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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 11/01/2005
FARNHAM CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL



Summary & Purpose
The report considers a schedule of responses to the public consultation on the Farnham Conservation Area Appraisal document and the proposed amendment to the conservation area boundary. Agreement to the amended text is sought and once given, the appraisal will become a Supplementary Planning Document in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX H
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE –11TH JANUARY 2005
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
FARNHAM CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The report considers a schedule of responses to the public consultation on the Farnham Conservation Area Appraisal document and the proposed amendment to the conservation area boundary. Agreement to the amended text is sought and once given, the appraisal will become a Supplementary Planning Document in accordance with the Local Development Scheme.

_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive

The document has drawn attention to the special quality of the Farnham Town Centre conservation area and will benefit the town by providing an evidence base for future enhancement and consideration of development.

E-Government implications:

There are no implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no legal implications but the schemes and projects could have implications for the budget. The publication costs will be within the existing budget.

_________________________________________________________________________

The Farnham Conservation Area Partnership

1. The Farnham Conservation Area Appraisal was produced as a corporate project between the Borough Council and the main heritage organisations, including the Town Council, in Farnham. The members of the Partnership are listed in Annexe 1. A number of the partners actually wrote the sections in the appraisal (see Annexe 2).


The public consultation process

2. The Executive agreed the draft Farnham Conservation Area Appraisal as a basis for public consultation on 6th September 2004. The document went out for consultation for six weeks, between 11th October and 22nd November 2004. The following measures were taken to involve the community:-

The public response

3. The public response to the document was very small. Only 13 replies were received, despite the efforts to give it publicity. However, there were the 9 large organisations in the town who were Partners in actually producing the document and of these, only two had further comments, one of them a specific expression of support. Therefore, the usual response that might have been expected from these organisations was absent, because they had been involved directly in formulating the Appraisal.

The schedule of responses

4. The schedule of responses is attached at Annexe 3 with a series of recommendations. Out of the 40 comments on the appraisal, (4 of which were in support), 23 comments were made by the Historic Buildings Advisor of the County Council. A number of these comments had not taken into account the particular approach taken to producing the document whereby the main organisations in the town had produced a number of the sections. It had been deemed appropriate for the Borough to only apply a moderate hand to the editing of the sections written by the organisations, so as to maintain the integrity of the contributions from the community and engender ownership of the document. Furthermore, the County comments suggested the need for policies to be drawn up, but as an appraisal document this would not be appropriate. The appraisal focuses on identifying the character of the conservation area, the possible extension of the boundary and on enhancement.


5. The Historic Areas Advisor from English Heritage has commented that the document would benefit from a “drawing together” of the main points about character which are evident in the appraisal. Therefore a new tabulated Section has been produced with the agreement of the Partnership. See Annexe 4.

The proposed amendment of the conservation area boundary

6. A plan of the proposed extension of the conservation area is attached at Annexe 5. The initial consideration during the compilation of the document had been to regularise the boundary on South Street from the 1970 boundary which omitted the following buildings on the west and east sides of the street.

7. During the compilation stage, The Farnham Society proposed that the Haren Garden to the south of the Locality Office be added and also 5-13 East Street.
8. The text of the appraisal makes an assessment of these buildings and comes to the view that they make a contribution to the character of the town centre historic area and should be included in the conservation area.

9. During the public consultation stage, the Farnham Trust identified a group of cottages on Union Road (Nos 4 to 18a), and on Victoria Road (Nos 5-17) that it believes should be included in the conservation area, because although they are not of particular architectural merit they represent an attractive block and would be isolated by the proposed boundary.

10. The cottages are not in a particularly good state and have been altered, but they do relate to the proposed extension of the conservation area and, on balance, it would seem appropriate to include them.

Minority report

11. One member of the Partnership, speaking as an individual, rather than the representative of an organisation, put the view during the compilation stage that the whole of the East Street Area of Opportunity should be included in the conservation area as an extension. The Partnership did not endorse this. It was felt that the area was not of sufficient special architectural or historic importance that would make it worthy of designation. However, as it is a major proposal it is put forward to the Executive as a minority report.


Supplementary Planning Document

12. The Appraisal has been through two public participation stages and meets the requirements for the production of a Supplementary Planning Document as set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Development ) (England) Regulations 2004. The document has to relate to a planning policy, and this is policy HE8 in the Waverley Borough Local Plan, which has been saved for three years as set out in the Local Development Scheme, approved by the Executive at its December meeting.

Conclusion

13. The organisations in the town that have been involved in devising the appraisal have made a very significant contribution, making the document a community project rather than a document drawn up by the Borough Council. It will form a sound basis for development control and for the enhancement of the town centre conservation area. It will relate to the policies on the historic environment in the new Local Development Framework.

Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1. the Farnham Conservation Area Appraisal be recommended to the Council for adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document; and

2. the proposed amendment to the conservation area boundary be recommended to the Council for designation.
________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: G Molony Telephone: 01483 523296

E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk





comms/executive/2004/2005/361 41201