures or buildings that nonetheless speak in some way of the area’s history, since they contribute a great deal to the diversity and interest of the area.

11.4.

The policies of this chapter are intended to protect and enhance the historic environment inherited from previous generations. This approach accords with the provisions of the Council’s Local Agenda 21 strategy, and will contribute towards all three of the Council’s objectives

  • A good quality of life for all residents - Historical features are a cultural asset, and contribute to the quality of life. They are of great importance to many local people and are something that people strongly identify with their community’s identity.
  • A thriving and prosperous economy - Historical buildings and features are assets that have a valuable role to play in the District’s economy. Many listed buildings and conservation areas are in commercial use and should remain so, for the benefit of both the District’s economy and the buildings or areas themselves (because it is only by being used that they are likely to be properly cared for). Most examples of the area’s heritage improve the image that the District projects to visitors, tourists and potential inward-investors.
  • A clean, green and safe environment - Historical buildings and features are a very obvious and positive part of the District’s environment, and make an important contribution to local distinctiveness. Looking after them is a vital part of protecting, improving and managing the diversity of the District’s overall environment. They are non-renewable assets, and preserving them is an important aspect of ensuring that the future development of the District is sustainable.

Archaeological Remains

11.5.

Archaeological deposits are finite and irreplaceable direct evidence of past human lives, and North Kesteven contains an unusually rich range of them.

11.6.

Evidence of human occupation and activities prior to 8,000BC is extremely sparse. However, isolated scatters of stone tools, weapons and other implements left by the huntergatherer peoples living in the District during the next 5,000 years (the Mesolithic period) have been found. The development of farming and bronze technology in the following Neolithic and Bronze Age periods resulted in a more settled way of life and more intensive use of the landscape. Bronze and polished stone axes are a relatively common find throughout the District, reflecting an increase in forest clearance. Ceremonial monuments in the form of long barrows, earthwork enclosures and round barrows were introduced in these periods, and there are notable Bronze Age barrow cemeteries at Anwick, Walcott and Washingborough.

11.7.

The archaeological record for the later Iron Age and Roman periods (200BC – 450AD) is much fuller than preceding eras. Sleaford, in particular, stands out as a major Iron Age centre. Elsewhere, throughout the District, the remains of numerous Iron Age farmsteads, field systems, salt workings, roads and trackways and a great many metal objects are known. Larger Romanised settlements have been found at Sleaford, North Hykeham and Navenby, and Ermine Street, Mareham Lane and the Fosse Way are Roman Roads still in use today. The Carr Dyke (a monument of national importance) was largely constructed at this time, as was the Fosse Dyke.

11.8.

A dense scatter of early Anglo-Saxon settlement has recently been discovered, and graveyards have been excavated in Sleaford, Quarrington and Ruskington. Most of the District’s present day villages originated in the later Anglo-Saxon period, as is reflected in their place names. Glimpses of Anglo-Saxon architecture can still be seen in some of our churches, but the overwhelming influence is medieval (1066-1500). During the medieval period, based on a flourishing wool trade, monasticism flourished, towns prospered and landowners became extremely wealthy. Ruined monasteries, exquisite churches, moated manor houses and now deserted villages evident throughout North Kesteven attest to the richness of the medieval period.

11.9.

The modern landscape, and the distinct character of the District’s settlements is largely the product of the post-medieval age. In the countryside, dry stone walls, hawthorn hedges, fox coverts, straight roads with wide grass verges, red brick farms and windmills are the result of enclosure and subsequent land ‘improvement’ in the 18th and 19th centuries. Country estates, grand houses, formal gardens and former deer parks attest to the wealth generated by enclosure improvements. In the towns, many of our fine commercial and public buildings were built at this time. More recently, innovations in agriculture, industry and defence have resulted in a rich legacy of buildings and landscape, such as breweries, engineering works, pumping stations and airfields.

11.10.

These remains are valuable for their own sake since they are a significant part of the area’s identity, but they also have an economic value in that they can attract tourists and visitors. Furthermore, the preservation of archaeological resources is consistent with the Council’s commitment to seek sustainable development. Consequently, the Council will give great priority to protecting, enhancing and preserving the District’s archaeological heritage.

11.11.

The Council will welcome and encourage the erection of sensitively designed and located displays and interpretation facilities on sites of archaeological interest. Such displays can greatly enhance the recreational and educational value of archaeological remains, and can help to maximise their potential to contribute to the District’s economy.

