Council takes steps to protect heritage and beauty of borough

Release Date: 01/03/2017

The beauty of the borough and historical past of buildings and communities is to be further protected thanks to Richmond Council.

The borough has a strong reputation for protecting the environment, and the Council has just designated / extended 4 further conservation areas in the borough. There are now a total of 75 conservation areas established that help to protect and promote the borough’s history and natural scenery.

Conservation areas are special groups of buildings or areas designated for their architectural quality. They ensure that extra emphasis is given to their special character, history and development, and also to their preservation or enhancement when making decisions on planning applications or other development proposals that could impact an area.

During the Village Planning process in Kew and Whitton, residents expressed a desire to further protect certain areas from unsuitable development. The Council considered the potential of new conservation areas, and a public consultation was carried out to extend existing conservation areas and create new ones.

The new conservation areas have now come into effect and include:

Kew:

  • Parts of Sandycombe Road (Kew) - this is an extension to Kew Gardens Conservation Area No.15.
  • Burlington Avenue, Beechwood Avenue; West Park Road; North Road; (Kew)
  • Ruskin Avenue, part Defoe Avenue (Kew)

Whitton:

  • Oaklands Estate, Constance Road (Whitton)

Within these areas new development will be required to conserve or enhance the character and appearance. Certain Permitted Development rights, which allow people to make minor changes to their home without planning permission, are restricted and curtailed within conservation areas to ensure that the character of the area is not eroded slowly over time.

In addition, the Council has a Local Register of Buildings of Townscape Merit (BTM) featuring buildings and structures of local townscape, architectural or historic importance. Currently, there are over 12,000 properties on the register, ranging from shops, churches, public buildings, war memorials and railway buildings.If there are planning proposals affecting a BTM, it will need to be ensured that the architectural or historic interest is maintained.

Although the list of BTMs has been developed over many years, the Council continues to identify further buildings for protection, often with suggestions from local amenity groups.Following a consultation, the Council has added a significant number of additional properties to the register, including in Teddington, Kew, East Sheen, Whitton, Hampton, Hampton Wick and Twickenham.

Cllr Susan Chappell, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“At the start of our Village Planning process residents around the borough told us how important it is to protect the character of their local area. That is at the heart of the Village Planning programme.

“We have now 75 areas around the borough considered worthy of preservation or enhancement because of their special architectural or historic interest. We have listened to residents in Kew and Whitton and the new conservation areas have now come into effect. This will help preserve the identity of both villages and encourage new development to use materials and design in keeping with the area’s heritage and built environment.

“We are also aware that there are many individual buildings of historic or architectural importance and have included even more buildings on our buildings of townscape merit list to ensure they are protected."

Updated: 21 June 2017