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STRATEGIC PLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE

13 April 2021

 

Conservation Areas Work Programme Update

 

Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

Lead Head of Service

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Deanne Cunningham, Team Leader (Heritage, Landscape and Design)

Paul Robertshaw & Christopher Rainsford, Principal Conservation Officers

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

This report identifies the work undertaken to date in respect of the conservation areas work programme and advises Members of the timescales for the public consultation and adoption of three additional conservation area appraisals and management plans.

Purpose of Report

The purpose of this report is to update the committee on progress of the two year work programme for Maidstoneís conservation areas as agreed at the meeting of this Committee on 10 September 2019.

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   Notes the contents of the report

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

SPI Committee

13 April 2021



Conservation Areas Work Programme Update

 

1.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the recommendations will by themselves materially affect achievement of corporate priorities.  However, they will support the Councilís overall achievement of its aims as set out in section 3.

Head of Planning and Development

Cross Cutting Objectives

The report recommendations† support the achievements of the Heritage is Respected cross cutting objective by preparing appraisals and management plans for the boroughís conservation areas .

Head of Planning and Development

Risk Management

Refer to section 5 of the report

 

Head of Planning and Development

Financial

The proposals set out in the recommendation are all within already approved budgetary headings and so need no new funding for implementation.

Section 151 Officer & Finance Team

Staffing

There will be Staffing implications and these are set out in section 3

Head of Planning and Development

Legal

Accepting the recommendations will assist the Council in fulfilling its statutory duties under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. 

Cheryl Parks Mid Kent Legal Services (Planning)

Privacy and Data Protection

Accepting the recommendations will increase the volume of data held by the Council.  We will hold that data in line with our retention schedules.

Policy and Information Team

Equalities

The preservation of the historic environment is of a positive benefit for all members of the community, helping achieve a strong sense of belonging.† Community engagement and an equalities assessment would be carried out as part of the development of individual management plans to consider issues such as accessibility.

Equalities and Corporate Policy Officer

Public Health

 

We recognise that the recommendations will not negatively impact on population health or that of individuals.

Public Health Officer

Crime and Disorder

No direct implications have been identified.

Head of Planning and Development

Procurement

No procurement will be required

Head of Service & Section 151 Officer

 

 

 

2.††††† INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

2.1     There are 41 designated conservation areas in Maidstone Borough. Of these ††14 have an appraisal, management plan or both.

 

2.2     In September 2019 Members agreed a two year work programme covering 2019-2021 for the production of documents for additional areas, resourced through the Business Rates Retention Scheme.

 

2.3     In September 2020 Members were updated on the work programme. Completed work comprised the Boughton Monchelsea Conservation Areas boundary review and draft Appraisal and Management Plan documents (CAAMPs) for Sutton Valence and Maidstone Town Centre, Chillington House and Ashford Road Conservation Areas.

 

2.4     In accordance with the agreed work programme, draft CAAMP documents have been prepared for Yalding, Lenham Elmstone Hole and Harrietsham East Street Conservation Areas. These will be made available in draft on the Councilís website for public consultation.

 

2.5     The table in Appendix 1 sets out the status of each conservation area to include the new draft documents.

 

Policy considerations

 

2.6     The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 requires local planning authorities to review their conservation areas from time to time, to formulate and publish proposals for their preservation and enhancement and consult the public in the area in question, taking account of views expressed (Sections 69(2) and 71(1 and 2)).

 

2.7     National planning policy guidance advises that a conservation area appraisal can be used to help authorities to develop a management plan and appropriate policies for the Local Plan, and that a good appraisal will consider features that made a positive or negative contribution to the area, thereby identifying opportunities for beneficial change or planning protection (PPG, Para 025).

 

2.8     Historic England advises that an up to date conservation area appraisal and management plan is the most appropriate way for a local authority to fulfil the above duties (Designation, Appraisal and Management of Conservation Areas, January 2019).

Work completed, 2020/2021

 

2.9     The boundaries of Boughton Monchelsea The Green and The Quarries Conservation Areas were extended following a public consultation. The revised boundaries were formally adopted under delegated powers on 25.03.20.

 

2.10  Appraisal and Management Plans for Sutton Valence, Maidstone Ashford Road, Maidstone Centre and Maidstone Chillington House Conservation Areas were adopted under delegated powers on 18.01.21 following public consultation.

 

2.11  Draft appraisal and management plans have been prepared for Yalding, Lenham Elmstone Hole and Harrietsham East Street Conservation Areas.

 

Upcoming work, 2020/2021

 

2.12  The above draft documents will be made available on the Councilís website for public consultation. Following this meeting, they will be publicised by contacting Ward Members, Yalding Parish Council, Lenham Parish Council, Harrietsham Parish Council and other groups and stakeholders relevant to each conservation area. Due to current COVID restrictions it will not be possible to have physical documents available to the public as would ordinarily be the case, but we will endeavour to provide paper copies if specifically requested.

 

2.13  Following a period of not less than six weeks the documents will be amended in light of comments received and reported to the Head of Planning and Development for delegated approval. The final adopted documents will be added to the website accordingly.

 

2.14  Appraisal and Management Plans will be drafted for Lenham Village and Headcorn Conservation Areas, which were identified as the next highest priority areas in the 2019 report. These are due to be completed in September 2021.

 

2.15  The work programme priorities will be reviewed towards the end of the year to take account of management plan actions, specific requests from Members and residents, Local Plan recommendations, and available resources. A new work programme will be reported to Members at this stage.†

 

 

3.   AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

3.1     The work will be mainly be carried out by the part-time conservation officer, who is employed on a temporary contract due to end at the beginning of January 2022. In addition to the conservation area work, officers will be carrying out project work in relation to the Local Plan review.

 

3.2     The project has been resourced in since 2019 by money allocated from the Business Rates Retention Scheme, which has been used to increase the hours of the part-time officer. Funding will continue to be available during 2021.

 

 

4.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

4.1     In order to fulfil the Councilís duties in relation to its designated conservation areas and in accordance with the previous resolution of this Committee it is appropriate to publish further appraisals and management plans.

 

 

5.       RISK

5.1     The risks associated with this proposal, including the risks if the Council does not act as recommended, have been considered in line with the Councilís Risk Management Framework.We are satisfied that the risks associated are within the Councilís risk appetite and will be managed as per the Policy.

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1     The stakeholders will be notified in relation to the proposed consultation exercise for the CAAMPs produced for Yalding, Lenham Elmstone Hole and Harrietsham East Street Conservation Areas.

 

6.2     A work programme update will be reported to SPI Committee in due course.

 

 

7.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

         Appendix 1: Maidstone Conservation Areas status

 

 

8.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None