What is a conservation area?
There are currently 21 conservation areas in Northampton. Each has been specially designated for protection and enhancement, following consultation with local residents and property owners, because of its distinctive character and appearance.
What makes a conservation area?
The townscape of each conservation area is a unique collection of buildings, streets and open spaces together with trees, walls and other, often subtle, features; however, conservation areas are not open-air museums but living communities which must be allowed to change over time in order to remain vital and prosperous. Consequently the emphasis is to guide and control development rather than to prevent it.
It is important though, that all new development should be sympathetic to the special architectural and aesthetic qualities of the area, particularly in terms of scale, design, materials and space between buildings. Dramatic change within a conservation area is rarely successful, and even small changes (such as replacement doors and windows) can erode the particular qualities of the area.
The ultimate success of conservation areas will depend upon the care which individual owners take with the maintenance and repair of their properties and in any alterations or extensions they make; for example, original windows and doors should be repaired where possible, or replaced with new ones to match the originals in terms of materials used and details of their design.
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Date last reviewed: 17/06/2011