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Eden District Council
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2. Environment - The Built Environment

2.26 Eden District has a fine historic environment including many attractive villages and outstanding examples of both vernacular and fine architecture drawing upon local materials. In addition there is evidence, both archaeological and within the built form of settlements, of the growth, development and change which has taken place in the past. This historic environment together with the natural environment give the District its distinct and attractive character. It is essential that this be considered, respected, protected and enhanced for its own cultural, historic and social value and as one of the District's most important assets.

2.27 Certain buildings and areas enjoy special recognition. Some 1950 of the finest buildings and structures within the Local Plan area have been listed because of their particular architectural or historic interest. Fourteen conservation areas have been designated, reflecting their special character and the Council has a programme for further such designations. In addition, several historic parks and gardens have been identified as of particular value while there are also many scheduled Ancient Monuments and sites of recognised archaeological value.

2.28 Within the built context of the District's settlements there are a number of undeveloped open spaces such as orchards, garths, paddocks and greens, which make an essential contribution to their character. It is important, in seeking the balance described in Plan Principle 3, that such areas of amenity importance are accorded a high measure of protection.

2.29 However, as with the natural environment, it is also important to remember that the District's heritage and built environment forms a backdrop to developing and evolving communities whose economic and social needs must be accommodated. Given the inevitability of development this must be controlled in terms of its scale, siting and design to complement and reinforce rather than conflict with the local character.

2.30 The District's heritage is also a valuable economic asset. The growing tourist industry depends upon its attractiveness to draw visitors to the area. Further, traditional buildings represent a resource which may be sensitively adapted to meet modern requirements and contribute to the well being of the rural economy in a way which has little impact on the environment.

2.31 The objectives set out below, which derive from Plan Principles 2 and 3, have been identified for that part of the Local Plan dealing with the built environment. The subsequent paragraphs set out the associated policies, proposals and supporting text.

Objective 6 to protect the District's built environment from insensitive or inappropriate change.

Objective 7 to preserve or enhance buildings, landscapes and areas of cultural, historic or archaeological interest including conservation areas, historic parks and gardens, areas of archaeological interest and listed buildings and their settings.

Objective 8 to afford special protection to areas of public or private open space identified within settlements as having particular amenity value.

Objective 9 to promote the enhancement of the built environment through the use of high standards of design and a careful choice of materials for all development.

Objective 10 to encourage the sympathetic and appropriate reuse of existing buildings, especially those which make a contribution to the special character of their locality.

Objective 11 to promote forms of development which will help to combat crime.