The Designation Process for the 33 Conservation Areas in March 2017
The Council consulted on all existing and proposed Conservation Area boundaries in that part of the District for which Wealden is the Local Planning Authority as part of the Local Plan Issues, Options and Recommendations consultation in the Autumn of 2015. All residents in the District received a flyer through the post about the Local Plan consultation and referring them to the information on the website and public exhibitions about the Local Plan consultation were held.
The consultation period ran for 8 weeks from Monday 19 October to 5pm on Monday 14 December 2015.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (hereafter referred to as the ‘Act’) is the relevant legislation for Conservation Areas. Under this Act the Local Planning Authority is under a duty to designate Conservation Areas within its locality and to review them from time to time. The Act imposes a further duty on local planning authorities to review the extent of their functions and if need be to designate any further parts of their area as Conservation Areas.
This means that the Council is duty-bound to review existing and potential new Conservation Areas and where Areas are identified that meet the criteria to be within a Conservation Area, the Council has a duty to designate these Areas.
The Council assessed all new and existing conservation areas against selection criteria that were agreed with Historic England (formerly English Heritage) and produced the Wealden Local Plan-Issues, Options and Recommendations – Conservation Consultation Paper (October 2015)
More details about methodology used and criteria are contained in pages 13-15 and Appendix A. This report summarises the approach taken, explaining that a desktop exercise was undertaken with preliminary historic research and a map regression exercise looking at historic maps of the area. A site visit was then made to each area to determine whether the area met the selection criteria.
The summary of responses on the consultation questions on conservation areas is in Wealden Local Plan – Issues, Options and Recommendations Consultation Responses report to the LDF Sub Committee on 20th April 2016 (paragraphs 175-194).
Also, see Appendix C for information on responses to the Conservation Area boundaries.
On 13th March 2017, the proposed designation of the Conservation Areas was considered by the Local Plan Sub Committee and Joint Planning Committee and then by Full Council on 22nd March 2017. The Agenda, Report, Background Paper and Minutes are available. The Single Portfolio Holder Report and Background Paper provide additional information on the conservation area project subsequent to the Issues and Options and Recommendations consultation.
After designation at Full Council, all Parish and Town Councils were notified via email of the designation of any Conservation Areas within their part of the District, with a copy of the map to show the newly designated Conservation Area boundary.
Following designation of the Conservation Areas, and as required by the Act, the Council placed a notice in the London Gazette for each Conservation Area and in two local newspapers, and also informed the Secretary of State and Historic England of the designation. The Council has also registered the designations as a land charge. There is no formal duty to Act to notify current owners or occupiers individually.