Why are we reviewing the Severn Gorge conservation area boundary?
The Severn Gorge conservation area was last reviewed in 2016 and is due a review. Telford & Wrekin Council is looking at extending the conservation area boundary and we are inviting the public to comment.
Where can I see a map of the proposed Severn Gorge conservation area boundary changes?
What is a conservation area?
Conservation areas are designated at a local level by the Local Authority as 'areas of special historic and architectural interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance'. The Government requires local planning authorities to undertake an appraisal for each conservation area, to define why an area is of special historic or architectural interest. This work was initially undertaken for Severn Gorge conservation area and the area formally designated in 1971. The boundary was last extened in 1980 to include the historic settlement of Madeley and the appraisal carried out in 2016 recommended that the boundary should be revised.
There are no proposals at present to revise the appraisal or management plan.
What does it mean if a building is within a conservation area?
Within a conservation area you may need planning permission for certain works that you otherwise would not, but you still have many 'permitted development rights' for some works, minor changes and extensions without consent. Even where permission is required, this does not necessarily mean that no alterations will be possible, only that we must take into account the overall historic character and appearance of the area when making planning decisions. We will always try to negotiate alternative solutions that meet your requirements but still respect the special character of the area.
More specifically, being within a conservation area means:
- The Council is required to take into account the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of the conservation area when considering planning applications.
- The demolition or substantial demolition of a building within a conservation area will usually require planning permission from the Council. It is now a criminal offence to carry out demolition in a conservation area without planning permission.
- Cutting down a tree or doing any pruning work requires notifying the Council six weeks in advance. This is to give the Council time to assess the contribution the tree makes to the character of the conservation area and if the works would damage this.
What about the Article 4 Direction?
The Article 4(2) Direction for the Severn Gorge conservation area has been in place since 1998. This Direction removes some permitted development rights for dwelling houses which means if you wish to carry out certain works to your property you will need to apply for planning permission. It does not mean applications will be refused but ensures proposals are of high quality and reflect the importance of the conservation area.
A small number of dwelling houses which are currently outside the Severn Gorge conservation area now fall within the proposed new conservation area boundary. These dwellings will come under the Article 4 Direction when it is next revised and a separate consultation will be carried out for this. Visit the Article 4 Direction page to get an idea of works which will need planning permission.
How will this affect the Ironbrige Gorge world heritage site?
There are currently no proposals to change the boundary of the world heritage site. The conservation area and world heritage site boundaries will therefore be slightly different. Properties proposed to be removed from the conservation area will remain within the world heritage site, whilst those it proposes to add to the conservation area will not be included in the world heritage site.
How is the review being carried out?
Site surveys were undertaken to appraise the special characteristics of the Severn Gorge conservation area and the areas immediately surrounding it and to identify aspects of the area where enhancement is sought. We are now also inviting the public to comment on the proposed boundary revision. A public meeting will also be held on Tuesday 11 October 2022 at The Anstice, 1 Anstice Square, Madeley, Telford, Shropshire, TF7 5BD starting at 6.30pm.
How can I comment on the Severn Gorge conservation area review?
Comments need to be made by 11 November 2022.
Last updated: 29/09/2022 10:46