PPS 6 (Addendum): Areas of Townscape Character
Annex A: Excerpt from PPS 6
7.6 General issues to be taken into account in assessing development proposals in a conservation area include the appropriateness of the overall massing of the development, its scale (the expression of size indicated by the windows, doors, floor heights, and other identifiable units), its proportions and its relationship with its context i.e. whether it sits comfortably. Development should be in harmony with, or complementary to, its neighbours having regard to the adjoining architectural styles. The use of materials generally matching those which are historically dominant in the area is important, as is the need for the development not to have a visually disruptive impact on the existing townscape. It should also, as far as possible, fit into the "grain" of the conservation area, for example, by respecting historic layout, street patterns or existing land form. It is also important where new uses are proposed that these respect the unique character and general ambience of a conservation area, for example certain developments may adversely affect the character of a conservation area through noise, nuisance and general disturbance.
7.7 The development of new buildings in a conservation area should be a stimulus to imaginative, high quality design, and seen as an opportunity to enhance the area. What is important is not that new buildings should directly imitate earlier styles, rather that they should be designed with respect for their context, as part of a larger whole which has a well-established character and appearance of its own. Therefore while development of a gap site in a traditional terrace may require a very sensitive design approach to maintain the overall integrity of the area in other cases modern designs sympathetic and complementary to the existing character of the area may be acceptable.
Alterations and Extensions
7.8 Proposals for the alteration or extension of properties in a conservation area will normally be acceptable where they are sensitive to the existing building, in keeping with the character and appearance of the particular area and will not prejudice the amenities of adjacent properties. Extensions should be subsidiary to the building, of an appropriate scale, use appropriate materials and should normally be located on the rear elevations of a property. Very careful consideration will be required for alterations and extensions affecting the roof of a property as these may be particularly detrimental to the character and appearance of a conservation area.
Change of Use
7.9 In assessing applications for the change of use of a property within a conservation area consideration will be given to both the general land use policies of the Department and the impact of the proposed use on the character and appearance of the conservation area. New uses will normally only be acceptable where any associated external alterations, for example new shopfronts, are sympathetic to their setting and relate in scale, proportions and materials to the remainder of the building and the local street scene.
7.10 Trees often make an important contribution to the appearance and character of conservation areas. In assessing development proposals affecting a conservation area the Department will therefore take into account their potential impact on existing trees. Where such trees make an important visual, historic or amenity contribution to the area and should be retained the Department will seek appropriate protection measures through the imposition of planning conditions or may consider making a tree preservation order. In some instances development may be acceptable subject to conditions requiring new tree planting or re-planting.