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Hartford Conservation Area

Most residents will be aware that the centre of Hartford has been designated a "Conservation Area".
What is a Conservation Area? The following is an extract from the VRBC (now Chehire West and Chester) "Conservation Area Appraisals" document.

"Introduced by the Civic Amenities Act of 1967, Conservation Areas are now an accepted part of Town and Country Planning legislation and practice. Local Planning Authorities are required to identify "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". Conservation areas are many and varied. There were more than 9,000 in England by mid 1996.

With the experience of time, the need to manage these areas has been recognised, if their special interest, character and appearance are to be retained. The first task in this process is to define and analyse the special characteristics that justified the designation of the conservation area. This is achieved by carrying out Conservation Area Appraisals.

The Conservation Area Appraisal will provide a basis for development plan policies and development control decisions, both within and adjacent to the Conservation Area boundary. Subsequently the appraisal will provide the basis of proposals for the preservation or enhancement of the area, including the identification of development opportunities.

The character of an area depends upon its historic background, the architectural quality and interest of its buildings, their materials and detailing, the way they relate to each other, the line of the highway, the quality of the landscape, trees and open spaces and a variety of unique features.

The Conservation Area Appraisal will provide a description of the elements that contribute to and define the character of the conservation area. However it will only be a snapshot in time. There may be important character variations according to the time of day, day of the week or time of the year. It will not always be possible to identify and record these within the constraints of preparing the appraisals. The omission of any particular building, feature or space should not be taken to imply that it is of no interest.

Conservation is not the same as preservation. The designation of a conservation area does not mean that everything will be preserved, or that there will be an end to new development. In many cases, the right sort of development may enhance an area, and will be encouraged.

An important part of the appraisal process, will be to involve the local community. It is recognised that these studies are only valid if their content is understood and accepted by those people who are most closely affected by the designation of the conservation area. As a result, a public consultation exercise will take place, providing the opportunity for contributions to the study and comments on the analysis and proposals.

Following extensive research into the practice of producing Conservation Area Appraisals, Vale Royal Borough Council has developed its own approach to the subject. A list of criteria has been adopted to cover those elements which have been deemed to be most likely to contribute to the special character of the conservation areas within the Borough. This enables the analysis to be undertaken consistently both within and between conservation areas."

Information and files on this page have been made available by kind permission of Vale Royal Borough Council.

Hartford Conservation Area as adopted February 2004