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Swale's Conservation Areas

There are now 51 conservation areas in Swale following the designation of Rodmersham Church Street Conservation Area earlier this year. A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. The special character of these areas does not come from the quality of their buildings alone. The area as a whole, including historic layout of roads, paths and boundaries; characteristic building and paving materials; a particular 'mix' of building uses; landscape and tree cover in public and private spaces all make up the familiar local scene. Conservation area designation is a way of protecting these special parts of the borough and ensuring that any new development is sensitive to their historic character. It is not about preventing new development.

The 51 conservation areas in Swale Borough range from the outstanding timespan of buildings present within Faversham, the highly planned layout and cleverly engineered qualities of the former Royal Naval dockyard at Sheerness to the numerous picturesque villages and hamlets in the Borough, many of which display distinct Kentish vernacular qualities in their individual, and groups of buildings.  Such a legacy requires special attention and the Council's aim is to preserve and wherever possible, enhance the character of each and every one of its 51 Conservation Areas.

You can find out if your property falls within a Conservation Area by looking the table below, which provides a map for each area, or by using the Borough Council’s Interactive Map tool.

If you live in a Conservation Area and you are considering making alterations to your property, please view the advice on the Planning Portal website and by referring to the Borough Council's  Conservation Area guidance.

Public consultations

We recently consulted residents on the Faversham Conservation Area review and the Faversham Preston-Next Conservation Area review which began on Monday 23rd October and closed on Friday 15th December 2023.

We also consulted on the Milton Regis Conservation Area Review (PDF 4.17MB) and the Cellar Hill and Greenstreet Conservation Area Review (PDF 3.33MB), which began on Friday 10th November and closed on Friday 22nd December 2023. The final appraisal documents will be available to view soon.

The Bredgar Conservation Area and Hartlip Conservation Area Consultations began on Monday 3rd July 2023 and closed on 14th August 2023. These Conservation Area Appraisal's have been reviewed and are now adopted. They can be found in the table below.

The Sheerness (Marine Town) Conservation Area and Sheerness (Mile Town) Conservation Area consultations began on 10th August 2023 and closed on 21st September 2023.

The Appraisal's can also be viewed in the table below.

Swale’s existing conservation areas

No.

Conservation Area Name & Boundary Map 

First Designation

Last Review

Initial
Summary Appraisal

Full (illustrated) Appraisal and Management Strategy - Latest Version

At Risk?

1

Badlesmere

14 December 1982

-

Badlesmere Map (PDF 505KB)

-

N

2

Borden - Chestnut Street

10 February 1977

2020

Chestnut Street Appraisal (1999)

Borden CA appraisal March 2021 Adopted (PDF 14MB)

N

3

Borden - The Street

8 October 1971

2020

Borden - The Street Appraisal (1999)

Borden CA appraisal March 2021 Adopted (PDF 14MB)

N

4

Borden - Harman's Corner

8 October 1971

2020

Borden - Harman's Corner Appraisal (1999)

Borden CA appraisal March 2021 Adopted (PDF 14MB)

N

5

Borden - Hearts Delight

11 August 1999

2020

Borden - Hearts Delight Appraisal (2000)

Borden CA appraisal March 2021 Adopted (PDF 14MB)

N

6

Boughton - Boughton Church

27 January 1976

2019

 

Boughton Church June 2019 Adopted (PDF 5.1MB)

N

7

Boughton - Boughton Street

1 May 1970

2019

 

Boughton Street June 2019 Adopted (PDF 10,2MB)

N

8

Boughton - South Street

6 May 1975

2019

 

Boughton South Street June 2019 Adopted (PDF 4.2MB)

N

9

Bredgar

2 November 1973

2000

Bredgar Appraisal (2006)

Bredgar Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Strategy Adopted October 2023 (PDF 6.8MB)

N

10

Cellar Hill and Greenstreet

22 November 2000

-

Cellar Hill Appraisal (2000)

Cellar Hill Map (historic PDF 466KB)

Cellar Hill and Greenstreet Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Strategy Draft November 2023
(PDF 3.33MB)

Y

11

Doddington and Newnham

3 March 1987

-

Doddington and Newnham Map (PDF 701KB)

-

N

12

Eastling

20 April 1973

-

Eastling Map (PDF 502KB)

-

N

13

Faversham - Faversham Town

1971

2004

Faversham Appraisal (2004)

