7. Heritage

7.1.

Introduction

This Chapter emphasises the importance and attractiveness of our heritage, both the visible built environment which surrounds us and the hidden archaeology beneath us. All that we see and find around us today has developed from the past heritage of Thanet residents and it is this abundant historical past that creates the perceptions of the District as a place to live, visit, work and invest in today. The preservation of our heritage is considered to be an economic asset to the District, and its maintenance and protection plays an important role in the District’s economy.

7.2.

This Chapter sets out the Council's policies and proposals for maintaining and improving the environmental quality and attractiveness of our heritage through:

  1. use of its development control powers;
  2. safeguarding and enhancing certain buildings and areas which contribute significantly to the character and identity of the District;
  3. promoting, funding and undertaking enhancement initiatives, and
  4. taking a positive role, where appropriate, in ensuring important buildings and structures are maintained to avoid dereliction. The Council may action some sites, encourage property owners to carry out works to other properties in poor condition, or issue compulsory purchase orders where necessary.

OBJECTIVES

  1. TO SAFEGUARD LISTED BUILDINGS FROM DEVELOPMENT LIKELY TO ADVERSELY AFFECT THEIR SPECIAL CHARACTER OR SETTING
  2. TO SAFEGUARD AND ENHANCE THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF DESIGNATED CONSERVATION AREAS AND TO PROMOTE THE IMPROVEMENT OF THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY THROUGH A PROGRAMME OF ENHANCEMENT SCHEMES
  3. TO SAFEGUARD SITES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE FROM DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION
  4. TO SAFEGUARD AND ENHANCE THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF EXISTING SEAFRONT ARCHITECTURE, MARGATE OLD TOWN AND OTHER QUALITIES WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHARACTER OF THE DISTRICT
  5. TO ENSURE SATISFACTORY INVESTIGATION AND RECORDING OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS IN CASES WHERE PERMANENT PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST IS NOT WARRANTED
  6. TO EXPRESS THE DISTRICT COUNCIL'S COMMITMENT TO PROMOTING THE EDUCATIONAL AND RECREATIONAL POTENTIAL OF THANET'S HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE
  7. TO SAFEGUARD AREAS AND FEATURES, INCLUDING OPEN SPACE AND VEGETATION, WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE QUALITY OF THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND
  8. TO PROVIDE EDUCATION IN THANET’S HERITAGE
7.3.

The Importance of Environmental Quality and the Architectural and Historic Heritage

The Structure Plan gives recognition at the strategic level to the importance of conserving and enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment both for its effect on the quality of life and for the support it gives in stimulating new investment.

7.4.

The Structure Plan points out the quality of the built environment is of growing importance not only for the concentrations of people who live there but also for the cultural, leisure and retailing functions in such locations, which underpin their economic well-being.

7.5.

Structure Plan policy indicates that the character, quality and functioning of Kent's built environment will be conserved and enhanced, and that development should be well designed and respect its setting.

7.6.

It is also national and strategic policy to protect and enhance Kent's rich heritage of buildings of special architectural and historic interest. The Structure Plan states that the primary planning policy towards conservation areas is to preserve or enhance their special character and appearance.

7.7.

Thanet Context

There is an extensive and rich variety of building forms, character and heritage within the built-up area of Thanet. The urban areas range from the "urban village", such as Pegwell and St Peter’s, to the modern shopping centre and bright lights of Margate, the wooded areas and special atmosphere of Broadstairs to the historic harbour, lively marina and cross-Channel port of Ramsgate. There is also a diversity of heritage throughout Thanet's villages. 

7.8.

Thanet has the highest concentration of listed buildings in Kent. However, due to lack of investment, many of these important buildings are becoming derelict and falling into disrepair. The Council is committed to tackling this problem using all the powers at its disposal, e.g., grant aid, legal action, compulsory purchase, Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or any other method considered appropriate.

7.9.

The District Council is committed to safeguarding and enhancing the quality of both the visible and hidden built environment within Thanet, so as to maintain and improve quality of life, and the attractiveness of the District to visitors and investors.

7.10.

Heritage Policies Relating To Listed Buildings

Listed Building Consent

Anyone who wishes to demolish a listed building, either in whole or in part, or to make alterations to the exterior or interior in any way that would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, must first obtain listed building consent from the District Council. Applications for listed building consent must be accompanied by full details showing the building as existing and as it is proposed to be altered, including materials to be used.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE1 - LISTED BUILDINGS OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST

  1. PROPOSALS AFFECTING A LISTED BUILDING OR ITS SETTING.

    THERE WILL BE A PRESUMPTION IN FAVOUR OF PRESERVATION OF LISTED BUILDINGS. DEMOLITION/PARTIAL DEMOLITION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THERE IS A SPECIAL OVERRIDING JUSTIFICATION. ALTERATIONS AND ADDITIONS TO LISTED BUILDINGS WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY IF IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE PROPOSAL WOULD DETRACT NEITHER FROM THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING ITSELF NOR FROM ITS SETTING.

    IN CONSIDERING APPLICATIONS FOR LISTED BUILDING CONSENT AND OR PLANNING PERMISSION FOR DEVELOPMENT AFFECTING A LISTED BUILDING OR ITS SETTING, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL HAVE SPECIAL REGARD TO THE DESIRABILITY OF PRESERVING THE BUILDING, ITS SETTING AND ANY FEATURES OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST WHICH IT POSSESSES.

    THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO ENSURE THAT THE MATERIALS, FEATURES AND DETAILS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE ARCHITECTURAL AND/OR HISTORIC INTEREST OF A LISTED BUILDING ARE RETAINED AND WHERE APPROPRIATE REINSTATED.

  2. CONTROL OF ADVERTISEMENTS AFFECTING A LISTED BUILDING OR CONSERVATION AREA

    THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL REQUIRE THAT THE DESIGN AND SITING OF ADVERTISEMENTS DOES NOT DETRACT FROM, AND PREFERABLY MAKES A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO, THE CHARACTER AND/OR APPEARANCE OF A LISTED BUILDING AND WHERE LOCATED IN OR ADJOINING A CONSERVATION AREA, EITHER PRESERVES OR PREFERABLY ENHANCES THE AREA'S CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE*.

* Operational Note: 

Supplementary guidance relating to display of advertisements is available separately from the District Council. In exercising its powers to control advertisements, the District Council will be guided by the general principles set out in these adopted Advertisement Control Guidelines.

Explanation 

7.11.

The Council intends to give strong protection to, and where appropriate, encourage enhancement of, listed buildings as an important element of its built environment heritage.

7.12.

Change of Use of Listed Buildings

The best use of a historic building is the purpose for which it was designed. However, it is recognised that the preservation and maintenance of listed buildings are usually dependent upon their capability of viable economic use. Proposals for change of use which represent the best reasonable means of conserving the character, appearance, fabric, integrity and setting of a building of special architectural/ historic interest are favoured in Structure Plan policy and will be dealt with as sympathetically as possible. Policy HE2 applies.

7.13.

When considering applications for planning permission to change the use of a listed building, the District Council will require, in the form of a separate application for listed building consent, details of any alterations that may be necessary to implement the proposed change of use.

7.14.

Listed Building Controls and Other Standards

In certain circumstances, there may be a conflict between the aims of listed building policy and standards/requirements under the Building Regulations or Health and Housing legislation. In such cases the local planning authority will use its powers to seek the relaxation of standards, compliance with which would otherwise necessitate alterations detrimental to the character of the building. Listed building consent may be refused where acceptable relaxation cannot be achieved.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE2 - CHANGE OF USE OF LISTED BUILDINGS

CHANGE OF USE OF LISTED BUILDINGS WILL BE PERMITTED ONLY WHERE:

  1. THE CHANGE OF USE WOULD REPRESENT THE BEST REASONABLE MEANS OF PRESERVING THE CHARACTER, APPEARANCE, FABRIC, INTEGRITY AND SETTING OF THE BUILDING; OR
  2. THE CHANGE WOULD NOT NECESSITATE INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL ALTERATIONS JUDGED TO BE DETRIMENTAL TO ITS CHARACTER AS A BUILDING OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST.
7.15.

Conversion of Listed Rural Buildings

English Heritage have published a report showing how listed rural buildings which have been converted to other uses have later been de-listed because of the effect of the new development on the character of these buildings. This tends mainly to occur with residential conversions, though not exclusively so.

7.16.

One of the report’s recommendations is that if proposals are likely to lead to the loss of essential features of the building, then conversion should not be permitted. In this respect, it also advises that residential conversions should only be considered as a last resort. Consideration should first be given to other uses, for example, commercial workshop or community uses, especially where Grade I or II* (star) buildings are involved.

7.17.

The District Council will therefore seek to encourage the implementation of uses which provide the best possible chance of preserving the essential features of a building.

7.18.

The Kent Conservation Officers’ Group (KCOG) have drawn up a series of guidelines against which conversions should be judged, including the maintenance of essential features, extensions and other new features and so on. The Policy incorporates both the KCOG and English Heritage advice. In this respect, the Council will normally expect a detailed structural survey to be submitted with the application, to permit the full consideration of the proposals, particularly in relation to part (1) of the Policy.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE3 - Explanation:

IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY R5, PROPOSALS FOR THE CONVERSION AND RE-USE OF LISTED RURAL BUILDINGS SHOULD CONSTITUTE THE BEST REASONABLE MEANS OF GIVING LONG TERM PROTECTION TO THE BUILDINGS' ESSENTIAL FEATURES AND ARCHITECTURAL INTEGRITY.

PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD NOT DETRACT FROM THE CHARACTER OF A LISTED BUILDING WILL BE PERMITTED; THUS:

  1. PROPOSALS WHICH WOULD REQUIRE MAJOR STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS, OR DISMANTLING AND RECONSTRUCTION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED;
  2. PROPOSALS WHICH INCLUDE NEW BUILD ELEMENTS TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR ITS SETTING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED;
  3. PROPOSALS WHICH INVOLVE THE CREATION OF INTRUSIVE SUBURBAN FEATURES SUCH AS FENCING, INAPPROPRIATE PAVING, NON-NATIVE TREES OR SHRUBS, KERBING, COLUMN LIGHTING, ETC, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED;
  4. IF THE PROPERTY IS TO BE SEVERED FROM AN AGRICULTURAL UNIT, THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL REQUIRE THAT ONLY THE MINIMUM NECESSARY CURTILAGE IS SEVERED WITH THE BUILDING; AND
  5. THE LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY WILL CONSIDER THE REMOVAL OF PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS AT THE TIME OF GRANTING PLANNING PERMISSION, EITHER BY CONDITION OR LEGAL AGREEMENT.

