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Eden Planners looking to improve Kirkby Stephen Conservation Area

Eden District Council’s planning department is going to inspect a number of properties within Kirkby Stephen’s Conservation Area that local residents have raised concerns about.

The Council has a statutory duty to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area and takes seriously any reports of properties falling into a state of disrepair. This is particularly the case if the property is a listed building (of specific architectural or historical importance).

Eden’s planners are working in conjunction with Kirkby Stephen Town Council who have assisted in identifying properties that have become a concern to the local community.

Officers will assess whether the property has become harmful to the overall appearance of the local area and then make recommendations to owners on how to improve the condition and appearance. If owners are not willing to bring their properties up to a condition and standard of the conservation area, planning officers will then have to consider serving legal notices to ensure the properties are no longer harming the historic town centre.

Councillor Michael Slee, Eden District Council Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “Eden District is one of the most attractive places to live, work or visit in the UK. We are blessed with some of the finest landscapes in the country and have historic town and village centres within touching distance of the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines AONB.

"Conservation Areas provide visitors from around the world with an insight into to our area's past. We should look to prevent individual properties falling into disrepair and spoiling their intrinsic beauty. Hopefully, this exercise will encourage some property owners to improving their buildings that have fallen into disrepair. Our planning department works proactively to protect and maintain our historic centres and wants to work closely with local communities."

If you own a listed building or live in a conservation area and would like advice on how to look after your property then Eden District Council’s Planning team provide a planning advice service. For further information please visit call 01768 817817.