Updated March 2020 – Updated Russell St/ Castle Hill/ Oxford Road added
Conservation Area status and its implications
Conservation Area status places a statutory duty on local planning authorities to pay special attention to preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of conservation areas while undertaking their planning duties. Such designation essentially controls the demolition of unlisted buildings over a certain size and works to protect trees, restricts permitted development rights on dwelling houses and tightens regulations on advertising.
Reading’s Conservation Areas
Reading has 15 Conservation Areas, each is supported by a Conservation Area Character Appraisal which identifies the attributes of each area in order to aid the protection of an area’s ‘the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Appraisals are used by Planning Officers in their consideration of Planning Applications.
Reading Borough Council’s website on Conservation areas may reached by the following link; www.reading.gov.uk/article/8056/Conservation-areas
As of 23 February 2018 individual Conservation Area Character Appraisals may be readily accessed on Reading Borough Council’s website Information about all CAs.
The same information is provided below. In addition however we also provide
- Mini summaries which members of the CAAC have prepared of most of the areas (Routh Lane is being prepared and Horncastle awaits volunteers to take it forward).
- A summary and overview for Eldon Square.
Routh Lane – Tilehurst- work in progress; Full Appraisal (RL)
The process of updating CA Character Appraisals
The appraisals currently in place were completed in the main by consultants. They should be renewed every 5 years to ensure that they reflect the up to date situation and are continuing to do the job they are designed for – to protect areas ‘the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Many however are out of date, or soon will be. Whilst the council does not have the resources to commission consultants to carry out the updates it is felt that updates carried out by volunteers who know, and care about, the areas undertaking a bottom up review will be far more powerful.
Members of the CAAC are gradually undertaking this work. Russell Street/ Castle Hill and St Peters (Caversham) are the first areas being examined, progress reports are provided separately. Market Place/ London Street commenced in April 2017 and work continues.
Conservation Area Advisory Committee
In 2016 the Conservation Area Advisory Committee was established. Its first aim is to work to update the existing Conservation Area Appraisals. Further information is HERE.