WHERE THE BUILDING CURRENTLY HOLDS PROTECTED SPECIES, THE CONVERSION SHOULD ENSURE THE CONTINUED USE OF THE BUILDING FOR THAT PURPOSE, OR A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE SITE SHOULD BE PROVIDED IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY. 

Explanation: 

7.19.

The District Council believes that the future use of listed rural buildings is a different case to that of non-listed buildings. This is recognised in PPS7 and PPS1, where it is acknowledged that the form, bulk and general design of such proposals should be in keeping with their surroundings. As well as the agricultural, landscape and other planning factors, the architectural and historic aspects of listed farm buildings must also be taken into account.

7.20.

Where planning permission is granted for a conversion or change of use, the District Council will consider the removal of permitted development rights to preserve converted farm buildings and their surroundings from alterations, extensions and other development which might adversely affect the character and setting of the listed building, and the immediate rural landscape.

7.21.

Disused rural buildings may hold species protected by the Wildlife and Conservation Act 1981 and other legislation, for example, bats or barn owls. The conversion of such buildings should make provision for their continued use by protected species which are present. If this is not possible, an alternative roosting site should be provided nearby.

7.22.

Heritage Policies Relating To Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas

In addition to individual listed buildings, there are areas which the District Council considers should be conserved and enhanced due to their special architectural or historic interest. The Council has identified sixteen such areas, and has designated them Conservation Areas. These are:-

Conservation Area Designated Extended
Broadstairs05.06.7021.10.86
Sarre26.11.71
Minster28.01.7223.08.00
St Nicholas-at-Wade28.01.72
Kingsgate13.04.73
Reading Street13.04.73
St. Peters13.04.73
Birchington02.02.76
Pegwell29.06.7627.09.89
Margate07.02.7807.07.94
Monkton22.08.78
Ramsgate16.01.7023.01.80; 27.01.88; 22.08.90; 12.07.00
Northdown20.08.85
Acol27.01.88
Margate Seafront29.01.97
Westgate on Sea11.03.98
Ramsgate Esplanade11.05.06
7.23.

Each of the above areas has its own individual and special character. The District Council proposes to prepare appraisals of each Conservation Area identifying the individual special interest and character in each case. It will seek to preserve and enhance these qualities through use of its planning powers. Periodic reports will be made on the progress of improvement and enhancement schemes in designated Conservation Areas.

7.24.

The District Council has a statutory duty to periodically consider the designation of further Conservation Areas. In considering designation of new, or review of existing, conservation areas, overall quality (as opposed to that of individual buildings) will be the primary consideration. The District Council does not consider it desirable or practical to attempt to list definitive criteria for designating Conservation Areas. However, factors such as distinctive street pattern, the scale and grouping of buildings, materials and architectural detailing, particular mixes of uses and attractive vistas are qualities which may be considered to merit recognition, preservation and enhancement through designation as a Conservation Area.

7.25.

Planning Controls in Conservation Areas

Additional planning controls exist in these designated Conservation Areas. These are summarised below. The need for approval in specific circumstances should be ascertained from the District Council's Planning Department.

7.26.

The following is a summary of additional planning controls applying in Conservation Areas: 

  • With very few exceptions, buildings cannot be demolished in whole or in part without first obtaining Conservation Area Consent (referred to below).
  • Certain types of development, not requiring planning consent outside conservation areas, are subject to planning control.
  • Six weeks’ notice in writing is almost always required before any work can be carried out to trees.
  • The repair of unoccupied buildings can be enforced if they are neglected.
7.27.

In exercising its planning functions, the District Council has a statutory duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of these Conservation Areas. Accordingly, in determining applications under planning powers, a primary consideration will be whether the proposal would either preserve or, preferably, where scope exists, enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area.

7.28.

Generally, in Conservation Areas, the emphasis will be on control rather than prohibition, to allow the area to remain alive and prosperous while ensuring that any new development accords with its special architectural and/or historic merit. New development, where permitted, should be sympathetic with its surroundings but should not be an unimaginative imitation of the architectural styles of neighbouring buildings, particularly where this would limit its ability to enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Certain works are regarded as wholly inappropriate to Conservation Areas: for example; stone cladding, brightly coloured non-native roof coverings and bogus historical features. Supplementary Planning Guidance leaflets (Leaflet No. 3: Conservation Areas and Leaflet No. 4: Conversion of Shops to Residential Accommodation) contain additional advice relating to Conservation Areas and buildings within Conservation Areas and are available from the District Council.

7.29.

Structure Plan Policy relating to Conservation Areas is reaffirmed and amplified in Local Plan Policies HE4. The Conservation Areas are defined on the Proposals Map.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE4 - PLANNING CONTROLS INCONSERVATION AREAS

IN AND ADJOINING CONSERVATION AREAS, ALL PLANNING PROPOSALS, INCLUDING ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSIONS WILL BE ASSESSED IN RELATION TO THEIR EFFECTS ON THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE AREA AS A WHOLE. ALL WORKS WILL BE REQUIRED TO PRESERVE OR ENHANCE ITS SPECIAL CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE (INCLUDING BUILDINGS, RELATED SPACES, TOPOGRAPHY AND VEGETATION).

DEVELOPMENT THAT WOULD HARM THAT SPECIAL CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED.

Explanation Policy HE4: 

7.30.

The District Council regards Thanet's conservation areas as important assets in its architectural and historic heritage, and intends to safeguard their merit as such. Accordingly, the Council intends only to permit development which would at least preserve, and preferably enhance, their character and appearance.

