Addington Village Conservation Area
16/05/2019 17:44:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
The Council is reviewing Addington Village Conservation area. Here is my response to the public consultation. NB: Three is still time to submit comments as the deadline is 30th May 2019.
Addington Village Conservation Area Review - Comments 15th May 2019
I welcome the fact that the Council is carrying out this review as it's important the Conservation Area is kept up to date and relevant. The Draft Planning Document is well researched and considers, in depth, the nature and character of the area.
I also welcome the inclusion of Addington Palace, Addington Park and ancillary buildings. Both these areas are part of the historic estate in the Addington Village area and it is right that they form part of the same conservation area as Addington Village. The inclusion of Roxton Gardens is a good proposal as it protects the area around the church.
I do, however, believe that some of the proposals in the Draft Supplementary Planning Document should be changed.
1. Firstly, the name. I have been the elected representative for Addington Village for a number of years, and one of the noteworthy characteristics of the area is the strong sense of identity as a village. The village area is clearly defined and surrounded by green space. By adding in the new areas, the Council will simply be including parts of the village that should always have been part of the conservation area. They were all part of the same estate.
Dropping the word 'village' from the name of the conservation area shows a lack of awareness of the strong identity of the area and the strength of village community spirit. The area looks like a village, residents feel that they live in a village, and it has always been known as a village. The addition of more buildings to the Conservation Area doesn't make it any less of a village. Furthermore, the removal of the word 'village' and calling it Addington Conservation Area will lead to confusion with New Addington which is a completely separate area.
The old title of 'Addington Village Conservation Area' should remain unchanged.
2. Secondly, three areas that are intrinsic parts of the village are to be removed. Whilst the buildings in these areas are not as historic as some other buildings in the village, they are still part of the village and part of the community.
a. In terms of Boundary Way and the Wicket, surely it would be better to include both these roads rather than chop off one more bit? They are part of the ancient estate and it would harm the conservation area if they were subject to major redevelopment. Better to protect them than leave them vulnerable to a greedy developer especially as they surround the country's oldest Cricket pitch and other historic buildings.
b. The removal of the houses at the end of Addington Village Road by the cricket pitch, seems a bit petty. The houses are stated to have a 'neutral' impact on the conservation area so it makes no sense to remove them. The people who live in these houses, who are very much part of the village, feel they have been unfairly targeted and are being kicked out of the village.
c. Removing the triangle of land at the other end of Addington Village Road also seems unnecessary. It opens up for development an area that is next to historic buildings and an area of beautiful parkland. It makes no sense to remove it.
The three areas proposed for removal should be kept within the Conservation Area.
3. In the ‘Development Guidelines’ part of the document it is particularly disturbing that point 8.1 of the document says it is acceptable to demolish the homes of people who live in 'neutral' buildings as well as those detracting from the area. It is also worrying that point 8.2.2 seems to open the door to infill development on back gardens.
4. The report points out that the buildings within the Conservation Area are still vulnerable to uncharacteristic minor developments because some of the changes do not need planning permission. Is there not a case to have more of the buildings listed or locally listed? This would give the Council more control of the iterative changes that might undermine the character of the area.
5. I am concerned that the Council Planning Department's approach to Conservation Areas is not aligned to the intent of the Supplementary Planning Document for the Addington Village Conservation Area. The document clearly states that the marquee at Addington Palace is out of keeping with the host building and yet the Council has allowed it to remain in place for a number of years. This is already inconsistent with protecting the character of a listed building.
Addington Village has a very strong sense of community. It has a strong and active residents' association that has invested significant time and money in the protection of the character of the area. And this means the whole of Addington Village including the areas that the Council is proposing to remove from the village. By taking some areas out, it sends a message that they are not considered important enough to protect. This will make it even harder for residents to protect the character of their village. The Council relies on the help and support of Residents' Associations, and the dependence on these local organisations is likely to increase, rather than diminish, in future. By cutting off some of the village, the Council undermines the work the Residents' Association has done in Addington Village in the last 40 years.
The lack of consistency in the decisions about which of the more modern houses should be removed from the Conservation Area leads to the obvious conclusion that they are being removed for another reason, namely to open up the areas for intensive development. If this happens, the character of Addington Village will be irreparably changed for the worse.
I ask that the Council listens to the concerns raised by residents in relation to the proposed changes to the Conservation Area.