Faversham Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan Draft August 2023
(PDF 9.67MB)

N

14

Faversham - Ospringe

16 June 1982

2004

Ospringe Appraisal (2004)

Ospringe Map (PDF 597KB)

-

N

15

Faversham Preston- Next

9 March 1976

2004

Preston Appraisal (2004)

Faversham Preston-Next Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan Draft August 2023 (PDF 3.44MB)

N

16

Goodnestone

24 November 1999

-

Goodnestone Appraisal (1999)

Goodnestone Map (PDF 536KB)

-

N

17

Graveney - Graveney Church

24 November 1999

-

Graveney Church Appraisal (1999)

Graveney Church Map (423KB)

-

N

18

Graveney - Graveney Bridge

3 July 1970

1999

Graveney Bridge Appraisal (1999)

Graveney Bridge Map (PDF 520KB)

-

N

19

Hartlip

3 July 1970

1999

Hartlip Appraisal (1999)

Hartlip Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Strategy Adopted November 2023 (PDF 10.3MB)

N

20

Hernhill

23 July 1971

-

Hernhill Map (PDF 522KB)

-

N

21

Hernhill - Dargate

7 April 1999

-

Hernhill - Dargate Appraisal (1999)

Dargate Map (PDF 445KB)

-

N

22

Hernhill - Fostall

7 April 1999

-

Hernhill - Fostall Appraisal  (1999)

Fostall Map (PDF 439KB)

-

N

23

Kingsdown

27 January 1976

-

Kingsdown Map (PDF 395KB)

-

N

24

Lewson Street

6 May 1975

-

Lewson Street Map (PDF 457KB)

-

N

25

Lower Halstow

6 May 1975

2006

Lower Halstow Appraisal (2006)

Lower Halstow Map (PDF 535KB)

-

N

26

Lynsted - Bogle

2 January 1970

2000

Lynsted - Bogle Appraisal (2000)

Bogle Map (PDF 419KB)

-

N

27

Lynsted - The Street

1 December 1972

2000

Lynsted The Street Appraisal (2000)

Lynsted -The Street Map (PDF 566KB)

-

N

28

Milstead

20 April 1973

2021

 

Milstead Character Appraisal Review November 2021 Adopted (PDF 4.3MB)

N

29

Milton Regis - High Street

19 July 1977

-

 

Milton Regis Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Strategy Draft November 2023
(PDF 4.17MB)

Y

30

Newington Church

9 December 1992

-

Newington Church Map (PDF 562KB)

-

N

31

Newington - High Street

9 December 1992

-

Newington High Street Map (PDF 577KB)

-

Y

32

Newington - Newington Manor

9 December 1992

-

Newington Manor Map (PDF 469KB)

-

N

33

Painter's Forstal

16 September 1992

-

Painter's Forstal Map (PDF 439KB)

-

N

34

Queenborough

28 November 1978

2011

Queenborough Map (PDF 323KB)

Queenborough March 2011 (PDF 3MB)

N

35

Rodmersham Church Street Conservation Area

16 March 2022

-

 

Rodmersham Church Street Conservation Area March 2022 Adopted (PDF 6.2MB)

N

36

Rodmersham Green

26 September 1974

2022

 

Rodmersham Green character appraisal December 2022 Adopted (PDF 5.3MB)

N

37

Selling

14 December 1982

-

Selling Map (PDF 460KB)

-

N

38

Selling - Shepherd's Hill

22 November 2000

-

Shepherd's Hill Appraisal
(Nov 2000)

Selling - Shepherd's Hill Map (PDF 484KB)

-

N

39

Sheerness: Marine Town

8 June 1976

-

 

Sheerness Marine Town Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan Draft August 2023 (PDF  29.2MB)

Y

40

Sheerness: Mile Town

8 June 1976

2000

Mile Town Appraisal (2000)

Sheerness Mile Town Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan Draft August 2023 (PDF 28.9MB)

Y

41

Sheerness: Royal Naval Dockyard and Bluetown

28 July 1972

2011

Royal Naval Dockyard and Bluetown Map (PDF 659KB)

Royal Naval Dockyard and Bluetown March 2011 (PDF 5.1MB)

Y

42

Sheldwich

18 March 1992

-

Sheldwich Map (PDF 713KB)

-

N

43

Sittingbourne

12 December 1969

2011

Sittingbourne Character Appraisal 2011

Sittingbourne Map (historic PDF 554KB)

