2.32 There are fourteen designated conservation areas within the Local Plan area covering parts of Alston, Appleby, Church Brough, Crosby Garrett, Crosby Ravensworth, Gamblesby, Hunsonby, Kings Meaburn, Kirkby Stephen, Maulds Meaburn, Milburn, Penrith (2) and also the Settle - Carlisle Railway. The Council is engaged in a continuing project to review conservation areas including the designation of additional areas. Eden is fortunate to enjoy the benefit of a number of settlements of outstanding character or historic interest. In view of the increasing pressure for development throughout the District there is a need to exercise additional measures of protection where judged appropriate. The current programme of review will include the assessment of the following settlements, prior to consultation with the relevant parish councils and other interested parties:
Market Brough, Dufton, Edenhall, Garrigill, Great Asby, Great Musgrave, Great Salkeld, Greystoke, Hardendale, Hartley, Hilton, Kaber, Keld, Kirkoswald, Langwathby, Lazonby, Melmerby, Morland, Murton, Newbiggin, Oddendale, Orton, Ravenstonedale, Renwick, Skirwith, Soulby, Temple Sowerby, Winton.
Demolition in Conservation Areas
The demolition of buildings which make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of a conservation area will not be permitted unless it can be established to the satisfaction of the Council that the building concerned cannot be repaired and put to beneficial use and the site is to be used for appropriate redevelopment.
Consents to demolish buildings within conservation areas will be subject to conditions which will preclude demolition until a contract has been let for the redevelopment of the site in accordance with a development scheme which has been approved by the local planning authority.
2.33 In pursuance of the Council's statutory duty to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of conservation areas it is important that as much as possible of the old fabric be preserved. Where this is not possible, the Council would wish to avoid the creation of unsightly gap sites on street frontages and to ensure that redevelopment is appropriate in character.
New Development in Conservation Areas
New development within a conservation area should not adversely affect the character or appearance of the area. It must also respect the scale, form, orientation, materials and architectural detailing of adjoining development; that traditional to the area concerned, and established street patterns and building lines. In order to exercise an appropriate level of control over development the Council will require the submission of fully detailed plans in support of applications for planning permission within conservation areas.
2.34 Structure Plan Policy 26 establishes general principles for development in conservation areas which Local Plan Policy BE3 reinforces. In particular, high standards of design will be sought and additional control exercised through the obtaining of fully detailed proposals for any development likely to have an effect on the character or appearance of a conservation area. Notable features in many settlements are well preserved patterns of development, open spaces and building lines which determine the form and character of the settlement concerned. These features demand special consideration in the face of development pressures.
2.35 As an adjunct to planning controls, much has been achieved in support of conservation objectives through the operation of schemes of grant assistance to aid the traditional repair of important properties. There is a continuing need for assistance of this nature and the Council are committed to maintaining the availability of grant aid to help with the repair of specified properties which are important to the character or appearance of selected conservation areas.
Shop Fronts in Conservation Areas
Proposals to alter or replace shop fronts and property facades within conservation areas must wherever possible conserve original features and material, reflect traditional design features and be constructed in traditional materials.
Advertisements in Conservation Areas
Within conservation areas, advertisements should not adversely affect the character or appearance of the area.
2.36 Small scale, ill-considered alterations including not only the alteration or replacement of shop fronts but the addition of canopies, security shutters, cashpoint machines and advertisements have resulted in a significant erosion of the character of some conservation areas. In particular, large internally illuminated signs, or those made from garishly coloured modern materials have been found inappropriate where buildings and shop fronts are small in scale and constructed in traditional materials. Careful control of such works including discontinuance action against the display of inappropriate advertisements will make a major contribution to conservation objectives and the Council will publish advisory guidance to encourage an appropriate level of design care. In addition, the Council may consider seeking Article 4 directions for the control of certain minor works within specified areas, where it is felt that such works may have a significant adverse impact.
Trees in Conservation Areas
Proposals to lop, top or fell trees within conservation areas will be assessed in the light of the condition of the tree, public safety, the finished appearance of the proposed work and the contribution the tree makes to the character and appearance of the conservation area. Those which can demonstrate positive benefits in relation to these factors will be permitted. Where the felling of a tree is agreed replacement planting will be required.
2.37 It is important to recognise and protect the valuable contribution which trees make to the character of conservation areas. Ill-considered tree surgery or felling can have a significant adverse effect and, if carried out without giving proper prior notice to the Council, may result in prosecution. Advice on trees may be obtained from the Council.