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Sheerness CAs expanded

Published Thursday 4 April, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 4 April, 2024

Two conservation areas in Sheerness have been expanded to include more areas of local importance.

Swale Borough Council has reviewed the conservation areas (CA’s) of Mile Town and Marine Town, along with others across the borough as part of its heritage strategy.

After undertaking a public consultation on the conservation area’s character appraisals and the proposed management plan, the council has decided to expand the conservation areas’ borders.

Sheerness began its life as grazing land reclaimed from marsh, while a permanent settlement was established when an artillery fort was developed in 1545 at the tip of the headland, Sheerness is Old English “clear headland”.

Marine Town CA will almost double in size, as the new borders better encapsulate the historically important assets of the area.

The new boundaries incorporate three listed buildings, which form part of the earliest development of the town: Neptune Terrace, Windmill Court and the Roman Catholic Church of St Henry and St Elizabeth.

In addition, the remainder of Alma Street, with its terraced houses, will also be included within the conservation area.

Mile Town Conservation Area will also be expanding to include the full extent of the early core of historic development in this area, including houses off Hope Street and the former waterworks south of Holy Trinity.

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 protection and, in some cases, development is more restricted.

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

“As a local authority, Swale has a responsibility to safeguard our historic assets for future generations.

“We also need to make sure they are not compromised by unsympathetic alterations or poor-quality developments.

“An important way for us to achieve this is through conservation areas, which offer unique protections and certain restrictions on development.

"The Isle of Sheppey is an important asset to Kent, rich with history and heritage that is so often undervalued and overlooked, and this updated Conservation Area approach for Sheerness is a major step forward in recognising that History.

"We are determined to maintain and protect this history and will use these updated management plans to guide our decision making.

“These include requiring planning permission for the alteration or demolition of even unlisted buildings and tree protections.

“This is one of a series of conservation area reviews we are committed to doing, following the adoption of the Swale Heritage Strategy.

“An important way for us to achieve this is through conservation areas, which offer unique protections and certain restrictions on development.

“These include requiring planning permission for the alteration or demolition of even unlisted buildings and tree protections."

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