7.31.

Planning Applications in Conservation Areas

In or adjoining conservation areas it is usually essential that full design details of new development proposals are considered at the outset so that proposals may be properly judged in relation to the fundamental aims of preservation and enhancement. Accordingly, the District Council will normally seek detailed plans and drawings showing the proposed development in its setting, as opposed to dealing with applications on an outline basis.

7.32.

Conservation Area Consent

Overall character is the primary characteristic when considering designation of Conservation Areas. The character of any such area is made up of a unique blend of elements (for example, a historic street pattern or plot layout, a particular grouping of trees, pleasant vistas between buildings etc). In seeking to preserve and enhance Conservation Areas, retention of individual elements which contribute to their special architectural/historic qualities is therefore important.

7.33.

Anyone wishing to demolish or partly demolish a building situated within a conservation area must usually first seek Conservation Area Consent from the District Council as local planning authority. Such proposals will be considered in the light of the objectives of preservation and enhancement of special character and appearance.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE5 - CONSERVATION AREA CONSENT

IN DETERMINING APPLICATIONS FOR CONSERVATION AREA CONSENT, SPECIAL ATTENTION SHALL BE PAID TO THE DESIRABILITY OF PRESERVING OR ENHANCING THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE CONSERVATION AREA.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE6 - DEMOLITION IN CONSERVATION AREAS

THE PRIME CONSIDERATION IN DETERMINING APPLICATIONS FOR DEMOLITION IN A CONSERVATION AREA WILL BE THE WIDER EFFECT ON THE CHARACTER AND APPEARANCE OF THE SURROUNDINGS AND THE CONSERVATION AREA AS A WHOLE.

CONSERVATION AREA CONSENT WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR DEMOLITION UNLESS DETAILED AND ACCEPTABLE PLANS HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT REDEVELOPMENT.

PLANNING CONDITIONS WILL BE IMPOSED, OR A LEGAL AGREEMENT WILL BE NEGOTIATED, TO ENSURE DEMOLITION DOES NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL A CONTRACT HAS BEEN MADE TO CARRY OUT IMMEDIATELY THE SUBSEQUENT WORKS WHICH WILL PRESERVE OR ENHANCE THE SITE.

Explanation HE6:

7.34.

The District Council intends to resist premature demolition in respect of redevelopment in Conservation Areas in order to minimise the possibility of long-standing, unsightly gaps.

7.35.

Non-Listed Buildings in Conservation Areas

The District Council recognises that some buildings, although not listed on the basis of their individual merits, may make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area. The District Council is fully committed to preservation and enhancement of its conservation areas. However, the scope of permitted development still allows many changes to buildings which individually or cumulatively can have a disastrous effect upon the character and appearance of the conservation area, as well as adversely affecting property value. For example, Thanet's Victorian and Edwardian buildings are particularly vulnerable in this respect. The excellent detail and use of materials typical of such property is easily damaged by modern alterations. Supplementary Planning Guidance leaflets (Leaflet No. 3: Conservation Areas and Leaflet No. 4: Conversion of Shops to Residential Accommodation) contain additional advice relating to Conservation Areas and buildings within Conservation Areas and are available from the District Council. In cases where such development threatens to detract from the character or appearance of a conservation area, the District Council may seek to bring such development within the scope of planning control by means of a Direction restricting permitted development.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE7 - NON-LISTED BUILDINGS IN CONSERVATION AREAS

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL USE ITS POWERS TO PREVENT UNSYMPATHETIC ALTERATIONS TO NON-LISTED BUILDINGS WHICH IT CONSIDERS CONTRIBUTE TO THE CHARACTER OF A CONSERVATION AREA, AND WILL SEEK TO RETAIN THOSE MATERIALS, FEATURES AND DETAILS OF SUCH BUILDINGS WHICH ARE OF INTEREST.

TRADITIONAL MATERIALS AND DETAILS TO BUILDINGS SHOULD BE RESTORED AND REINSTATED IN CONSERVATION AREAS.

7.36.

Alterations and Repairs to Other Buildings

While listed buildings, and, to some extent, buildings in conservation areas represent the most important assets in the District's built environment heritage, the wider townscape and built environment of the urban areas and villages have an important role to play as far as perception of the District is concerned. The District Council is anxious to avoid cumulative erosion of pleasant and unspoilt character which can be caused by certain alterations. Property owners should be also made aware that insensitive home "improvements" can actually reduce property values both on an individual and area basis.

7.37.

Enhancement

Enhancement of environmental quality is now widely recognised as an equal partner to other initiatives which aim to stimulate investment and foster economic health. Most of Thanet's built environment heritage, although often "tarnished", remains largely intact and is capable of restoration and reinstatement. However, this can only be effectively achieved through positive schemes of enhancement.

7.38.

The District Council has a duty to formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of its conservation areas and is keen to embrace this duty. However, in the case of many areas, effective enhancement and positive action to bring about improvement of environmental quality will not be realised without a significant input of resources as a catalyst for further investment from other sources. The IMPACT initiative, formerly operating in Ramsgate, has illustrated effective targeting of resources to direct improvement action to upgrade the local environment and stimulate further investment from other sources.

7.39.

