Agenda item

Proposed new conservation area at Rodmersham Parish Church


The Conservation and Design Manager introduced the report which proposed the designation of a new Conservation Area following the recent Conservation Area review of Rodmersham.  He said following an assessment, the area possessed the appropriate qualities to be considered as a Conservation Area.


The Conservation and Design Manager explained that a public consultation had been carried out, and most feedback had been positive.  He drew attention to the summary and conclusions set out on pages 200-203 of the report, and he listed the significance and key characteristics of the proposed area.


Referring to the consultation, the Conservation and Design Manager said that there was strong support for the Conservation Area Designation but some changes were also suggested, most notably to include Ashgores House, a more isolated property to the north of the cluster of buildings in the proposed Conservation Area, and the proposed boundary designation had now been extended to include this property.  He added that another suggestion arising from the consultation was to include a cluster of development which included  Rodmersham House, a Listed Building, to the south west of the proposed Conservation Area.  This was considered to be too far away from the proposed Conservation Area and it was noted that this Listed Building already had its own protection.  In addition, its setting would need to be taken into account in relation to any development proposals.


The Conservation and Design Manager said that one of the reasons for bringing the review forward was as a result of the Highsted Park planning applications and he presented a plan showing the location of the proposed Conservation Area in relation to the Highsted Park planning applications for the south side of the A2.


The Chairman praised the report and asked whether there was any glebe land that should have been considered as part of the proposal?  The Conservation and Design Manager said that he was not aware of any glebe land in the location and nor had any been highlighted to him.


A Member sought clarification on whether there was a risk that by extending the Conservation Area, the built up village envelope would be extended and would encourage development applications in the intervening open land?  The Conservation and Design Manager said there would be a strong presumption against development taking place in that location because the area was considered as countryside in Planning terms.  The small cluster of buildings forming a hamlet did not have a built up area boundary and the designation of a Conservation Area would strengthen the existing controls, making any such development unlikely.


The Conservation and Design Manager said that Ashgores House, being at a higher level than other buildings in the area, provided some longer distance views that were not achievable elsewhere closer to the church and in particular provided a view that aided understanding of the proposed Conservation Area in its rural context.  This, together with Ashgores House acting as a clear visual entry point into the hamlet reinforced the argument to include the property within the proposed Conservation Area.




(1)  That the content of the public consultation draft of the character appraisal and management strategy document proposed for the assessment relating to the proposed new Rodmersham Church Street area, and the representations made on this by interested parties, the details of which are set out in the report appendices be noted.


(2)  That the changes to the assessment document proposed by officers in response to the representations received during the course of the public consultation be supported.

Supporting documents: