13 The city's heritage

Policy CH 1

Works to, and Demolition of, Listed Buildings

  1. Proposals for the alteration, extension, change of use or demolition, whether partial or total, of a listed building will be considered in relation to the effect on:
    1. the importance of the building;
    2. the particular physical features of the building;
    3. the building’s setting and contribution to the local scene; and
    4. the extent to which the proposed works would bring substantial benefits for the community.
  2. Proposals involving the alteration, extension, change of use or partial demolition of a listed building will be permitted only where they would preserve or enhance the character and features of special architectural interest that contribute to the reasons for its listing.
  3. Total or partial demolition of a listed building, or its change of use, will be permitted only where:
    1. it is not practicable or economically feasible to continue to use the building for its existing or a previous purpose;
    2. it can be clearly demonstrated that there is no other viable use of the building and no alternative viable means of securing its preservation; and
    3. that in relation to total demolition, any proposed redevelopment or the creation of a cleared site would not cause unacceptable harm to the setting of any remaining listed buildings.
  4. Where consent for demolition is granted in accordance with criteria C (a) – (c) above, it will be subject to conditions requiring:
    1. the prior approval of detailed plans for the replacement development, together with the letting contract for the development; and
    2. the recording of details of the listed building.

Reasoned justification

13.4 Listed buildings form an important part of the city’s and the nation’s built heritage, and need to be appropriately protected.

13.5 In considering the effect of alterations, extensions, changes of use or demolition on the relevant criteria set out in the policy, the importance of the building, its intrinsic architectural and historic interest and rarity, in both national and local terms, will be taken into account. Particular physical features of the building, which justify its inclusion on the list, may include its design, plan, materials or location. The building’s setting and its contribution to the local scene may be important particularly where it forms an element in a group, park, garden or other townscape or landscape, or where it shares particular architectural forms or detail with other buildings nearby. The economic regeneration of the area or the enhancement of its environment may be examples of substantial benefits for the community gained by the proposed development/works.

13.6 It needs to be ensured that alterations, extensions, changes of use or partial demolition do not result in the erosion of architectural and historic character, for example through poorly designed alterations, or the destruction or obscuring of significant features. The city council is committed to monitoring the condition of all listed buildings, supporting the Buildings at Risk register.

13.7 The most effective way of preserving the character and features of a listed building is normally to retain it in its original use. Where listed buildings can no longer support their original use, their reuse for other purposes is encouraged, but this needs to be done carefully, and should not be at the expense of the historic or architectural character of the building.

13.8 The demolition of a listed building will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. Where it is permitted, it will be important to secure a full record of the building to be demolished, so that the heritage is not completely lost. It may also be appropriate to require the storage and reuse of materials and features from the listed building.

13.9 Demolition includes the loss of any features of special architectural or historic interest that contributes to the reasons for the building or structure being listed.

Policy CH 2

Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would have an unacceptable impact on the setting of any listed building.

Reasoned justification

13.10 The setting of a listed building forms an integral part of its character, and may consist of adjoining open space such as a garden or square, or nearby buildings that form part of the street scene. It therefore needs to be afforded appropriate protection. It will be important to ensure that all development, and advertising, within the setting of a listed building is appropriately designed, particularly in terms of its siting, scale and quality.

Policy CH 3

Works Within Conservation Areas

Development in conservation areas will only be permitted where it would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area. In determining this, regard will be had to the extent to which the proposal:

  1. retains or improves features that contribute to the character or appearance of the conservation area;
  2. is of a high standard of design, consistent with the design policies of the plan;
  3. retains existing mature trees;
  4. secures environmental improvements and enhancements; and
  5. protects and improves important views within, into and out of the conservation area.

Reasoned justification

13.11 The purpose of designating conservation areas is to afford protection not just to individual buildings, but also to the quality of the townscape, which makes a significant contribution to local distinctiveness and can play an important role in regeneration. Particular regard needs to be had to preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of such areas, and this will be achieved both through the control of development and advertisements, and by undertaking improvement schemes where funds allow. The features that contribute to the special character of the city’s conservation areas will be set out in individual conservation area appraisals.

13.12 Within conservation areas, outline planning applications will not normally be approved, because they provide insufficient information to determine the impact of development on the character and appearance of the area. The city council will seek to enter into planning obligations with developers to secure improvements to the public realm of conservation areas, to ensure that the overall impact of development on an area’s character and appearance is positive.

13.13 The city currently has sixteen conservation areas:

  1. Flat Iron, Ordsall;
  2. The Crescent, Irwell Riverside;
  3. Adelphi and Bexley Square, Irwell Riverside;
  4. The Cathedral, Ordsall;
  5. The Cliff, Kersal/Broughton;
  6. Ellesmere Park, Eccles;
  7. Monton Green, Eccles;
  8. Barton-upon-Irwell, Barton;
  9. St. Augustine’s, Pendlebury;
  10. Irlams O’ Th’ Height, Claremont;
  11. Radcliffe Park Road, Claremont;
  12. St. Marks, Worsley;
  13. Worsley Village, Worsley;
  14. Worsley Old Hall, Worsley;
  15. Roe Green/Beesley Green, Worsley; and
  16. Mines Rescue Station, Boothstown & Ellenbrook.

13.14 Consideration will be given as to whether further conservation areas should be designated, and existing designations will be reviewed from time to time.

Policy CH 4

Demolition of Buildings Within Conservation Areas

Demolition within a conservation area will only be permitted where:

  1. the structure to be demolished makes no positive contribution to the character or appearance of the area;
  2. it can be clearly demonstrated that there is no viable use of the structure, and the cost of repairing and maintaining it, or that part to be demolished, to a reasonable and structurally sound condition is prohibitive, taking into account the potential availability of grants from public funds; or
  3. the proposals would make a vital contribution to the regeneration of the local area, and any replacement structure would be of at least equal design quality to the structure to be demolished.

