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7.1 In many ways, Burnley has a good quality environment - a compact urban area with many fine buildings surrounded by hills and open countryside. In other ways it does not - having older areas of terraced housing characterised by densely developed unfit housing, little open space, on-street parking, litter, crime, vandalism and poor access to facilities. The Burnley Local Plan must address these issues and seek to produce a quality environment for all the Borough’s residents.

7.2 The environment is a wide ranging issue covering everything from ecology, open land, listed buildings and conservation areas through to vacant and untidy land, pollution, and contamination. This chapter has therefore been divided into four sub-sections to help the reader find the relevant policies and proposals.

The Natural Environment

7.3 Within the Borough there are a number of internationally, nationally and locally important sites for nature conservation which will be protected. As well as these designated sites there is a need to protect other important ecological and wildlife features that are important to the Borough’s environment, such as woodland and hedgerows, the rivers and canal.

The Built Environment

7.4 Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Historic Parks and Gardens are important features of the Borough’s heritage and today’s built environment. New development must be sensitive and responsive to these surroundings to ensure a high standard of townscape and urban design.

Open Land

7.5 80% of the Borough is Open Land. The land designated as Green Belt is protected by the guidance in Planning Policy Guidance Note 2: “Green Belts”, which will only permit inappropriate development in very special circumstances. In other Rural Areas the Local Plan will balance the need to protect the Borough’s landscape character and local distinctiveness, with farm diversification and the development of renewable energy resources.

Environmental Protection

7.6 The Borough’s Industrial heritage has left behind a legacy of derelict and contaminated land and derelict buildings.

7.7 Over the years a number of these sites have been successfully reclaimed and reused, and the Council will continue to support such schemes in order to make the most efficient use of land, reduce environmental pollution and support urban renaissance.

7.8 Within the Borough there are a number of vacant and untidy plots of land. The Council will work with local communities and groups to bring these sites back into use and improve local environments.


7.9 In line with the Core Development Principles of Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West the Local Plan will protect and enhance the best of the Borough’s natural and man made environment, e.g. listed buildings, conservation areas and moorland landscape. These features define the area’s character and identity.

7.10 The Local Plan will seek to protect and encourage improvements to all urban and rural open spaces. Urban open spaces provide important outlets for recreation and break up the built environment making Burnley a greener, pleasanter place. Such areas will be protected, enhanced, and where possible new spaces will be created as part of new housing development, in town centres, and in the more densely developed areas of terraced housing identified for regeneration.

7.11 Rural open spaces will be protected to safeguard agricultural land, landscape, wildlife, and their value as recreation areas. Preventing inappropriate development in such areas will maintain a compact urban area and help to concentrate regeneration activity. The Local Plan will maintain Green Belt boundaries and will continue to protect other rural and countryside areas.

7.12 The Local Plan will protect features of ecological value such as Biological Heritage Sites, wildlife links and corridors. The Plan will include policies to prevent pollution of air, water, and soil.


7.13 The environment policies of the Local Plan have been developed to achieve a number of objectives set out in Key Aim 4 of the Action Strategy. These objectives are defined below. Each of these is accompanied by targets designed to measure progress towards achievement of the objectives.

7.14 The Monitoring and Review section of the plan outlines in more detail how the Council will measure performance against the Plan’s objectives and targets.


OBJECTIVE E1 – To protect and improve the built environment

  • Target E1a – All Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas protected from inappropriate development.

  • Target E1d – To contribute towards the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West target to reduce by 5% per year the number of Listed Buildings on the English Heritage Building at Risk Register

  • Target E1e – All Listed Buildings protected from demolition unless in exceptional circumstances.

  • Target E1f – All Scheduled Ancient Monuments protected from inappropriate development.

  • Target E1g – All locally important buildings, artefacts and features protected from unnecessary damage or removal.

  • Target E1h – All Historic Parks and Gardens protected from inappropriate development.

  • Target E1i – Annual reported incidences of untidy land reduced from 2004 baseline.

  • Target E1j – 10ha of untidy and vacant land reclaimed and re-used by 2011.

