Currently the St Margaret's Conservation area in the Borough of Richmond covers an area between The Avenue, the Thames and St Margaret's Road, and Netherton Road. Richmond Council are proposing extending this conservation area to take in some 527 extra homes. They want to include land between the River Thames and the River Crane, running south to the Chertsey Road.
A consultation period started on 16th March and will last for three weeks - they have written to all residents affected within the proposed area to see what they think about it - have you had your letter?
This explained the proposals and the implications of living in a conservation area.
The flip side is that a home within a conservation area is subject to increased planning controls in order to maintain the "character and appearance" of the area as a whole. This could obviously affect extensions or re-modelling of individual houses within the conservation boundary, and apparently also means permission is needed to carry out work to trees over a certain size.
However, benefits obviously include a consistency with the look of the area as a whole, with a reduction in the risk of developments having a negative effect on other residents. The idea is to provide protection to householders within the conservation area, to ensure the character and appeal of the area is maintained.
This comment from the Richmond Council press release:
"The Council believes the proposed area retains a good proportion of original features and displays a strong and cohesive character and appearance, which conservation area status would preserve and enhance."
There are also historic links with the Earl of Kilmorey: land under consideration was once part of the Gordon House Estate and the St Margaret's Estate, auctioned off from these estates - the current conservation area still includes Gordon House and the site where St Margaret's House once stood.
So time ticks on to respond to your letter - if you want your opinion considered, get in touch with the COuncil before the consultation period ends.
Silas Van Der Bas
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Silas Van Der Bas is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.