The District Council intends to carry out further enhancement schemes and initiatives. It proposes to actively invite local residents, amenity societies and other local groups in preparing conservation area enhancement schemes. A District Council, County Council and private sector partnership (formerly known as "Thanet 2000") was set up to prepare and implement major enhancement strategies for Margate and Ramsgate. The Ramsgate Town Partnership, set up and sponsored by Thanet 2000, is working in partnership with the local community to build on the impetus of the former Impact initiative in Ramsgate. In addition, other conservation area enhancement schemes will be co-ordinated in association with the Regeneration Project Delivery Team. The District Council will undertake a series of studies of the Conservation Areas and will prepare enhancement schemes in association with its Regeneration Project Delivery Team and the community.

7.40.

Street Furniture

Old street furniture such as coal plates, railings and boundary markers is sometimes removed because it is redundant or affected by site development. Such items may have value in their rarity, historical interest and detail.

7.41.

Retention/reinstatement can help retain character, interest and identity in the street scene. It is particularly important in sensitive locations like conservation areas where modern replacements of more functional design can erode character.

7.42.

Some items of street furniture, eg, public postboxes and traditional style telephone kiosks, are a highly characteristic, often prominent and cherished part of the British street scene. Certain of the traditional style telephone kiosks remaining in the District are listed buildings.

7.43.

Increases in the volume of mail have lead to the introduction of on-street containers to hold second delivery pouches. These "pouch boxes" which can be either attached to an existing postbox or installed free-standing, are subject to planning control.

7.44.

Inappropriately sited street furniture and surface treatments can present a hazard for the physically challenged.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE8 - STREET FURNITURE

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL SEEK TO SAFEGUARD AND REINSTATE TRADITIONAL STREET FURNITURE IN CONSERVATION AREAS. ELSEWHERE, RETENTION/REINSTATEMENT AND SAFEGUARDING OF STREET FURNITURE OF LOCAL OR HISTORICAL INTEREST WILL BE ENCOURAGED.

ATTACHMENT/ERECTION OF POUCH BOXES WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED WHERE THIS WOULD NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF A LISTED BUILDING OR ITS SETTING, A CONSERVATION AREA OR OTHER SENSITIVE OR FOCAL LOCATION, OR A POSTBOX OF LOCAL/NATIONAL RARITY OR INTEREST. 

7.45.

This Chapter also describes the importance of Thanet's archaeological heritage and expresses the District Council's commitment to its protection and promotion as a significant resource in improving perceptions of Thanet as a place to live, visit and invest in. It also sets out the policy approach in dealing with development applications affecting sites of known or suspected archaeological interest.

7.46.

Thanet’s Archaeological Heritage

This part of England, and Thanet in particular, has been the traditional point of entry into the country for centuries. It is consequently replete with remains left by migrating prehistoric peoples and our Roman, Saxon and Medieval ancestors. Thanet is very rich in archaeological sites of all periods from the Mesolithic to the late Medieval. These sites, surviving both below and above ground level as earthworks, structures and other remains serve as important records of Thanet's history and heritage.

7.47.

However, archaeological remains tend generally to be perceived as little more than of minority interest and as an obstacle to development. Also, because much of Thanet's archaeological resource lies below ground level and is not visually prominent, it might mistakenly be regarded as insignificant and only worthy of limited attention in the Local Plan. Its invisible nature, however, belies its importance in the national context. The District Council is committed to its protection and promotion as an important resource. "Beneath Thanet's fields and streets are some of the Nation's most scientifically important remains. It is doubtful whether such a concentration can be found elsewhere in the country."

("The Gateway Island - Archaeological Discovery in the Island of Thanet 1630-1979” D Birch, P Boakes, S Elworthy, C Hollins and D Perkins)

7.48.

Government Policy Guidance

Planning Policy Guidance Note 16 (PPG 16), which sets out current government guidance on archaeology and planning, states that archaeological remains are "part of our sense of national identity and are valuable both for their own sake and for their role in education, leisure and tourism."

7.49.

PPG 16 recognises archaeological remains as a finite, non-renewable and often highly fragile resource. It advocates appropriate management to ensure their survival in good condition and care to ensure that they are not needlessly or thoughtlessly destroyed.

7.50.

Kent Structure Plan

The Kent Structure Plan points out that the rich heritage of archaeological sites and ancient monuments in the county contribute greatly to the character of the county and are an important education and tourism resource. It is strategic policy to preserve such resources. Structure Plan policy states that in control of development and through policies and proposals in local plans, important archaeological sites and scheduled ancient monuments and their settings will be protected.

7.51.

Sites and Monuments Records

The main source of information regarding Kent's archaeological resource is the Kent Sites and Monuments Record. This consists of a computerised database, together with map-based information covering all known sites. It also includes definition of areas of archaeological potential.

7.52.

The local Thanet Sites and Monuments Record provides detailed information relating to such sites. The number of records contained in these documents confirms the abundance of Thanet's archaeological resource.

7.53.

The Importance Of Thanet's Archaeological Resource

Thanet's significant archaeological resource has so far gone generally unrecognised. The Trust for Thanet Archaeology has done much to promote public awareness and stimulate interest in the local archaeological heritage. However, its efforts have been offset by the lack of any single facility to exhibit all local finds and information. The extent and importance of the remains within Thanet need to be brought to the public's notice. This will help to generate a sense of responsibility and foster good custodianship of a resource which could significantly enhance perceptions of the District as a place to live, visit, work and invest in. A local exhibition facility would help to realise the recreational and educational value of Thanet's archaeological heritage and to animate its exploitation as a resource.

7.54.