  • Target E1k – Public Art secured in all projects over 750m2.

OBJECTIVE E2 – To protect and enhance the natural environment

  • Target E2a – All sites of nature conservation and ecological value protected from inappropriate development.

  • Target E2b – 36ha of new Local Nature Reserves designated by 2010 and a further 36ha designated between 2010 and 2020 to achieve English Nature’s “1 in a 1000” Local Nature Reserve Target.

  • Target E2d – to increase tree cover to 8% by 2020.

  • Target E2e – To produce the supplementary planning document on development and flood risk by 2006.

  • Target E2f – All homes to be within 300 metres of a natural greenspace of at least 2ha. in size.

  • Target E2g – At least one accessible natural greenspace of 20ha. within 2km. of every home.

  • Target E2h – One accessible natural greenspace of 100ha. within 5km. of every home.

  • Target E2i – One accessible natural greenspace of 500ha. within 10km. of every home. OBJECTIVE E3 - To protect and enhance biodiversity and habitats

  • Target E3a – During the plan period there will be no net loss of/ or damage to protected species and habitats as a result of development.

OBJECTIVE E4 – To maintain the Borough’s Green Belt

  • Target E4a – All areas of Green Belt to be protected from inappropriate development, unless “very special circumstances” can be demonstrated

OBJECTIVE E5 – To protect and enhance the Borough’s landscape

OBJECTIVE E6 – To protect other major open land areas other than Green Belt

  • Target E6a – All Major Open Areas to be protected from inappropriate development.

OBJECTIVE E7 - To improve the Borough’s watercourses including its rivers and the canal

  • Target E7a – Maintain all rivers at Good/Fair quality.

OBJECTIVE E8 - To protect the best agricultural land and promote rural diversification

  • Target E8a – No more than 3% of best and most versatile agricultural land in the Borough lost from agriculture.


This section includes the Council’s land use policies and proposals for the Borough’s environment. Each policy is numbered (E1, E2, E3, etc.), and is followed by any land use specific proposals (numbered E1/1, E1/2, etc), which are also shown on the Proposals Map, and a reasoned justification. The reasoned justification explains why the Council have included a particular policy in the Local Plan.



Development likely to have an adverse effect on the South Pennines European Special Protection Area/Special Area of Conservation/Site of Special Scientific Interest, shown on the Proposals Map, will not be permitted.

Development likely to have an adverse effect on any subsequently designated internationally, or nationally, important sites will also not be permitted.


7.15 A large part of Burnley’s moorland has been designated as a European Special Protection Area for its internationally important bird species and as a Special Area of Conservation for its Moorland habitat; the whole of this area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

7.16 The South Pennine Moors qualifies for designation under the European Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (the Birds Directive), by supporting nationally important breeding populations of merlin and golden plover, as well as a nationally important breeding population of migratory species, such as curlew. The site is also important for supporting, in summer, a large number and variety of breeding migratory birds of moorland and moorland fringe habitats including: peregrine falcon, lapwing, whinchat, common sandpiper and twite.

7.17 SSSIs are statutory sites of national nature conservation value notified by English Nature under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(as amended). They represent the best of the country’s habitats i.e. its critical environmental capital and contribute to the biological diversity of the Borough.

7.18 Protecting wildlife habitats is central to the conservation of the Borough’s environments and many of the habitats are irreplaceable. Collectively, statutory and non-statutory wildlife sites are considered the “the key biodiversity resource” and any losses would be considered significant in the immediate locality and beyond and would be difficult or impossible to make good for all practical purposes (e.g. because of antiquity, complexity, location or special environmental characteristics.)

Target: E2a


Development likely to have an adverse effect on the Biological Heritage Sites, Regionally important Geological/

Geomorphological Sites or Local Nature Reserves shown on the Proposals Map, will not be permitted.


7.19 The Biological Heritage Sites Partnership, including Lancashire County Council, English Nature and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, has designated 36 Biological Heritage Sites across the Borough.

7.20 A County Heritage Site is a non-statutory designation given to sites of importance to nature conservation and denotes the best and most representative sites in the region.