If demolition is considered to be acceptable, consent will only be given if detailed proposals for the reuse of the site, including any replacement building or other structure, have been approved.

Reasoned justification

13.15 Buildings and features that contribute towards the character or appearance of a conservation area will be protected from demolition, in order to ensure that the city’s heritage is retained. Listed buildings and items identified on the local list of buildings, structures and features of architectural, archaeological or historic interest will be given particularly strong protection. Where demolition of a building is permitted, it may be necessary to enter into a planning obligation, in accordance with Policy DEV 5 'Planning Conditions and Obligations', to ensure that any approved and required reuse/redevelopment of the site is implemented.

Policy CH 5

Archaeology and Ancient Monuments

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would have an unacceptable impact on an ancient monument, or site or feature of archaeological importance, or its setting.

Where planning permission is granted for development that will affect known or suspected remains of local archaeological value, planning conditions will be imposed to secure the recording and evaluation of the remains and, if appropriate, their excavation and preservation and/or removal, prior to the commencement of the development.

Reasoned justification

13.16 Archaeological remains are a finite and non-renewable resource, which are often highly fragile and vulnerable to damage and destruction. A sites and monuments record is maintained, providing information on known archaeological remains. In addition, there are three sites within the city that are designated as scheduled ancient monuments, and a fourth that is proposed, giving them a very high degree of protection:

  1. The Delph, Worsley Road, Worsley (the canal tunnel entrances and wharf, dating back to 1759-60);
  2. Wardley Hall, Wardley Hall Road, Wardley (a moated site with island occupied by medieval hall and gardens);
  3. Promontory Fort, 300m west of Great Woolden Hall Farm, Cadishead (a promontory hill fort dating back to the Iron Age); and
  4. Lime Kiln, Barton Road, Worsley (proposed).

13.17 Wherever possible, development should be located and designed so as to avoid damage to archaeological remains, ensuring that they are preserved in situ. Where this is not possible, or appropriate, the developer will be required to make suitable provision to ensure that the archaeological information is not lost, and in many cases to secure the preservation of the remains.

Policy CH 6

Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest

Planning permission will not be granted for development that would have an unacceptable impact on the historic character or setting of any part of a historic park or garden defined on the proposals map.

Reasoned justification

13.18 English Heritage maintain a Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, and the city has two sites included on this:

  1. Buile Hill Park, Weaste and Seedley/Langworthy; and
  2. Weaste Cemetery, Weaste and Seedley.

13.19 These two sites have played an important part in the history of the city, as well as containing individual features of historic importance. The city council is therefore committed to their protection, improvement and maintenance. Buile Hill Park will have an important role to play in the regeneration of the local area, and a masterplan has been developed for its enhancement. In addition to the two registered sites, other historic parks within the city, such as Peel Park, will be protected and improved, and their regeneration role maximised.

Policy CH 7

Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal

Planning permission will be granted for the restoration of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.

The line of the canal will be protected. Development that would prejudice the reinstatement of the canal and its towpath will not be permitted.

In circumstances where the restoration or improvement of the canal or towpath is necessary to enable development to proceed satisfactorily, or where the development would benefit directly from the restoration or improvement, contributions will be sought with a view to securing such restoration or improvement.

Reasoned justification

13.20 The Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal is an important historic linear feature, which extends from the edge of Manchester city centre through Salford and beyond, as well as potentially being an important catalyst for regeneration. Although some stretches, particularly in the Clifton area north of Park House Bridge, remain in water and are of acknowledged ecological value, much of the canal has in the past been drained and filled in. However, there is still an opportunity to secure the restoration of the canal, and permission will not be granted for development that would compromise this objective, or that would not provide an appropriate setting to the restored canal, in line with Policy DES 6 'Waterside Development'. Part of the canal is designated as a Site of Biological Importance, and any restoration activity will therefore need to be consistent with Policy EN8 'Nature Conservation Sites of Local Importance'.

13.21 New development adjacent to the canal provides the opportunity to secure its restoration or improvement. Subject to the terms of Policy DES 6 'Waterside Development' and in conjunction with Policy DEV5 'Planning Conditions and Obligations', contributions will be sought to achieving those ends by negotiation, with a view to ensuring a successful long-term future for both the canal and the development itself. Where it is appropriate for contributions to be made, they may be in kind or of a financial nature. They may come in many forms, including:

  1. the actual restoration to agreed specifications of the section of canal adjacent to the development;
  2. clearance of the line by removing buildings, fill, etc;
  3. transfer of the line of the canal and towpath to British Waterways for a nominal sum;
  4. the provision of, or improvements to, the towpath and associated landscaping;
  5. the maintenance of areas provided as part of the development; and
  6. financial contributions to any restoration, improvement or maintenance works.

13.22 The exact scale and form of the contribution that is considered appropriate will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • the size of the development;
  • the length of the site's canal frontage;
  • the extent to which the development would benefit from the presence of the canal; and
  • the potential impact of the development on the canal.

Policy CH 8

Local List of Buildings, Structures and Features of Architectural, Archaeological or Historic Interest

The impact of development on any building, structure or feature that is identified on the council’s local list of buildings, structures and features of architectural, archaeological or historic interest will be a material planning consideration.

Reasoned justification

13.23 The city council maintains a local list of around 450 buildings, structures and features that have been identified as being of value due to their contribution to the local street scene or their local historical association. Whilst these buildings, structures and features do not enjoy the protection of statutory listing, which is the responsibility of English Heritage, nevertheless the buildings are of some local value. Accordingly, any material impact that a proposed development might have upon a building, structure or feature identified on the local list will be taken into account as part of the development control process.