POLICY HE1 - Sites containing nationally important archaeological remains View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will not adversely affect the archaeological value or interest, or the setting, of a Scheduled Ancient Monument (as shown on the proposals map) or other site containing nationally important archaeological remains.

Justification

11.12.

The District contains 65 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, the locations of which are shown on the Local Plan’s maps, and descriptions of which are included in Appendix 8. These monuments are identified by the Government as being nationally important archaeological remains. They range from obvious standing structures such as churchyard crosses, to areas that the casual onlooker might not immediately recognise as being of particular archaeological interest, such as the site of a deserted historical settlement. However, not all nationally important archaeological remains are scheduled, and the Government continues to identify and schedule remains that merit this level of protection. Thus, this policy will apply not just to the Scheduled Ancient Monuments listed in Appendix 8 and shown on the Local Plan’s maps, but also to any remains that are scheduled after the Local Plan’s publication. It will also apply to any other nationally important archaeological remains that are identified as part of an archaeological evaluation as referred to in Policy HE2.

11.13.

Given the national importance of these remains and their vulnerability to damage, the Council will operate a strong presumption against any development that would harm them.

11.14.

It should be noted that works that would demolish, destroy, damage, remove, repair, alter, add to, flood or cover up a Scheduled Ancient Monument also require Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State. Anyone carrying out unauthorised works to a Scheduled Ancient Monument is guilty of an offence under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

POLICY HE2 - Archaeological assessment and evaluation View Map of this site ?

Planning applications affecting a site where evidence suggests that archaeological remains are likely to be present must be accompanied by an assessment identifying the extent and importance of any remains, together with any proposals for their protection or to mitigate adverse effects.

Justification

11.15.

Large areas of the District have significant archaeological potential and developers should routinely investigate whether it is likely that their site contains archaeological remains, even if it does not contain a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument. Anyone considering undertaking a development of a significant scale should always contact the Council well before they begin to draw up their detailed proposals or make a planning application. The Council, or its archaeological consultants, will be able to advise developers whether their site is known to be archaeologically sensitive. If it appears that their site is likely to be of some archaeological interest, developers will need to consider at an early stage how they will ensure that the needs of archaeology and development will be reconciled.

11.16.

If there is evidence that archaeological remains exist on a proposed development site, the Council will require developers to provide information on the nature, importance, and location of the remains, before a planning application can be determined. This will involve the developer in arranging for an archaeological assessment to be carried out by a professionally qualified archaeologist or archaeological organisation, and reporting their findings to the Council. An assessment will involve a desk-based evaluation and, if this initial research indicates that important archaeological remains may exist, a more detailed field evaluation such as field-walking, geophysical survey or trial trenching may be requested. The cost of an evaluation will be borne by the applicant, and should be regarded as a part of normal development costs.

11.17.

The evaluation’s findings should allow the character and extent of any remains to be identified, the archaeological implications of the proposed development to be assessed, and a suitable preservation strategy to be established. Without the submission of such information, the Council cannot make an informed and reasonable planning decision, and applications that are not supported with such documentation will be refused. An evaluation’s findings may, in some circumstances, render parts of a development site unsuitable for development, and consequently it is important for the evaluation to form an integral part of the design of the development.

POLICY HE3 - Sites containing archaeological remains View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will affect locally or regionally important archaeological remains or their setting, provided that:

  1. The remains will be preserved in situ, and will not be damaged; or
  2. Where preservation in situ is not justified, the recording and/or excavation of the remains prior to and during development is assured (by means of an agreement between the developer and the Council or by means of a condition upon the permission)

Justification

11.18.

The Council will operate a presumption in favour of the physical preservation of archaeological remains in situ, i.e. retaining them where they are, without any significant alteration or damage. This can be achieved by, for example, locating open space or landscaped areas over them, or using foundations that avoid disturbing them. Preservation in situ may make the remains inaccessible in the short-term, but ensures that all available archaeological evidence is retained for possible future investigation.

11.19.

However, the Council will permit proposals that will disturb archaeological remains if the applicant can clearly demonstrate that preservation in situ is not justified. Solutions involving the disturbance of remains are regarded as second best options, since they involve the destruction of evidence (apart from any artefacts that can be excavated), are time-consuming, and may require discoveries to be evaluated in a hurry and without the benefit of proper research.