Sittingbourne Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan November 2021 Adopted (PDF  4.1MB)

Y

44

Stalisfield Green

21 January 1986

-

Stalisfield Green Map (PDF 539KB)

-

N

45

Staplestreet

18 March 1992

-

Staplestreet Map (PDF 554KB)

-

N

46

Syndale

19 June 2008

-

Syndale Map (PDF 356 KB

Syndale June 2008 (PDF 1.5MB)

N

47

Throwley Forstal

20 April 1973

-

Throwley Forstal Map (PDF 452KB)

-

N

48

Tonge

14 July 1987

2020

Tonge Appraisal (2003)

Tonge Appraisal and Management Plan March 2021 Adopted (PDF 6.9MB)

N

49

Tunstall

20 April 1973

2022

Tunstall Appraisal (2003)

Tunstall Conservation Area Appraisal April 2022 Adopted (PDF 4.7MB)

N

50

Upchurch

9 December 1992

2006

Upchurch Appraisal (2006)

Upchurch Map (PDF 537KB)

-

Y

51

Whitehill

16 September 1992

-

Whitehill Map (PDF 541KB)

-

N

What does designation mean?

Conservation areas enjoy special protection under the law. The Council has extra controls over demolition, minor developments and the protection of trees. Within a conservation area you will need to apply for planning permission for total or substantial demolition of any building and may also need permission to carry out minor alterations or extensions such as roof alterations or erecting dormer windows or satellite dishes. Additionally you must give the Council six weeks notice, in writing, before any work is carried out to prune or fell a tree in a conservation area. For design guidance for new development and alterations and extensions to existing properties within conservation areas in Swale Borough, please see the Council’s local planning guidance on Conservation Area. Please note that whilst this guidance note is now a little dated, the majority of the content is still valid and useful. The Council intend to update this guidance note in the near future to support the work of its adopted Borough-wide Heritage Strategy.

Article 4 directions

For information on Article 4 Directions generally, and the Article 4 Directions specific to Swale Borough, please click here.

Conservation area review and appraisal

Local planning authorities are required to review their Conservation Areas from time to time to ensure that they still retain the special character and appearance that warrants an additional level of planning control through the Conservation Area designation, and assuming this is the case, to see whether any changes are needed in the way in which each respective Conservation Area is managed. Public consultation is required when a local planning authority wishes to designate a new Conservation Area, de-designate an existing Conservation Area, alter the boundaries of an existing Conservation Area, or it seeks to introduce additional control in a Conservation Area by means of a special mechanism called an Article 4 Direction. Public consultation is also required when character appraisal and management strategy/plan documents are produced for particular Conservation Areas to help ensure that the documents properly capture the key characteristics of the area that lend it a special character, that the issues affecting the special character and appearance of the area have been correctly identified, and that the management strategy/plan put forward to address these issues is appropriate.

As a key element of the Council’s recently adopted borough-wide Heritage Strategy, there is now a commitment to reviewing all of the borough’s conservation areas on a rolling basis. A programme for the review of all 50 current conservation areas has not been set out.  Instead, the Council will be setting out a timetable for the review of groups of conservation areas when setting out each 3-year Action Plan for the adopted Heritage Strategy. The conservation areas to be reviewed in the initial 3-year Action Plan (2020 – 2023) are focussed on those conservation areas deemed to be at risk due to deterioration of their special qualities (principally through incremental negative change) and/or facing significant development pressure within or adjacent to their boundaries. You can view the Heritage Strategy’s initial 3-year Action Plan by clicking here (PDF 1MB ). For more information on conservation areas at risk, please visit the Swale’s Heritage at Risk web page and the Historic England web page on Heritage at Risk: Conservation Areas.

Designating conservation areas

The Council's prime consideration when designating a conservation area is the character of the area, rather than that of individual buildings. The character of an area might be defined by the historic layout of property boundaries and thoroughfares; its particular 'mix' of uses; characteristic materials; appropriate scaling and detailing of contemporary buildings; the quality of advertisements, shop fronts, street furniture and hard and soft surfaces; and by views and vistas along streets and between buildings.

There is no standard specification for Conservation Areas. They may be large or small; they may embrace whole town centres or may cover squares, terraces, village centres and smaller groups of buildings.

Once conservation area status has been granted, the area will appear in a local land charge search.

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