Changing boundary of conservation

WHITBY’S conservation area boundaries are set to be reviewed for the fist time in 40 years.

They were drawn up in 1973 and now Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) is looking at adding areas that should be protected under conservation guidelines and removing others.

A report is being presented to borough councillors at a planning and development committee on Thursday which says if the recommendations are not followed then Whitby could be at risk of future developments which would “adversely affect the character and appearance of the area and detract from it”.

It is being suggested that parts of town to be included within the conservation area are the area around the Spa and gardens on the cliff top; the western side of Chubb Hill and the Downdinner Hill/Arundel Place and Southend Gardens area; Esk and Windsor Terraces area including former Engine Shed; Spital Bridge and Whitehall; part of a field on Abbey Plain.

Some of the areas being removed from conservation area protection are the “brutal” modern buildings which make up the hospital, police station, telephone exchange and library; gardens at the Pannet Way development and Meadow Fields Court and a small area on Crescent Avenue and St Hilda’s Gardens.

These are draft proposals and consultation is now going to be carried out with Whitby Town Council, the Civic Society and residents who live in the areas affected by the re-draft.

Once consultation has been carried out a final draft will be brought back to the council’s Cabinet for a decision.

When deciding what should be covered by a conservation area local authorities have to consider the historical development of the area, places of special interest such as architecture and buildings and potential development sites.

The report adds: “When considering the designation of conservation areas, local planning authorities should ensure that an area justifies such status because of its special architectural or historic interest, and that the concept of conservation is not devalued through the designation of areas that lack special interest.

“The draft character appraisal for Whitby has reinforced the understanding that this is an area with special characteristics which it is desirable to preserve.

“In other words, it is an area of Special Architectural of Historical Interest which is worthy of preservation or enhancement and therefore meets the criteria for Conservation Area designation.