Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Postby bhewson » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:42 am

Are Local Authorities obliged to stick with ACA recommendations? Or are they just guidelines that the local authority can disregard. e.g. Installation of uPVC windows, Protection of Architectural Heritage....

What sanction/agency is out there to police whether local authorities respect the objectives of their own ACAs ? Have local authorities enforced planning/taken legal action based on an ACA objective - e.g. against installation of uPVC Windows?
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Re: Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Postby gunter » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:03 am

bhewson wrote:What sanction/agency is out there to police whether local authorities respect the objectives of their own ACAs ?


You are the agency, this is the system.

You have to complain until you get tired, fed up, disheartened, or you move on.
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Re: Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Postby hutton » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:42 pm

gunter wrote:You have to complain until you get tired, fed up, disheartened, or you move on.


Or succeed - some signage on O'Connell St springing to mind :)
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Re: Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Postby gunter » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:35 pm

I'd forgotten about the possibility of success
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Re: Architectural Conservation Areas - any experts out there ??

Postby GrahamH » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:35 pm

Hi behewson. Local authorities are legally bound to enforce ACAs as they are a statutory instrument. Some are more proactive that others on the enforcement front in actually monitoring designated areas, however all are obliged to investigate complaints made to them about unauthorised development.

There are many examples across the country of LAs taking enforcement proceedings in respect of PVC windows and their ilk in ACAs. Whether or not specific types of development (such as the replacement of windows) is specified in the local ACA policy is irrelevant, as under the 2000 Act, property owners are compelled to apply for planning permission for any alteration that is deemed to alter the exterior character of a structure in an ACA. Ultimately this means that alterations specified in the DOE Architectural Heritage Protection Guidelines for Planning Authorities will be treated as the relevant guidance document in any legal proceedings.

Alas, the lack of awareness of ACA designation is by far the key factor in the defacement of buildings in these areas on a national level, not arrogant violation of the law as is commonly perceived. This of course in turn is tied into the wider dearth of knowledge or understanding amongst the public of the value of their built heritage in the first instance.
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