11.20.

Nonetheless, where such a solution is considered appropriate, the Council will wish to ensure that any remains are excavated, archived and recorded (in line with a brief prepared by the Council) before development begins, and that the findings will be published. A range of measures can be involved, such as:

  • Archaeological monitoring of topsoil removal (usually in designated areas specified by the brief), followed by recording and sampling of any features exposed.
  • Earthwork survey.
  • Further limited sampling and/or analytical work on samples already collected in a previous evaluation.
  • Excavation within a designated area specified in the brief.
  • A watching brief within a designated area specified in the brief.
11.21.

The Council will seek to enter into an agreement with a developer under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to provide for such works, or will attach a condition to a planning permission.

Listed Buildings

11.22.

Listed buildings are identified by the government for their special architectural or historic interest, and are of national importance. In North Kesteven, just over 1,000 buildings are listed, which is a very high number in relation to the District’s size (North Kesteven has one listed building for every 86 people, whereas the figure for England as a whole is 1 for every 110 people). Furthermore, a very high proportion of the District’s listed buildings are of particular value. Across England as a whole, around 2% of listed buildings are Grade I (the most important grade) and 4% are Grade II* (the next most important), but in North Kesteven 5% of all listed buildings are Grade I and 5% are Grade II*. Thus, it is very clear that North Kesteven has an unusually large and important stock of historically and architecturally interesting buildings.

11.23.

The majority of the District’s listed buildings are dwellings and, whilst most date from the 18th and 19th Centuries, a few pre-date the 17th Century. The District also contains many exceptional churches, and these tend to be older (parts of some dating back to the 10th Century) and are generally listed at higher grades. However, the range of buildings that is listed is very wide and includes industrial, commercial and farm buildings, walls, fences, gates, telephone boxes and street furniture. Listed buildings contribute to the character of almost all parts of the District, whether town, village or countryside.

11.24.

They are one of the most visible elements of the historic environment and, make a vital contribution to the area’s unique character. They are worthy of protection as an asset of intrinsic value but, by helping to maintain the overall attractive appearance of the District, they also have economic benefits by helping to attract inward investment and tourism.

11.25.

Listed Building Consent is required from the Council for any proposals that may affect the character or appearance of these buildings, and in considering such proposals the Council must pay special regard to the desirability of preserving the listed building, its setting, and any internal or external features which contribute to its special interest. However, local plan policies may not deal with the criteria against which listed building consent applications will be determined. Thus, the policies that follow set out how the Council will deal with planning applications affecting listed buildings.

11.26.

As well as protecting listed buildings through the determination of planning and listed building consent applications, the Council also has powers to carry out urgent works necessary to preserve an unoccupied listed building (such as making it weather-tight, or preventing it from collapsing). It has further powers to specify to the owner of a listed building works that need to be carried out in order to preserve the building. If the owner does not carry out the specified works, the Council may begin proceedings to compulsorily purchase the building. Where it is apparent that the condition of a listed building is declining, the Council will consider the use of the above powers to ensure its preservation.

POLICY HE4 - Demolition of a listed building View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals involving the removal of the whole or substantially all of a listed building, provided it can be demonstrated that:

  1. The building is beyond reasonable repair; or
  2. Every reasonable effort has been made to continue its current use or find a compatible alternative use that would allow for the building’s retention.
Where permission is granted for the demolition of a listed building, and the creation of a cleared site will harm the character of the area, a condition will be applied to prevent demolition being carried out until a redevelopment scheme has been permitted and contractually secured. Where appropriate, planning permission will be granted subject to a condition requiring the recording of features to be lost.

Justification

11.27.

Once lost, listed buildings cannot be replaced, so demolition will not be permitted simply because redevelopment is more economically attractive. Demolition will be allowed only where it is unavoidable, e.g. where applicants can show that:

  • the building is in such a poor structural condition that the cost of repairing it would be prohibitive. Applicants making a case for demolition on this basis should provide information on predicted repair and maintenance costs and the value that can be derived from the building’s continued use. Where it is clear that a building has been deliberately neglected in order to increase the likelihood of demolition being approved, the Council will give less weight to the costs of repair in weighing up whether the building is beyond reasonable repair; or
  • real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find a compatible alternative use for the building. This should include the offer of the unrestricted freehold of the building on the open market at a realistic price reflecting the building's condition.
11.28.