7.21 Sites are selected by assessment against a set of written guidelines, and those currently satisfying the guidelines are listed in Appendix E and shown on the Proposals Map. These sites may be added to in the future.

7.22 The Council intends to protect the Borough’s biological and geological heritage for its own value and for the enjoyment of residents and visitors now and in the future.

7.23 A Local Nature Reserve is designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 for the purposes of preserving flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features of special interest and for the informal enjoyment of nature by the public.

7.24 In agreement with English Nature, such sites can be managed for both nature conservation and for educational and recreational use by local people and schools. They can offer special opportunities for people to see and enjoy wildlife and safeguard important natural features.

7.25 The Deer Pond in Towneley Park and Lowerhouse Lodges are currently the Borough’s only Local Nature Reserves, however, the Council will keep under review other sites that may qualify as Local Nature Reserves.

7.26 If further sites of local importance are identified the Council will review this policy.

7.27 Collectively, statutory and non-statutory wildlife sites are considered the “the key biodiversity resource” and any losses would be considered significant in the immediate locality and beyond and would be difficult or impossible to make good for all practical purposes (e.g. because of antiquity, complexity, location or special environmental characteristics.)

Target: E2a, E2b, and E2c


Development will not be permitted where it would sever, or significantly detract from the function of Wildlife Links and Corridors, as shown on the Proposals Map.

Where development is permitted:

  1. planning conditions and agreements will be used to provide safeguards and compensatory measures where appropriate; and

  2. new development will be expected to enhance existing Wildlife Corridors and, where appropriate, provide extensions.


7.28 Rivers, canals, railways and roadside verges that are linked together form a network and a connection between town and countryside. Isolated sites support a smaller number of species, but by linking areas of greenspace to the surrounding countryside animals can move along the links and plants and seeds can disperse to improve the biodiversity of the area. A greater number of species will only be encouraged by increasing the number, quality and linkage between wildlife sites within the urban area.

7.29 It is therefore essential to protect existing links from development which would reduce their length or sever them completely. Damage to their value as links and corridors will be resisted unless the Council is satisfied that adequate alternatives can be provided.

7.30 Opportunities to develop new links adjacent to existing wildlife corridors, or to extend, or enhance, existing Wildlife Corridors, will be sought wherever opportunities arise.

Target: E3a


Features of ecological value and potential such as ponds, hedgerows, dry stone walls and watercourses and their associated corridors will be safeguarded wherever possible by requiring their retention in new development. Proposals should take advantage of opportunities to create new wildlife habitats where these can be included as part of a site layout and landscaping schemes.

Where necessary, planning agreements will be required to secure appropriate management of such sites.


7.31 Our local countryside is valuable even outside important designated sites and, as a consequence, there are numerous natural and man-made features of ecological value and potential that are not formally designated sites. The aim of this policy is to protect these features of biological, geological and landscape interest from development pressure.

7.32 In order to be sustainable, development should not just protect but also look at positive opportunities for enhancing biodiversity and the landscape value of a site. Due weight will be given to proposals for additional enhancement through tree and shrub planting schemes or habitat creation such as wildflower areas, hedge planting, ponds or wetland features (especially where linked to sustainable drainage scheme), provision of nest boxes, where appropriate.

7.33 Opportunities for biodiversity and landscape enhancement will be sought in connection with development for the creation, extension or improvement of wildlife habitats, in particular through the restoration of mineral or waste sites.

7.34 To ensure that there is no net loss of biodiversity throughout the Borough, the Council will, where appropriate, ensure that the policies for the protection of natural assets are satisfied through the use of planning conditions and obligations.

7.35 Where ecological features are unavoidably lost to development, the Council will expect compensatory measures such as the creation of new habitats – woodlands, ponds, etc. – and the professional removal and transplanting of animal and plant species.

7.36 The Lancashire Biodiversity Action Plan identifies targets for species and habitats appropriate to Lancashire and aims to ensure that opportunities for conservation and enhancement of the biodiversity resource are fully considered.

7.37 The Council is committed to preparing a Supplementary Planning Document to identify locally important wildlife sites.