The District Council will seek to achieve wider recognition of the importance of Thanet's archaeological heritage in national terms. The Council intends to investigate how additional funding for rescue archaeology, maintenance and management can be obtained, and how it could facilitate the establishment of an adequate local exhibition facility.

7.55.

The District Council is very anxious that the current lack of public awareness should not result in a lack of commitment to the protection of this important element of Thanet's heritage. Its policy approach is therefore to preserve all important archaeological sites, and to seek to protect, wherever possible, other archaeological sites. In cases where preservation in situ is not warranted, the District Council intends to ensure that adequate arrangements will be made for investigation and recording.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE9 - IMPORTANCE OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL PROMOTE THE IDENTIFICATION, RECORDING, PROTECTION AND ENHANCEMENT OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, ANCIENT MONUMENTS AND HISTORIC LANDSCAPE FEATURES, AND WILL SEEK TO ENCOURAGE AND DEVELOP THEIR EDUCATIONAL, RECREATIONAL AND TOURIST POTENTIAL THROUGH MANAGEMENT AND INTERPRETATION.

7.56.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments and the Need for Scheduled Monument Consent

Scheduled Ancient Monuments are, by definition, sites of national importance, and are included on a schedule compiled by the Secretary of State for the Department of National Heritage. The Secretary of State has a responsibility to maintain a schedule of sites and monuments of national importance, and to ensure that the management and maintenance of Scheduled Ancient Monuments are compatible with their preservation.

7.57.

Anyone wishing to undertake works, including farming operations, which would have the effect of demolishing, destroying, damaging, removing, repairing, altering, or adding to a Scheduled Ancient Monument or for flooding or tipping operations on land where there is a scheduled monument, must first obtain Scheduled Monument Consent from the Secretary of State. It is an offence to carry out or cause such works to be carried out unless consent has first been obtained, and there are penalties on summary conviction and on indictment. Planting and landscaping works can damage or destroy a Scheduled Ancient Monument. This will be taken into account in applying the following Policy.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE10 - PROTECTION OF SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENTS

DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED ON THE SITE OF A SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT AND/OR WHICH WOULD DAMAGE OR DESTROY THE SETTING OF A SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT.

Explanation:

7.58.

The District Council considers that Thanet's rich archaeological and historic heritage is worthy of the strongest protection both for its own sake, and for its potential significance to tourism, leisure and education. Therefore, in line with Government advice and strategic policy, the District Council intends to resist loss of, or damage to, important archaeological sites. 

7.59.

Only Scheduled Ancient Monuments are shown on the Proposals Map. These are also specified in the Appendices. English Heritage has recently embarked on a survey expected to result in significant additional numbers of sites being given statutory protection as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Many of the District's known archaeological sites are considered to be of national importance, and there is every reason to believe that many more sites may exist which could also prove to be of similar importance. The District Council will actively seek designation of such sites as Scheduled Ancient Monuments to reflect the abundance of nationally important remains in Thanet. Therefore Scheduled Monument status and protection may be afforded to additional sites within the Local Plan period.

7.60.

Other Important Archaeological Sites

Current Government advice states:

"Where nationally important archaeological remains, whether scheduled or not, and their settings, are affected by proposed development, there should be a presumption in favour of their physical preservation."

7.61.

In line with Government advice, strategic policy, and the need to protect this important element of the District's heritage, the District Council wishes to conserve and safeguard all important archaeological sites whether scheduled or not, and whether of national, regional or local importance. Preservation of archaeological remains in situ is always desirable, not least because developing archaeological science will reveal more than current techniques.

7.62.

Most of Thanet's many important sites do not have the statutory protection enjoyed by Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The District Council will use its planning powers to protect important remains whether scheduled or not.

7.63.

The District Council considers that Thanet's rich archaeological and historic heritage is worthy of the strongest protection both for its own sake, and for its potential significance to tourism, leisure and education. Therefore, in line with Government advice and strategic policy, the Council intends to resist loss of, or damage to, all important archaeological sites.

7.64.

Development Proposals Affecting Archaeological Sites

It may be possible for some development proposals to take place on archaeological sites whilst still preserving the remains undisturbed in situ. Designs that secure preservation in situ and minimise archaeological disturbance will usually be encouraged. In some instances, site evaluation/investigation may reveal that there is an insufficient case for resisting development that would damage or destroy the archaeological remains. Where physical preservation in situ is not justified, excavation for "preservation by record" may be appropriate. In some cases it may be necessary to refuse planning permission, where development would adversely affect important remains.

7.65.

The District Council is anxious to ensure that the archaeological aspects of all sites affected by development proposals are considered at the earliest possible stage in the planning process. The density of archaeological remains in the District is such that developers would be well advised to include in their research into site development potential, before the submission of a planning application, an initial assessment of whether it is known or likely to contain archaeological remains. It is also in the developer's interest to consider fully the needs of archaeology, because early discussion can help avoid unnecessary expense, eg: abortive design work. Allocation of sites for particular purposes in this Local Plan should not be taken to imply that no archaeological remains are present. In such cases the procedures of consultation, desktop assessment and field evaluation described below should still be followed in the earliest stages of preparing development proposals.

7.66.

Because developers may be required to arrange field evaluation, excavation and or archaeological investigation and recording, they would be well advised to bear in mind the relative importance attached to particular types of archaeological sites and the relative strength in presumption against their damage or destruction (expressed in Policies HE10, HE11 & HE12) when considering development potential.

7.67.