Where appropriate, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for features that would be lost in the course of the proposed works to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

POLICY HE5 - Development affecting the setting of a listed building View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will not adversely affect the setting of a listed building

Justification

11.29.

The setting of a listed building can simply be the land that directly accompanies it – the garden to a house, for example. However, a building’s setting can encompass land a considerable distance from it – for example, where a listed building is a prominent visual element in a street scene, the whole street should be regarded as the building’s setting. As a result, a proposed development that does not directly involve a listed building or its grounds can still affect the building, if it will have an impact upon its setting.

11.30.

In many cases, the setting forms an essential part of a listed building’s character and links the building to its surroundings. Sometimes a listed building and its grounds will have been designed as a cohesive whole and, in such cases, it is very important that the character of the immediate setting should not be undermined or harmed. However, more informal relationships between a listed building and other buildings, or with trees or other landscape features can greatly add to the visual pleasure that can be had from a listed building. New development that interrupts such relationships will not normally be permitted.

11.31.

Informal views of a listed building will often give great visual satisfaction. Such views should not be extinguished or diminished in quality by new development. Where possible, proposals in the vicinity of a listed building should take the opportunity to enhance existing views, or to open up new public views that will contribute to the overall appreciation of the building.

POLICY HE6 - Extension, alteration or change of use of a listed building View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals to extend, alter or change the use of a listed building provided that they will not adversely affect the building’s special architectural or historic interest.

Justification

11.32.

The Council recognises that the best way to ensure that a listed building is preserved is for it to be in active and economically viable use. However, the introduction of new uses and the changing needs of existing uses can require alterations or extensions to be made to a listed building. Some alterations, such as the removal of a later addition that spoils a listed building’s appearance, may have a beneficial effect whilst others may have adverse effects. Whilst many listed buildings can accommodate sensitive alteration or extension without harm to their character, some can be robbed of the very qualities that made them worthy of listing by an unsuitable alteration or extension. Indeed, the character of some listed buildings is so sensitive that the scope for extending or altering them can be very limited.

11.33.

Proposals will be judged in terms of the impact they will have on the elements that make up the building’s special interest. Although they do not have to be reproductions or pastiches of the existing building, extensions should harmonise with the listed building, and issues such as the scale, proportions, height and form of the proposed extension will be crucial. In particular it is vital that the original building remains visually dominant, and that it is not overpowered by extensions. However, details such as materials, finishes, or the proportions of window openings can also help to ensure that an extension blends in with the existing building. Alterations must not erode the building’s character, and it is therefore crucial that applicants are fully aware of the qualities that are vital to the listed building’s appearance, and retain them and add to them.

11.34.

Where appropriate, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for features that would be lost in the course of the proposed works to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

Conservation Areas

11.35.

District Councils designate conservation areas, which are areas of special architectural or historic interest whose character or appearance it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Thirty-six conservation areas have been designated in this District, and Appendix 9 lists them, indicates when they were made, and gives a very brief description of each area’s character.

11.36.

The Council will publish more detailed Conservation Area Character Statements for each area, which will provide a fuller description of what qualities, make the area special, and why it has been designated. These assessments will be adopted as supplementary planning guidance, and will explain the context that new buildings, extensions, and alterations must respect. The Council will also periodically review the relevance of existing conservation areas and their boundaries, and will consider the need for new designations.

11.37.

The designation of a conservation area means that:

  • The Council will pay greater attention to ensuring that development preserves or enhances the character or appearance of its surroundings;
  • The Council’s consent is required to demolish most buildings;
  • Six weeks’ notice must be given to the Council of most works to trees;
  • Permission is needed for certain types of development that do not need permission elsewhere;
  • The Council may make an Article 4 Direction to withdraw permitted development rights in order to protect features that are key elements of particular conservation areas; and • Consent is needed to display certain types of advertisements that do not need consent elsewhere.
11.38.

The Council gives a high priority to the protection and enhancement of the District’s conservation areas which, like listed buildings, are a vital element of the area’s character and bring economic benefits. The Council will expect developers to demonstrate a corresponding level of concern for the character and appearance of all conservation areas.

POLICY HE7 - Development in a conservation area View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for development (including new buildings, changes of use, alterations and extensions) within or adjoining conservation areas provided that it would preserve or enhance the area’s character, setting and appearance.

