Control of development
Development control in the Northenden conservation area is aimed at ensuring that development proposals pay attention to its special architectural, historical and visual qualities.
Where the replacement, extension or refurbishment of buildings is contemplated, property owners and developers should be aware of local characteristics which make existing buildings interesting, and ensure that proposals are designed to respect and relate to them. Building heights vary moderately within the area, and heights of proposed developments should be kept within those limits and not greatly exceed the height of their immediate surroundings.
Most development proposals will require planning permission, and even minor works, such as painting the walls of listed buildings and work to trees, will require prior approval of the City Council. Generally the painting of brick or stone should not be undertaken as it can accelerate deterioration of the masonry and adversely affect the appearance and character of the building.
Other works requiring listed building consent include the replacement of windows if they alter the character and appearance of a listed building. The City Planning Officer is willing to give advice on such matters, which should be sought at an early stage, as should advice on any demolition proposals in the conservation area, since these are likely to require consent.
As with all new development, proposals are considered in their context. For example, new buildings may be designed to occupy currently vacant sites or replace existing structures. In order to justify demolition of existing buildings, strong evidence that they are beyond economic repair or physically worn out and not adaptable to present day uses must be given.
A high proportion of the Northenden conservation area is used for housing, and this would generally be an appropriate form of new development. Social and community uses, however, are also well represented, there being several public houses, a club and a community centre, in addition to the church and shops already referred to. Uses such as these, which contribute to the life of the village, would be appropriate in suitable locations within the conservation area.
Development applications may require the preparation of designs shown in relation to an entire street, or as viewed down long vistas, especially if the site is seen from the junction of two streets. This urban design context is vital in conservation areas, and designers of proposed buildings should take account of this rather than preparing a proposal which has no clear relationship with buildings nearby.
New development proposals on Church Road should generally be aligned to the back of the pavement, or have small front gardens, in order to preserve the linear character of the street. Similarly, houses line the pavement on one side of Royle Green Road, whilst on the other the rural character should be preserved by retention of the large cottage gardens.