Target: E2a, and E3a


The presence of a protected species will be a material consideration in determining any planning application.

Development that would affect sites supporting species protected by law will not be permitted unless

  1. adequate provision is made within the proposed development to avoid disturbance to the species and habitat in question; or

  2. adequate provision is made, by way of planning conditions or agreements, to:

    1. facilitate the survival of the individual species affected;

    2. reduce the disturbance to a minimum; and

    3. provide adequate alternative habitats to sustain the viability of the local population of that species.


7.38 Nature Conservation designations are not always related to sites. Threatened wildlife species are protected through Part 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended, and other legislation including the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994. Amongst other things, it is an offence to damage the resting or breeding places of protected animals and to destroy any protected plants. Where protected species are known, or suspected to exist, English Nature will be consulted to ensure that protected species are adequately taken into account in any proposed development. The Council will require applicants to undertake a survey to identify the types of protected species present and the location and nature of their habitats. Information sources include the Lancashire Biodiversity Action Plan and the North West Biodiversity Audit and the Red Data list for Lancashire.

7.39 Provision can often be made to avoid or minimise disturbance and damage to species through careful design, landscaping, timing and method of development. Where it is not possible to retain species in situ, it may be considered acceptable to provide alternative habitats. Planning conditions and, where appropriate, planning agreements will be used to secure suitable safeguards and management.

7.40 Where the Council or English Nature considers that satisfactory provisions have not been provided or cannot be achieved, then development will be considered inappropriate.

Target: E3a


Existing trees, woodlands and hedgerows will be protected from development unless there is no significant loss to environment, amenity, historic, archaeological and nature conservation interests.

Conservation of existing woodland will be encouraged through appropriate management measures. Existing ancient woodland will be safeguarded.


7.41 Trees are a much loved and valued part of the landscape, whether singly, or as part of a group, whether in the town or in the country, providing a rich habitat for a wide variety of plants, animals, insects and birds. They provide an attractive setting for leisure pursuits, bring variety and texture into the landscape and have considerable potential as an economic resource. However, many parts of the Borough lack trees. Existing woodlands and hedges are often over-mature and neglected. Only six, small areas of ancient woodland remain. The Council therefore actively seeks to protect the remaining trees and woodlands in the Borough for the enjoyment of future generations. Tree Preservation Orders can be used by the Council to protect trees that are under threat or ensure that trees are properly looked after during and after development, avoiding, where possible, building under tree canopies or within the rooting zone as this may lead to future problems

7.42 A need for new tree planting for ecological, environmental and recreational reasons has been recognised. And, to this end, funding has been secured through the Forest of Burnley Initiative in an attempt to increase the extent of the Borough’s woodland cover and ensure that existing and new woodlands are managed properly by their owners. All new woodland planting schemes will be expected to be appropriate to the geology of the site and to follow the guidance set out in Forestry Commission Bulletin 112: Creating New Native Woodlands.

7.43 Protection of some hedgerows of historic or nature conservation importance is given through the 1997 Hedgerow Regulations.

Target: E2d, and E3a


Proposals adjacent to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, the Rivers Brun and Calder, reservoirs, ponds, streams and other water features will not be permitted where the existing water quality, amenity, recreation, nature conservation and wildlife value is adversely affected, unless suitable mitigating measures are taken to avoid or minimise damage.


7.44 The Rivers Brun and Calder and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal are the main watercourses through the town. There are also a number of reservoirs, such as Clowbridge and Cant Clough, and tributaries, such as Green Brook, Sep Clough and Shaw Brook.

7.45 These all have the potential to provide appropriate locations for recreation as well as being of amenity, landscape and wildlife value. The Council is therefore keen to retain, improve, or restore public access to water courses and water bodies, where appropriate, and ensure that development has regard to, and does not harm, the recreational and amenity potential of inland waters. However, the promotion of water recreation, and ancillary facilities, should not be at the expense of the character of the area and a balance will have to be reached between the recreational needs and nature conservation and wildlife interests.

