Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Whalley Range Conservation Area

Improvement and enhancement

It is envisaged that small-scale development and refurbishment will take place from time to time. The main aim of designation is to ensure that the character and quality of both the buildings and the spaces between them is retained. As with all conservation areas, attention must be paid to maintaining harmony with regard to building heights, the type and the colour of materials.

The owners of properties will be encouraged to replace like for like when considering repairs to walls, roofs, windows and mouldings. Artificial materials such as Upvc for windows or concrete for walls will not be encouraged, and the painting of brick and stone elements is considered to be inappropriate and conducive to rapid deterioration.

Walls are generally red or orange-red brick with stone dressings, but some houses are buff brick with yellow stone. Decorative brick patterning is used particularly at eaves or gables, either polychromatic or in the form of corbelled brackets. Stone brackets support projecting balconies with ornate wrought-iron balustrades.

Roofs on Whalley Range houses were originally predominantly blue slate, and this as opposed to other materials, should be used as a replacement. Ridge tiles often have decorative fins, and finials at every gable may be terracotta, timber or wrought iron. Barge boards and eaves boards are moulded and fretted with decoration.

In existing buildings, windows should follow the pattern of the originals they replace, almost invariably vertically proportioned with little or no subdivision of the sashes into small panes. The frames should be made from moulded timber sections and trimmed with moulded architraves. They should also be set in the same plane as the originals. In new development, windows should be set back at least one brick depth from the front plane of the wall.

Where boundary treatments are being renewed, walls - preferably the originals - should be stone or brick with recessed panels and stone copings. They should be in character with the area, which frequently includes evergreen hedges. These are most commonly privet, but holly and laurel are also seen.

Every effort should be made to save gateposts and incorporate them in new developments. They should be replaced in stone or brick rather than concrete or timber. Each of these solutions requires less maintenance than the original cheaper alternatives.

None of the original cast-iron street-lamp standards remain today, having been replaced with modern steel poles. If funds were to become available, there would be an opportunity to replace lamps and other street furniture with Victorian-style castings, in order to re-create some of the original character of the area, providing the levels of illumination meeting with present-day requirements.

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