Justification

11.39.

The designation of a conservation area is not intended to prevent change, and indeed the best way to ensure that its character or appearance is preserved or enhanced is for it to be in active use, as somewhere where people live, work, shop or enjoy themselves. A conservation area that is being used in these ways will inevitably be subject to pressure for change as people’s needs change over time. Such change should be welcomed, because it indicates that the area is ‘alive’. However, change must be managed and controlled to ensure that the area’s special architectural and historic interest is not diminished.

11.40.

As a result, the Council will not allow new development that would harm a conservation area’s character or appearance, and will welcome development that makes a positive contribution to that character. New buildings do not have to imitate existing buildings, but they must harmonise with the characteristic built form of the area. Issues such as the scale, proportions, height, form and siting of new buildings will be crucial, but details such as materials, finishes and the proportions of window openings can also help to ensure that new development blends in with the conservation area. Extensions and alterations to buildings must both respect the character of the building involved, and must not detract from the area as a whole.

11.41.

However, the character of a conservation area does not come purely from the buildings that it contains. Open spaces, the mix of uses, shop fronts, advertisements, trees, the street pattern, street furniture, boundary and surface treatments, vistas, and the relationship between buildings all contribute enormously to a conservation area’s special character. Developments must take account of the importance of such features and must seek to protect them and, where possible, to add to them.

11.42.

Where important features are to be lost in the course of any proposed works, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for them to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

11.43.

To enable the Council to weigh up the likely impact of a development in a conservation area, detailed drawings will almost always need to accompany a planning application. As a result, outline planning applications will not usually be appropriate.

POLICY HE8 - Demolition within a conservation area View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals involving the demolition of all or substantially all of an unlisted building in a conservation area provided that:

  1. The building does not make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the area; or
  2. The building or structure is beyond reasonable repair; or
  3. Every reasonable effort has been made to continue its current use or find a compatible alternative use that would allow for the building’s retention.
Where permission is granted for demolition and a vacant site would harm the character of the area, a condition will be applied to prevent demolition being carried out until a redevelopment scheme has been permitted and contractually secured.

Justification

11.44.

The demolition of a building or structure that is of little or no importance to the area’s appearance will generally be acceptable. However, buildings and other structures in conservation areas that make a positive contribution to the area should be retained, where possible. Nonetheless, circumstances can arise that would justify demolition, namely where:

  • a building or structure is in such a poor structural condition that the cost of repairing it would be prohibitive, and is not justified in relation to the importance of the building. Applicants making a case for demolition on this basis should provide information on predicted repair and maintenance costs and the value that can be derived from the building’s continued use. Where it is clear that a building has been deliberately neglected in order to increase the likelihood of demolition being approved, the Council will give less weight to the costs of repair in weighing up whether the building is beyond reasonable repair;
  • real efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find a compatible alternative use for the building. This should include the offer of the unrestricted freehold of the building on the open market at a realistic price reflecting the building’s condition.
11.45.

Where permission is granted for the demolition of a building or structure in a conservation area, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for features that will be lost in the course of the proposed works to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

11.46.

Conservation area designation introduces control over the demolition of most buildings, and applications for conservation area consent to demolish must be made to the District Council. However, local plan policies may not deal with the criteria against which conservation area consent applications will be determined and this policy sets out how the Council will deal with planning applications involving the demolition of buildings in conservation areas.

Other Historic Assets

POLICY HE9 - Historic parks and gardens View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals, provided they will not adversely affect the character, appearance, or setting of any park or garden of special historic interest (as shown on the Proposals Map).

Justification

11.47.

Historic parks and gardens are an important part of the District’s heritage and landscape. Five of the most important are included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest compiled by English Heritage. These are at Coleby Hall, Culverthorpe Hall, Doddington Hall, Rauceby Hall and Rauceby Hospital - brief descriptions are given in Appendix 10. Their inclusion on the Register reflects the fact that they have an historical interest of greater than local importance. [It should be noted that planning permission is outstanding for the residential development of the grounds of Rauceby Hospital, and that this permission pre-dates its inclusion on the Register.]

11.48.

These parks and gardens contribute greatly to the particular character of North Kesteven, and they merit protection from harmful development. A historic landscape appraisal may be required where development affecting a historic park or garden or its setting is proposed. The Council will welcome the restoration, enhancement or interpretation of these parks and gardens.