Early consultation with the District Council and the County Archaeologist is essential. The Kent and Thanet Sites and Monuments Records and maps of Areas of Archaeological Potential should always be consulted as a prime source of reference at the outset. Where the proposed development impinges on any such archaeological hazard area, the developer is strongly advised to consult the County Archaeologist.

7.68.

Because Areas of Archaeological Potential are based on existing knowledge, there are clearly other sites waiting to be discovered. Accordingly where major land disturbance is proposed, provision should normally be made at least for a watching brief, and, dependent on the circumstances of the case, more formal investigation may be appropriate. The District Council will normally refer all applications affecting sites falling within areas of archaeological potential or elsewhere, where an area of one acre or more is involved, to the County Archaeologist for comment.

7.69.

Where remains are suspected to exist, developers may wish to have as much advance warning of the archaeological sensitivity of the site by commissioning a qualified archaeological organisation/consultant to carry out an initial site assessment. This need not involve fieldwork, but should involve desk-based evaluation in the light of information already available.

7.70.

Archaeological Field Evaluation

Where assessment or discussion with the District Council indicates that important archaeological remains do or may exist, the Council will usually require the developer to arrange for an archaeological field evaluation to a standard and specification approved by the Council, and by a professionally qualified archaeologist, to take place before determining a planning application. Such evaluation is quite distinct from a full archaeological excavation, and may include a ground survey or small-scale trenching. 

7.71.

The evaluation will help to define the true importance of the site, and how development might best be carried out so as to protect the remains in situ or least affect them. It will also allow an informed and reasonable planning decision to be reached.

7.72.

In some cases, the District Council may consider that sufficient information already exists to determine the application without the need for an evaluation. It will otherwise normally expect such evaluation to accompany any planning application where there is reason to suspect that the development might affect a site of archaeological importance. Where the developer is not voluntarily prepared to arrange for this to be carried out, the District Council will consider use of its powers to direct that such information be provided, and exceptionally will consider refusing the application where such information is not subsequently supplied.

7.73.

In considering all applications affecting sites of archaeological importance, the District Council will seek the views of the County Archaeologist and the Trust for Thanet Archaeology. It will consult English Heritage in respect of applications affecting Scheduled Ancient Monuments and may do so in respect of other non-scheduled sites given the potential in Thanet to add to the number of Scheduled Sites.

POLICY HE11 - ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

IN ORDER TO DETERMINE PLANNING APPLICATIONS, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL MAY REQUIRE THE DEVELOPER/APPLICANT TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, IN THE FORM OF AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL OR HISTORIC IMPORTANCE OF THE SITE IN QUESTION AND THE LIKELY IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT. IN CERTAIN CASES SUCH ASSESSMENT MAY INVOLVE FIELDWORK OR AN EVALUATION EXCAVATION.

WHERE THE DEVELOPER/APPLICANT IS NOT PREPARED TO ARRANGE SUCH AN ASSESSMENT VOLUNTARILY, THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL USE ITS POWERS TO DIRECT THAT SUCH INFORMATION BE SUPPLIED. PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE REFUSED WITHOUT ADEQUATE ASSESSMENT OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS.

Explanation:

7.74.

The District Council wishes to ensure it is fully informed about the archaeological implications of all proposals before determining any planning application for development likely to result in damage or destruction of archaeological remains.

7.75.

Excavation and Recording

In accordance with paragraph 12 of PPG16, the District Council does and will continue to make every effort to preserve archaeological remains in situ where appropriate. In cases where the need for development which is likely to destroy or damage an archaeological site is judged by the District Council to be overriding, or where the importance of the site is not sufficient to warrant continued preservation, or the destruction of the site cannot be avoided, the Council intends to ensure adequate provision is made for proper investigation and recording.

7.76.

Where the District Council proposes to grant planning consent for a development likely to destroy or damage remains of archaeological importance, it will usually require to be satisfied that the developer has made appropriate and satisfactory provision for prior excavation and recording of the archaeological remains, and publication of the results. Such excavation will normally be expected to take place prior to development commencing and in accordance with a brief prepared by the Council and in the light of advice from the County Archaeologist. Any planning consent will normally therefore be subject to conditions that no works may commence until the applicant has secured implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted to and approved by the District Council as local planning authority. Alternatively, these matters may be the subject of a voluntary agreement (eg: section 106 Agreement) with the developer and archaeologist concerned.

7.77.

Where the District Council is of the opinion that consent can be granted without the need for excavation and recording, it may impose a condition requiring that reasonable access be given to a nominated archaeologist to enter the land to keep a watching brief during construction or to carry out archaeological investigation and recording during the course of construction works.

POLICY HE12 - ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES AND PRESERVATION

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES WILL BE PRESERVED AND PROTECTED. ON THOSE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES WHERE PERMANENT PRESERVATION IS NOT WARRANTED, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL ONLY BE GRANTED IF ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE DEVELOPER TO ENSURE THAT TIME AND RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO ALLOW SATISFACTORY ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION AND RECORDING BY AN APPROVED ARCHAEOLOGICAL BODY TO TAKE PLACE, IN ADVANCE OF AND DURING DEVELOPMENT. NO WORK SHALL TAKE PLACE UNTIL THE SPECIFICATION AND PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION, INCLUDING ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE PROGRAMME OF DEVELOPMENT, HAS BEEN SUBMITTED AND APPROVED.

Explanation:

7.78.

