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Councillors asked to agree changes to Borden and Tonge conservation areas

Published Thursday 11 March, 2021
Last updated on Thursday 11 March, 2021

Councillors are being asked to approve changes to four conservation areas in Borden Parish, and one in Tonge.

Swale Borough Council has reviewed four conservations areas in Borden -  The Street, Chestnut Street, Harman’s Corner, and Hearts Delight - as well as the Tonge conservation area between Bapchild and Sittingbourne.

The five conservation areas were established between 1971-1999 and have been reviewed as part of the council’s work to maintain the historic and environmental importance of the borough.

Cllr Mike Baldock, deputy leader of the council, cabinet member for planning at the council, said:

“We’re fortunate to have 50 conservation areas in Swale, each one with its own historic and environmental importance for their local areas.

"Unfortunately, many date back to the 1990s and earlier, and have not been reviewed for many years, which in planning terms, leaves them weak and with no management plan in place.

“We are now committed to a serious program of reviewing these important documents.

“We are proposing to extend the Tonge conservation area boundary to include archaeological remains of the medieval castle, as well as the site of an early former windmill.

“Predicted to date back to the medieval period, the windmill was later replaced by the current water mill buildings, which are a key part of the conservation area along with the adjacent mill pond.

“In Borden Parish, we’re proposing to extend the boundary for The Street conservation area to include an early eighteenth-century listed house and surrounding orchard land.

“We’re also proposing to extend the boundary at Harman’s Corner Conservation Area to include the characterful nineteenth-century Homestead Cottages with their ornate detailing, as well as the boundary at Chestnut Street Conservation Area to include areas of historic gravel quarrying and the nineteenth-century Tudor Rose public house.

“No boundary changes are proposed for Hearts Delight conservation area.

“When we review the conservation areas, we look to see if the area in question merits retaining its status, and if so, whether the existing boundaries are still appropriate.

“As part of the assessment process, we also look for any significant architectural, historic and environmental elements within the local area that need to be preserved to protect our local heritage and landscapes.

“We have begun a program to review all 50 of the conservations areas around the borough as one of our heritage strategy priorities, and initial work has also begun to review the conservation areas at Sittingbourne, Milstead, Rodmersham and Tunstall.”

The proposed changes will be discussed at next week’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 17 March.

The full report and health and wellbeing plan can be viewed here.

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