Agenda item

Boot and Shoe Quarter - potential designation of conservation area

Report of the Director of Planning and Regeneration (Copy herewith)


Cabinet recommended that consultation on three alternative conservation area boundaries as described in the report would take place.


Cabinet delegated to the Director of Planning and Regeneration the authority to make any necessary amendments to Appendix 1of the report, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, prior to starting the consultation process.


Councillor Clarke, welcomed the establishment of a conservation area in order to reflect the heritage of the Borough. He commented that the Spring Boroughs area was the traditional shoe making area although most of this heritage had been demolished. The report was about preserving the shoe making heritage of the industrial age. He emphasised that designation would not of itself bring about improvements to the local environment of the Mounts and highlighted issues concerning street cleaning, drain and gully clearing, the increase in HIMOs and the need to protect existing green spaces.


Councillor Mildren commented that no resources were available to make improvements: growth bids would need to be made as part of future budgets.  Green spaces especially within the town centre area needed to be preserved where they existed.


Councillor Flavell asked why the Ward Councillors had not been consulted about the report. She commented that whilst WNDC were aware of the proposed Conservation area, both Borough and County Councillors for the areas had not been informed.


Councillor Mason welcomed the report and commented that it was an excellent idea. However, she expressed concern that the consultation would not go out widely enough to the people of Northampton. She requested that consultation be carried out not just to those in the proposed conservation areas but across the Town, as they were pockets of the shoe making industry elsewhere that would have a significant meaning for many other residents. She expressed a personal preference for Option 2 set out in the report.


Councillor Church, as the relevant Portfolio Holder, submitted a report that sought the approval of members to undertake a public consultation on a proposed Boot and Shoe Conservation Area. He reported that many people in Northampton valued the Boot and Shoe industry and the proposed conservation area would celebrate the history and heritage of this. It was not about protecting individual buildings but whole street scene including churches, chapels, pubs and houses built in the latter part of the 19th Century. The consultation would be on the basis of the three options set out in the report. There would be rights and obligations placed on property owners and he hoped that the proposal would attract a great deal of interest. Whilst he recognised there was no additional money for the area buildings would be protected. He noted the adjacent Racecourse that was already protected. In respect of consultation with Ward Councillors he urged them to use the Forward Plan to keep themselves informed.


The Director of Planning and Regeneration commented that this report was of a technical nature and that consultation, including with Ward Councillors would begin from Cabinet’s approval of it. In future Ward Councillors would be given prior notice. In answer to a question from Councillor P. D Varnsverry the Director commented that some of the impact on residents in a Conservation Area with regard to permitted development rights was set out in the Appendix to the report but that more information would be made available as part of the consultation.



The Chair commented that the proposed designation of a Conservation Area was long overdue and would add some protection to the area. If funds became available enhancements to the area could be made. The ambition to develop Northampton should include the preservation of its heritage.


RESOLVED:    1.  That consultation take place on the three alternative conservation area boundaries, as described in the report.


         2.  That the Director of Planning and Regeneration be delegated the authority to make any necessary amendments to Appendix 1 of the report, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, prior to starting the consultation process.






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