Target: E7a


Development will not be permitted if:

  1. it would increase the risk of flooding:

  1. by reducing the capacity of, or increasing flows within a flood plain; or

  2. through discharge of additional surface water; or

  3. by harming flood defences.

  1. it would be at risk itself from flooding;

  2. adequate provision is not made for access to watercourses for maintenance; and

  3. the proposal does not include adequate flood protection measures.

A Flood Risk Assessment will be required where it is considered that there would be an increased risk of flooding as a result of development, or the development would be at risk of flooding.


7.46 Within Burnley, several watercourses have a flood plain that is liable to flood during a period of high flow.

7.47 The aim of this policy is to ensure that the effectiveness of that flood plain is not impaired by development, its occupiers are not put at risk and that additional water run-off from the development does not exceed the capacity of water resources and the flood plain downstream.

7.48 Current concerns over climate change and sea level rise have reinforced the importance of safeguarding floodplains. In determining planning applications, the Council will take into consideration the latest available data and will consult the Environment Agency on proposals in proximity to flood risk areas. Developers will be required to carry out detailed flood risk assessments to evaluate the extent of the risk.

7.49 The Environment Agency has prepared maps showing the areas of flood risk and intend to prepare flood catchment management plans. The Council will prepare supplementary planning guidance to identify the areas of flood risk within the Borough and provide technical support to this policy.

7.50 To reduce the risk of flooding the Council will encourage applicants to consider the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems – see General Policy GP3: - “Design and Quality”.

Target: E2e.


Development will not be permitted where it would have an adverse effect on the quantity or quality of groundwater resources.


7.51 The protection of the Borough’s groundwater resources is a key part of ensuring a sustainable environment.

7.52 Ground water continuously feeds rivers and streams through springs and seepage into riverbeds so that underground and surface water resources are inextricably linked. The availability of ground water and, as a consequence, the whole water environment can be harmed if ground water resources are prevented from refilling. This can be the result of diverting the flow water, changing land use or by minerals extraction. The planning system can assist in the protection of water resources by resisting development which would unduly harm existing groundwater resources.

7.53 Water resources are under pressure from both pollution and rising demand from industry and use in the home. In order to manage water resources in a sustainable way development should be limited to those locations were adequate resources already exist or where new provision can be made without detriment to the natural environment. Successful management of our water resources will be achieved through close liaison with the Environment Agency who have powers and duties under the Water Resources Act 1991 concerning the monitoring and protection of ground water and surface water resources. They are a statutory consultee and the Council will consult closely with them on any proposals which would result in an adverse affect on the quantity and quality of groundwater resources.

7.54 Measures to reduce the demand for water, including water efficient devices, should be incorporated into development wherever possible, particularly in those areas where existing resources are under pressure. Advice on suitable measures can be obtained from the Environment Agency.



The Council will not permit proposals which adversely affect the character, architectural or historic interest of a Listed Building, or its setting. Proposals will only be permitted where they:

  1. retain and repair features of architectural or historic interest;

  2. use appropriate materials and traditional working practices;

  3. have no adverse effect on the setting of the building, including trees, walls, gardens, and any other structure or object within the curtilage of the building;

  4. make provision for the appropriate recording of any architectural or historic features that are to be removed during repair or alteration; and

  5. are appropriate in terms of siting, size, scale and design of any extension.


7.55 The town’s Listed Buildings are an irreplaceable asset. There is a general presumption in favour of their preservation.

7.56 Generally, the best way of securing the upkeep of historic buildings and areas is to keep them in active use. For the majority this will mean economically viable uses, which will often necessitate sympathetic adaptation and conversion.

7.57 Many listed buildings can sustain some degree of sensitive alteration, or extension, and indeed cumulative changes which reflect the history and ownership of a building are themselves an aspect of special interest. However, listed buildings vary greatly and proposals for alterations and extensions must be based on a good understanding of the building in question.

7.58 Burnley has many fine and historically significant listed buildings. These buildings are an essential ingredient in the character and identity of the town, and landmarks in the town’s historical development. In particular, there are the buildings that remain from the town’s historical significance as a textile centre in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century. The economic regeneration potential of this heritage is highlighted in RSS for the North West Policy ER4 – “Contribution of Built Heritage to Regeneration”.

