Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Satellite Dishes, Plastic Windows and Road Humps Are Ruining the Areas That We Treasure Most; Conservation Areas Being Put in Danger

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Satellite Dishes, Plastic Windows and Road Humps Are Ruining the Areas That We Treasure Most; Conservation Areas Being Put in Danger

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

ALMOST 50 conservation areas in the North East are considered at risk of neglect, decay or damaging change. it is revealed today.

One in five of 243 conservation areas surveyed in the region is considered to be at risk, says English Heritage.

The figure emerges from the launch today by English Heritage of its 2009 Heritage at Risk register.

The register offers the most detailed ever insight into the state of the region's important historic places and includes the results of the first ever national survey into the condition of conservation areas.

These areas - designated by local councils to protect their unique character and appearance - represent the heart of the region's built heritage.

Now, based on the survey's findings, English Heritage is launching a Conservation Areas at Risk campaign to encourage residents, local groups and councils to work together to improve these special places.

For the survey, English Heritage asked all local authorities in the region to complete a questionnaire for each of its conservation areas.

The survey revealed the top threats to be: .. Plastic windows and doors (83% of conservation areas affected) .. Poorly maintained roads and pavements (60%) .. Street clutter (45%) .. Loss of front garden walls, fences and hedges (43%) .. Unsightly satellite dishes (38%)

. The effects of traffic calming or traffic management (36%) .. Alterations to the fronts, roofs and chimneys of buildings (34%) .. Unsympathetic extensions (31%) .. Impact of advertisements (23%) .. Neglected green spaces (18%).

The North East has a total of 300 conservation areas and of these 41% are rural.

Carol Pyrah, English Heritage planning and development director for the North East, said: "We hope this survey will help local authorities to prioritise action and we will be working with them to identify how we can help. Over the next year we will be encouraging local authorities to plug the gaps in the survey and refine the data. …

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