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Swale's Conservation Areas

There are currently 50 conservation areas in Swale. 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 50 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 or enhance the character of each and every one of its 50 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.

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.

Current public consultation on conservation areas

There are two public consultations taking place at present, for:

  1. Milstead Conservation Area; and
  2. Sittingbourne Conservation Area

The consultations are running for 7 weeks from Monday 2nd August up to and including Sunday 19th September 2021.
The consultation documents are available to view on-line via the individual web links below:

Hard copies of both the review documents are available to view at Sittingbourne Library, Central Ave, Sittingbourne ME10 4AH.

Should you wish to comment on either or both of the draft document, please do so in writing no later than the 19 September by email to conservation@Swale.gov.uk or by post to: CA Consultation, Planning Services, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT.

Please clearly indicate in any response sent to us which conservation area your comments relate to if you are not commenting on both documents, and please also note that it may not be possible to take into account comments received after the 19 September.

Following a review of the consultation responses received, the Council’s officers will make any necessary changes to the public consultation documents to ensure that they are sound and fit for purpose, with a view to obtaining agreement from the Council’s Cabinet to approve them for development management purposes later this year.

Swale Borough Council Conservation Areas

No.

Conservation Area Name

First Designation

Last Review

Initial
(text only)
Summary Appraisal

Full (illustrated) Appraisal and Management Strategy

At Risk?

1

Badlesmere

14.12.1982

-

-

-

N

2

Borden - Chestnut Street

10.2.1977

1999

Chestnut Street Appraisal

Review completed – adopted appraisal version to appear here shortly

N

3

Borden - The Street

8.10.1971

1999

Borden - The Street Appraisal

Review completed – adopted appraisal version to appear here shortly

N

4

Borden - Harman's Corner

8.10.1971

1999

Borden - Harman's Corner Appraisal

Review completed – adopted appraisal version to appear here shortly

N

5

Borden - Hearts Delight

11.8.1999

-

Borden - Hearts Delight Appraisal

Review completed – adopted appraisal version to appear here shortly

N

6

Boughton - Boughton Church

27.1.1976

2019

-

Boughton Church

N

7

Boughton - Boughton Street

1.5.1970

2019

-

Boughton Street

N

8

Boughton - South Street

6.5.1975

2019

-

Boughton South Street

N

9

Bredgar

2.11.1973

2000

Bredgar Appraisal

-

N

10

Cellar Hill and Greenstreet

22.11.2000

-

Cellar Hill Appraisal

-

Y

11

Doddington and Newnham

3.3.1987

-

-

-

N

12

Eastling

20.4.1973

-

-

-

N

13

Faversham - Faversham Town

1971

2004

Faversham Appraisal

-

N

14

Faversham - Ospringe

16.6.1982

2004

Ospringe Appraisal

-

N

15

Faversham - Preston Next

9.3.1976

2004

Preston Appraisal

-

N

16

Goodnestone

24.11.1999

-

Goodnestone Appraisal

-

N

17

Graveney - Graveney Church

24.11.1999

-

Graveney Church Appraisal

-

N

18

Graveney - Graveney Bridge

3.7.1970

1999

Graveney Bridge Appraisal

-

N

19

Hartlip

3.7.1970

1999

Hartlip Appraisal

-

N

20

Hernhill

23.7.1971

-

 

-

N

21

Hernhill - Dargate

7.4.1999

-

Hernhill - Dargate Appraisal

-

N

22

Hernhill - Fostall

7.4.1999

-

Hernhill - Fostall Appraisal

-

N

23

Kingsdown

27.1.1976

-

-

-

N

24

Lewson Street

6.5.1975

-

-

-

N

25

Lower Halstow

6.5.1975

2006

Lower Halstow Appraisal

-

N

26

Lynsted - Bogle

2.1.1970

2000

Lynsted - Bogle Appraisal

-

N

27

Lynsted - The Street

1.12.1972

2000

Lynsted The Street Appraisal

-

N

28

Milstead

20.4.1973

-

-

Under Review (see current consultation section)

N

29

Milton Regis - High Street

19.7.1977

-

-

-

Y

30

Newington Church

9.12.1992

-

-

-

N

31

Newington - High Street

9.12.1992

-

-

-

Y

32

Newington - Newington Manor

9.12.1992

-

-

-

N

33

Painter's Forstal

16.9.1992

-

-

-

N

34

Queenborough

28.11.1978

2011

-

Queenborough (March 2011)

N

35

Rodmersham Green

26.9.1974

-

-

-

N

36

Selling

14.12.1982

-

-

-

N

37

Selling - Shepherd's Hill

22.11.2000

-

Shepherd's Hill Appraisal
(Nov 2000)

-

N

38

Sheerness: Marine Town

8.6.1976

-

-

-

Y

39

Sheerness: Mile Town

8.6.1976

2000

Mile Town Appraisal

-

Y

40

Sheerness: Royal Naval Dockyard and Bluetown

28.7.1972

2011

-

Royal Naval Dockyard and Bluetown (March 2011)

Y

41

Sheldwich

18.3.1992

-

-

-

N

42

Sittingbourne - High Street

12.12.1969

2011

-

Sittingbourne (March 2011)

Y

43

Stalisfield Green

21.1.1986

-

-

-

N

44

Staplestreet

18.3.1992

-

-

-

N

45

Syndale

19.6.2008

-

-

Syndale (June 2008)

N

46

Throwley Forstal

20.4.1973

-

-

-

N

47

Tonge

14.7.1987

2003

Tonge Appraisal

Review completed – link to adopted appraisal version to appear here shortly

N

48

Tunstall

20.4.1973

2003

Tunstall Appraisal

-

N

49

Upchurch

9.12.1992

2006

Upchurch Appraisal

-

Y

50

Whitehill

16.9.1992

-

-

-

N

  

You can find out if the property or area of land you are interested in falls within a conservation area on our Interactive Map. You will need to select the Heritage and Environment Category in the menu bar, and then ensure you have the Conservation Areas information layer ticked on the option menu.

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.