11.49.

Where development is exceptionally permitted that would lead to the loss of important elements of any of these parks and gardens, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for features that would be lost in the course of the proposed works to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

POLICY HE10 - Local distinctiveness View Map of this site ?

Planning permission will be granted for proposals that will not adversely affect the contribution made by a locally important traditional building or structure to the character of its surroundings.

Justification

11.50.

Listed buildings, conservation areas, ancient monuments and historic parks and gardens are the most obvious examples of historical features that make North Kesteven’s character so pleasant. It is as a consequence of their particular importance that they are specifically identified and protected. However, features of lesser individual importance contribute to the District’s character, and collectively their contribution can be very significant.

11.51.

For example, there are many examples of traditional buildings within the District that are not of sufficient quality to justify listing, but which nonetheless possess significant local and/or historic character. The Council has identified many such buildings as ‘sensitive buildings’, and will be concerned to ensure that their intrinsic worth is preserved. In addition, there are many other features or structures such as historic/traditional shopfronts, street furniture (e.g. guide posts, benches, statues), walls, railings, individual garden features, or areas of traditional street paving that give historic interest to their surroundings. More detailed guidance on shopfronts is given in the Sleaford Shopfront Design Guide (formally adopted by the Council as Supplementary Planning Guidance in May 1998).

11.52.

Where appropriate the Council will expect traditional buildings and features to be retained. In cases where the retention of traditional buildings and other structures is not considered appropriate, the Council may require the applicant to arrange for features that would be lost in the course of the proposed works to be recorded as a condition of any planning permission granted.

POLICY HE11 - Advertisements in conservation areas, on listed buildings and on scheduled ancient monuments View Map of this site ?

Consent will be granted for advertisements to be displayed within conservation areas, or on listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments provided that:

  1. Public safety will not be compromised; and
  2. The advertisement will not adversely affect;
  1. the architectural or historic interest or setting of a listed building or scheduled ancient monument; or
  2. the character or appearance of a conservation area.

Justification

11.53.

Advertisements have a useful role to play in the District’s commercial life, and can be a positive element in the built environment. However, they can have a harmful effect upon the appearance of any building or area and, when listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments or conservation areas are involved, poor quality advertisements can be especially harmful. This policy is intended to protect and enhance the amenity and safety of people’s surroundings, whilst allowing for appropriate advertisements.

11.54.

Many of the District’s listed buildings and conservation areas are in parts of the District where commercial activity is concentrated, and where it is to be expected that advertisements will be displayed. Thus, the Council accepts that, in many cases, it is appropriate for signs and advertisements to be displayed in conservation areas and on listed buildings (and more unusually on ancient monuments), and acknowledges that welldesigned advertisements can actually make a positive contribution to a building or area. However, the Council will wish to apply more exacting standards of advertising control in such circumstances than it may in other parts of the District.

11.55.

Proposed advertisements must not detract from the integrity of a conservation area, and must not obscure or detract from the design or historic character of a protected building, nor spoil its setting. Clearly what will be acceptable will vary from building to building and from area to area, but the following general guidelines can be set out:

  • Large-scale poster advertisements will rarely be appropriate on a listed building or scheduled ancient monument. In a commercial part of a conservation area, they may be acceptable, provided that they will be compatible with the area’s architectural or historical features and will not be out of scale with the building on which they are displayed;
  • Projecting box signs will rarely be appropriate, since they can disfigure the appearance of historic buildings;
  • Flag advertisements will not usually be acceptable, because they tend to dominate a building or area (only larger buildings can accommodate a flag advertisement without harm);
  • Materials will normally need to be natural (wood or metal). Bright colour schemes and synthetic materials will seldom be compatible with a historic building or area;
  • Advertisements must not be excessively large or obtrusive;
  • Illumination of signs (particularly internal illumination) can be alien to the character of historic buildings and areas; and
  • Advertisements displayed above fascia level or above the bottom of first floor window level will seldom be acceptable, as this is not a traditional position for advertisements to be displayed (with the exception of pub signs).
11.56.

As is always the case with advertisements, public safety must not be reduced and thus advertisements must not distract drivers, obscure visibility or be potentially confused with existing traffic signs.

11.57.

Applicants should note that the fixing of most advertisements to a listed building will require listed building consent.

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