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Hartlip and Bredgar CA's

Published Wednesday 6 December, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

A conservation area in Swale has been expanded to include more areas of local importance.

Swale Borough Council has reviewed Hartlip and Bredgar Conservation Areas as part of their commitment to deliver the adopted Heritage Strategy 2020, Action Plan 1.

After undertaking a public consultation on the conservation area’s character appraisals and the proposed management plan, the Council has expanded the borders of Hartlip conservation area (CA) and have kept the existing boundaries of Bredgar Conservation Area.

Hartlip conservation area now includes the Cuckoo Orchard, Redcliffe chase, Keites Styles and part of Mount Lane.

Hartlip is surrounded by beautiful orchards and is said to have derived its name from the Old English words ‘heoret hliep,’ meaning leaping place for harts or stags.

The Hartlip parish church, which is dedicated to St. Michael, is one of the oldest standing buildings dating back to 1190.

There is also evidence of Roman influence with a large Roman villa being discovered one mile from the church.

Bredgar has substantial historic value having archaeological evidence of prehistoric, Iron Age and Roman settlements within the village and surrounding area.

The buildings in both towns also add to their special character. The mix of building styles, dates, materials and types combine to create unique places, which speak of their locality and history.

The council, as the local planning authority, is responsible for reviewing conservation areas from time to time.

These reviews offer the opportunity to see if the areas still possess the special architectural and historic interest and are worthy of continued designation, which made them conservation areas in the first place.

The council also assessed how successful the designations had been over the past 50 years and whether they should be expanded or made smaller.

Once an area has been designated a conservation area planning permission is needed to alter or demolish even unlisted buildings, trees within the area are given special protections and, in some cases, development is more restricted.

Cllr Mike Baldock, Swale's Heritage Champion, said:

“We are fortunate to live in a place that not only offers incredible natural beauty but is also historically and architecturally important.

“Swale is an amazing place, and protecting the identity and charm of these villages is incredibly important to myself and the council.

“These conservation areas are a tool we can use to protect and enhance their uniqueness from irresponsible or unsustainable development.

“It is important for us to review these areas every now and then to determine how successful they have been in preserving their identity and if we need to make any changes to them.

“Both Hartlip and Bredgar have great historical importance and the review found that they still need to be designated as conservation areas.

“I am very happy that the Hartlip area has become larger, this allows us to manage more of the village keeping its identity safe.”

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