Paglesham East End Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan
8.1 Under the 1990 Planning Act permitted development rights within conservation areas can be limited through the use of an Article 4(2) Direction. This has the effect that planning permission is required for certain defined categories of works that normally do not need it. Although up to now unsympathetic alterations to front elevations have been limited, any changes in the future would be extremely harmful to the special character of the conservation area. An important aspect of the distinctiveness of the conservation area lies in the 19th century developments by James Wiseman and it is important to preserve the integrity of his scheme where possible. Any further future erosion of character should be avoided, and efforts made to promote the restoration of original features where they have been lost. It is particularly important to limit the use of UPVC, a material which is neither sympathetic in appearance nor sustainable. Boundary treatments have been highlighted as an important contribution to character, and whilst unsympathetic boundary treatments are uncommon at present future inappropriate changes should be avoided. Replacement of front garden areas with hard landscaping for cars is another potential threat to the conservation area. It is therefore proposed that the following works should require planning permission under an Article 4 direction:
- Alterations to a property affecting windows, doors or other openings, including the insertion of new windows and doors or other openings including the insertion of dormer or other windows to the roofs and change of roof materials.
- The application of render or cladding to the external walls of a dwellinghouse, or the painting of brickwork.
- The erection or construction of any fences, gates or other forms of enclosure to the front or sides of a dwellinghouse, or the alteration of fences, walls or other forms of enclosure if they adjoin the highway, and construction within the curtilage of a dwelling house of a vehicle hard standing.
8.2 The public realm at East End is generally good and appropriate to the informal, small scale and rural character of the area. Whilst some conservation areas suffer from excessive street clutter, road signs and markings, this is not the case at East End. The fuzzy-edged verges and road-side hedges and trees along Paglesham Road suit its rural setting, and The County Council Highway's division should be sensitive to the special character when carrying out Highways works. The unmade character of Waterside Road and other Victorian roads also contribute to the informality of the area. The low key, minimal intervention approach should be maintained, although there is a difficult balance to be achieved with the Victorian roads between maintaining them to an acceptable standard whilst retaining their informal character. This is evident in Waterside Road where the verges have become eroded by traffic and the road surface is now in a fairly poor state of repair. When the landowner undertakes resurfacing it should be carried out with an appropriate surface finish such as bound gravel, and plain tarmac should be avoided. A footway could be demarcated on this wide road, but the surface treatment should be informal and if kerbing is introduced this should be in the form of stone cobbles or kerbstones rather than concrete ones. The approach to the boatyard follows a public right of way through to the riverside, access to which is an important feature of the village. Access to the riverside could be improved and enhanced, perhaps with a well designed sign and a more attractive approach rather than the gate currently barring the road.
8.3 A further public realm improvement that could be made is the undergrounding of overhead wires and the utilities companies should be consulted on this.
8.4 The new bungalow replacing Orchard Cottage represents the first significant new development in East End in the last 40 years or so. There is little potential for further development particularly given planning controls and policies with regard to the situation of the conservation area within Metropolitan Green Belt, which limits development. However there are some open spaces both within the conservation area and on its margins that might in the future become the subject of development proposals. The large gardens which are an important feature of the conservation area could come under threat. New development within Green Belt is strictly controlled, and East End is one of many settlements within Green Belt where it is considered that any new dwellings would have a detrimental effect on the visual appearance of the Green Belt and the existing open character of the settlement. In addition the design of any new development that might affect the conservation area and its setting must take into account the context in terms of massing, architectural detailing and materials in accordance with policy BC1 of the revised Local Plan, to ensure that the development preserves or enhances the special character of the area.
8.5 The boatyard at Paglesham has been in use for over 150 years. As well as being accessed via East End, it is also visible across fields to the south-east. Whilst recreational access to the riverside should be encouraged, any development proposals affecting the boatyard must take into account the volume and type of traffic that would pass along Waterside Road to access the site. The small scale, quiet and unmade nature of Waterside Road and the tight enclosure that it affords the Rows is an important element in the special character of the conservation area that should not be compromised by any future plans for the boatyard.
Locally Listed Buildings
8.6 Many of the buildings in the conservation area that make a positive contribution to its special character were formerly on the District Council's Local List of Buildings of Architectural, Historic and Townscape Importance. These were covered by a Local Plan policy that set out to encourage owners of locally listed properties to avoid unsympathetic alterations. This practice has now been discontinued and no such policy exists in the new adopted Local Plan. Whilst the policy was not always successful in its ambitions, it did offer a degree of protection and acknowledged the importance of these buildings to local heritage and to the local street scene. East End is an excellent example of a settlement where locally important properties are essential to the character of an area. The Heritage Protection Review envisages local lists having a place in the protection of the historic environment. It is recommended that the practice of local-listing should be re-instated, and that Barn Row should be added to the original local list.