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Views sought on historic conservation area in Braunstone

A consultation is asking for people to share their views on how the special character of Braunstone village should be preserved.

Changes are being proposed to extend some of the planning controls and considerations that apply to the historic village core of Braunstone. The consultation will invite people to review and comment on these plans.

Leicester Time: Views sought on historic conservation area in Braunstone
Picture: Leicester City Council

Because Braunstone village crosses local authority boundaries, both Leicester City Council and Blaby District Council are holding public consultations to gather people’s views on their proposals for the area. 

The city council is planning some changes to the planning rules for the area, while Blaby District Council is looking to designate part of the area within its boundaries as a conservation area for the first time.

Braunstone village is one of 25 designated conservation areas in Leicester city and would become the twelfth one in Blaby district if approved. It covers a number of listed buildings off Braunstone Lane, including the village shop that partly dates back to the 17th century and St Peter’s Church, off Woodshawe Rise, as well as 19th century architect-designed cottages formerly associated with the Winstanley Estate. Mature trees and woodland are also a key feature of the area. 

The two conservation areas cover just over 25 acres, bounded on the southern side of Braunstone Lane and Main Street to the south, Woodshawe Rise to the north, Cort Crescent to the north-east and Herle Avenue to the east.

Under the new plans, both councils would potentially introduce Article 4 directions for some of the non-listed properties in the conservation areas. This means that, in most cases, homeowners who wanted to alter the external appearance of their properties would need to apply for planning permission to do so.

Justin Webber, historic environment team leader at the city council, said: “Braunstone village conservation area preserves the core of the ancient settlement of Braunstone, with St Peter’s Church dating back to medieval times, and the original manor house believed to have been located in Church Field.

“The conservation area also includes a number of buildings that are of important architectural and historic significance – such as the 19th-century red-brick cottages with decorative facades and pitched roofs. 

“We are not proposing to make any changes to the boundaries of the conservation area on the Leicester city side, but an Article 4 direction would give us more powers to help ensure the unique character of this conservation area continues to be protected for future generations.”

Blaby District Council’s decision to consider conservation area designation follows approval of the recommendation to consult at a full council meeting – a recommendation inspired by the interest and research of local residents.

Martin Needham, senior planning policy officer at Blaby District Council, said: “We are very happy to be consulting on creating a new conservation area covering the historic village core of Braunstone and are keen to hear the public’s views on the proposal. 

“The historic environment is an important aspect of the local area and the proposed designation would help ensure new development is sensitive to its historic character. 

“Our draft management plan proposes joint working with Leicester City Council, as the existing Braunstone village conservation area is located within their administrative boundary. The two areas are adjacent to each other and combined would cover the totality of the historic area, helping to preserve and enhance its historic qualities for years to come.”

Conservation areas exist to manage and protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place – in other words, the features that make it unique. Every local authority in England has at least one conservation area and there are around 10,000 in England. 

People can comment on the proposals for the Leicester city part of Braunstone village until 16 August by visiting www.leicester.gov.uk/consultations

Comments can be made on Blaby District Council’s plans until 16 July at https://www.blaby.gov.uk/planning-and-building/guidance-and-policies/braunstone-village-conservation-area-consultation/