Conservation Areas (CAs) are Areas of special architectural or historic interest.
The Planning Act (NI) 2011 (Section 104) provides us with the power to designate an area of special architectural or historic interest as a Conservation Area.
Within our area there are 5 Conservation Areas each with their own specific design advice contained in the relevant designation booklets. These Conservation Area guides should be used as the first point of reference when bringing forward development proposals in these areas and will be used by us in assessing applications, along with the Strategic Planning Policy Statement and Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage.
Below is a list of existing CAs and the associated design guides along with the dates that each Conservation Area was designated by the Department of the Environment;
- Carnlough Conservation Area - Designated as a CA in 1981. The CA includes the historic core of the village and the listed harbour area. The current Conservation Area Design Guide was published in April 1994.
- Carrickfergus Conservation Area - The historic core, Castle and harbour area were designated as a CA in 1991 due to its unique architectural inheritance, layout and arrangement of the buildings and terraces within the town walls which provides a unique pattern to the local townscape, h has remained largely unaltered since the 13th Century; Carrickfergus Conservation Area Design Guide was published in June 1989.
- Glenarm Conservation Area - Designated as a CA in 1978, the CA includes the historic core of the village, the harbour area and the extensive Glenarm Castle and its extensive and impressive gardens and parkland. Glenarm Conservation Area Design Guide was published in April 1994.
- Gracehill Conservation Area - Designated as a CA in 1975 (Variation 1997), the CA includes the historic core of the village, formal street pattern, principal buildings and public and private spaces and the Moravian Church and Graveyard. Gracehill Conservation Area Design Guide was published in January 2003.
- Whitehead Conservation Area - Designated as a CA in 1992, the CA includes the historic core of the town and radiates out from the Railway Station towards the coastline at Marine Parade and the fine Victorian and Edwardian residential villas to the west. Whitehead Conservation Area Design Guide was published in November 1992.
The designation of these Conservation Areas has contributed to the overall positive enhancement of our built heritage and has resulted in the sympathetic restoration, physical regeneration of many buildings within the Borough, some of which had previously lost part of their original character. These designations and associated design guides continue to play an important role in positively influencing and shaping the built form within these historic areas. The aesthetic reasons for retaining the best of the built inheritance has helped raise public awareness of conservation. Many environmental and economic benefits can also be derived from Conservation Area designations, such as tourism and heritage related leisure activities making them desirable places to live, work, shop and do business.
Trees in a Conservation Area are automatically protected as if a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) was in place. However, in a Conservation Area, anyone proposing to carry out works on trees must serve on the Council six weeks’ notice of the intended works. The notice should contain sufficient information to identify the trees, details of proposed works and reasons.
We have six weeks in which to respond and work should not commence until we have commented, or the six weeks has expired, whichever takes place first. If we consider the proposed works should not be carried out, we can make a formal TPO.