Other archaeological sites will normally be protected from damage and destruction as they contribute to the integrity and diversity of the archaeological heritage. Where refusal of planning consent is not warranted, the District Council intends to ensure "preservation by record".

7.79.

Remains Encountered Unexpectedly

It is hoped that the above procedures will avoid the situation where archaeological remains are unexpectedly encountered during construction. Developers may be able to insure particular projects against this eventuality. However, should this situation occur, the District Council hopes that it can be resolved through discussion.

7.80.

The District Council is empowered to, and may exceptionally, revoke planning consent. Similarly, English Heritage is empowered to schedule a site even after planning consent has been granted, if it is considered sufficiently important. While such circumstances may never occur, this serves to emphasise the importance of early discussion.

7.81.

Public Utilities/Contractor's Works

Chance finds often occur during the course of contractors' works relating, for example, to public utilities, over which there may be no planning control (eg, pipe laying, farming practices). In view of the importance attached to the Thanet archaeological heritage it is essential that all such finds are reported to the District Council so that they can be adequately recorded.

7.82.

Site Specific Policies

Royal Sea Bathing Hospital

Founded in 1791, this was the first hospital in England to treat patients with sea air. The principal feature of this listed building is the impressive Doric portico overlooking Canterbury Road. There have been many unfortunate additions and alterations carried out over the years. The decision to centralise hospital services on the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital (QEQM) site at St. Peter's Road has meant that the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital site became surplus to requirements. The site is approximately 6.80 acres in extent and includes undeveloped land with a large frontage to the sea. The open space to the north-west part of the site is a high-tide roost associated with the Thanet Coast SPA-Ramsar Site.

7.83.

The main issues in the future use of this site relate to the need to protect the setting of the listed building and to ensure, as far as possible, that the more easily developed parts of the site are not undertaken, leaving the listed building to deteriorate and remain unused. The District Council will therefore expect reuse and restoration of the listed building to form part of an overall scheme for development of the site, and will prepare a specific brief amplifying such considerations.

(POLICY NOT SAVED) HE13 - ROYAL SEA BATHING HOSPITAL

THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WILL PERMIT PROPOSALS FOR THE REUSE OF THE ROYAL SEA BATHING HOSPITAL AND THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE UNDEVELOPED PARTS OF THE SITE PROVIDED THAT:

  1. NEW BUILD DEVELOPMENT ON THE SITE PROTECTS OR ENHANCES THE SETTING OF THE LISTED BUILDING AND IS ITSELF INTRINSICALLY WELL DESIGNED.
  2. PROPOSALS FOR THE REUSE OF THE LISTED BUILDING CONSERVE ITS CHARACTER, APPEARANCE, FABRIC AND INTEGRITY.

THE IMPACT OF ANY DEVELOPMENT ON THE HIGH-TIDE ROOST ASSOCIATED WITH THE THANET COAST SPA RAMSAR SITE AND THE ROYAL SEA BATHING HOSPITAL WILL BE EVALUATED AND THE RESULTS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE PROPOSALS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE HOSPITAL SITE.

7.84.

The Montefiore Site

This site (as shown on the Proposals Map) on the north-west side of Dumpton Park Drive provides an open break within an otherwise built-up area, contains a synagogue and mausoleum and also possesses a number of mature trees, which add an attractive natural feature within the urban environment. In considering any future use of the site, the District Council would expect to secure the enhancement and continued maintenance of the amenity value provided by the essentially undeveloped character of the site, the tree cover and the attractive flint wall fronting Dumpton Park Drive. The District Council is acquiring part of the site (land east of the synagogue and mausoleum), and will continue to protect the undeveloped site with a view to its potential creation as public open space

7.85.

Sir Moses Montefiore was a renowned philanthropist as well as a prominent and well-loved member of the 19th century Anglo-Jewish community. The site includes the Grade II* listed synagogue, built by Sir Moses Montefiore, and the Grade II* listed mausoleum containing his remains and those of his wife Lady Judith, together with part of the former Montefiore College site. The site allocated on the Proposals Map is seen as an ideal opportunity to provide and maintain a publicly accessible garden in memory of Sir Moses Montefiore.

7.86.

The Council supports the retention of the synagogue and mausoleum as the centrepiece of a tranquil garden, respectful of the whole site as an area of great significance to the Jewish community and of interest to the wider community. The intention would be that the garden would contain a gatekeeper’s/caretaker’s residence and a focal feature of some kind that would commemorate the life and history of Sir Moses and inform visitors of his importance to international Jewish and local communities.

POLICY HE14 - MONTEFIORE SITE

LAND, AS DEFINED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, IS ALLOCATED AS A PEACEFUL PUBLIC GARDEN DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE.

ANY DEVELOPMENT THAT MAY BE PERMITTED WILL BE EXPECTED TO FORM PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE SCHEME WHICH WOULD ENABLE LONG-TERM MAINTENANCE OF THE SITE'S QUALITIES AND CONSIDERATION OF PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE SITE.

TARGETS
LP Implementation Target
Policy Area
Heritage
Relevant Policies
HE1, HE2, HE4, HE5, HE6, HE7
Indicator
No. of Listed Building/Conservation Area applications lost on appeal
Target
Win 90% of appeals
Monitoring
Appeal decisions
LP Implementation Target
Policy Area
Heritage
Relevant Policies
HE10
Indicator
Protect all Scheduled Ancient Monuments from development
Target
Protect 100% of Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Thanet
Monitoring
Development Control application decisions

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