Canewdon Church Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

Ended on the 30 August 2007
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7. Recommendations

Extensions to Conservation Area

7.1 It is proposed that the existing conservation area is extended on the north side of the High Street to encompass the row of horse chestnut trees and the private gardens in which they stand at the front of The Hunters, Clays, Noss Mayo, Chestnuts, Lynton and Beginnings. These trees make a vital contribution to the conservation area, creating a green frame to the churchyard gates from the long view down the High Street, enclosing the north side of the street and emphasising its informal and rural character. They also reinforce the historic separation of the church/hall complex from the main village settlement and provide screening from modern development to the north of the High Street. Further hard landscaping of the gardens here should also be avoided in order to preserve the essentially rural quality of the conservation area.

Management proposals

7.2 The creeping use of protective measures to limit damage from vandalism will increasingly undermine the character of the conservation area, as will damage caused by nuisance behaviour. The community will need support to help them address the causes of this behaviour and reduce the number of nuisance incidents in order to avoid further degradation of the environment. Specific community strategies and aims with regard to reducing anti-social behaviour are contained in the Rochford and District Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy 2005-2008.

7.3 Boundary treatments are important to the character of the conservation area and should be appropriate to the rural context. Appropriate materials include soft red brick, timber post and rail fencing and native hedgerow planting. The boundary between the vicarage and churchyard should be kept low to maintain the important visual relationship between the two. The structural instability of the existing wall means that further loss of this important feature is likely without intervention, and repair, consolidation and ongoing condition monitoring should be undertaken. Views through the vicarage grounds should be preserved to protect the open and rural character of the churchyard.

7.4 Encroaching scrub in the churchyard has caused damage both to the boundary wall and to gravestones in the past. Much has been cleared recently, but an appropriate management scheme should be in place for trees and planting to maintain the historic form of the churchyard and prevent further encroachment. It is equally important that the hedgeline allows views to the surrounding landscape to the south, west and east. The planting of memorial trees should also be part of this management scheme, avoiding the introduction of unsuitable species. Guidance notes on trees in churchyards, including advice on appropriate species, have been produced by the Chelmsford Diocesan Advisory Committee (1995)5.

7.5 The churchyard would benefit from some improvements. At present there is one simple timber bench in the north-west corner for visitors, but given the size of the churchyard and the splendid views and peaceful setting a few more benches would enhance the amenity value of the space. The provision of facilities for those tending graves, including a composting area, and a discrete area for rubbish and discarded flowers would improve the appearance of the north side and help to keep the area tidy. The cremated remains area near the east entrance could be improved as the wooden posts are sagging. As the tarmac paths reach the end of their life a more appropriate surface treatment should be considered, such as bound gravel or pea shingle. The west entrance could be improved, although efforts to install a new timber fence have been thwarted by theft.

5 Practical Notes on Trees in Churchyards, Diocese of Chelmsford, Chelmsford Diocesan Advisory Committee 1995

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