7.59 Where proposals involve the substantial alteration, or demolition, of important features opportunity must be provided for bodies such as the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England to arrange suitable programmes of recording of features that would be destroyed in the course of the proposed works.

7.60 To ensure that development affecting Listed Buildings can be properly assessed all proposals must be accompanied by fully detailed drawings.

Target: E1a, and E1c.


Consent for the total or substantial demolition of Listed Buildings will not be granted other than in the most exceptional circumstances, and only when the Council is satisfied that every effort has been made to retain the building in its existing or a viable new use. Applicants will be expected to provide documentary evidence that:

  1. all reasonable efforts have been made to sustain existing or find viable new uses and these efforts have failed;

  2. that preservation in some form of charitable or community ownership is not possible or suitable;

  3. redevelopment would produce substantial benefits for the community which would decisively outweigh the loss resulting from demolition; and

  4. all potential sources of grant funded assistance have been explored.

Where development is deemed to be acceptable in principle the Council will require the developer to make appropriate and satisfactory provision for the recording of the building before demolition commences. There will be a requirement for detailed plans for redevelopment to be approved before demolition commences along with the letting of a contract for the proposed development. Where appropriate, the Council will expect the applicant to re-use building materials and architectural features on site.


7.61 When considering proposals for the demolition of Listed Buildings, the presumption will be in favour of preserving the building. However, there will very occasionally be cases where demolition will be unavoidable. In these cases, the Council will need to be convinced that all reasonable efforts have been made to sustain existing uses or find viable new uses, and these efforts have failed. The demolition of any Grade I or Grade II* building would be wholly exceptional and would require the strongest justification.

7.62 Where proposals would result in the total or substantial demolition of a listed building, the following considerations will need to be addressed:

  • The condition of the building, the cost of repairing and maintaining it in relation to its importance and to the value derived from its continued use;

  • The adequacy of efforts made to retain the building in use and/or find other alternative uses. This should include the offer of the unrestricted freehold of the building on the open market at a realistic price reflecting the building’s condition; and

  • The merit of alternative redevelopment proposals for the site, although this itself will not justify demolition.

7.63 Where a proposal is deemed acceptable, the Council will use legal agreements or planning conditions to ensure that developers make appropriate and satisfactory provision for the recording of the building before demolition commences. This recording will go beyond that required by Statute. It will be expected that prior approval has been obtained for detailed redevelopment plans along with the letting of a contract for the proposed development.

7.64 The demolition of buildings provides the opportunity for the re-use of building materials. Where appropriate, the re-use of building materials and architectural features will be encouraged.

Target: E1e


The Council will preserve and enhance the character of the Borough’s Conservation Areas, shown on the Proposals Map.

Where permission for new development and/or alterations to buildings in the Conservation Areas is required, permission will only be granted when the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. the proposal respects the character of the Conservation Area in terms of quality, siting, detailing, height, scale, materials, landscaping and external appearance;

  2. the proposal will enhance the streetscape and retain historic street patterns and materials, avoiding the creation of a gap in an established frontage, or the inclusion of inappropriate buildings or features which detract from the townscape features that make the Conservation Area special;

  3. significant views into and out of the Conservation Area are safeguarded;

  4. the proposal does not lead to the loss of open space, trees or other landscape features which contribute to the area; and

  5. the proposal does not generate levels of traffic and parking which would be detrimental to the character or appearance of the area.


7.65 The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a duty on the Council to designate as Conservation Areas any areas of special architectural, or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.

7.66 The Council has designated 10 Conservation Areas, and they are shown on the Proposals Map. They are as follows:

  • E12/1 – Burnley Town Centre

  • E12/2 – Padiham

  • E12/3 – Burnley Wood

  • E12/4 – Palatine

  • E12/5 – Canalside

  • E12/6 – Top o’ th’ Town

  • E12/7 – Jib Hill

  • E12/8 – Harle Syke

  • E12/9 – Worsthorne

  • E12/10 – Hurstwood

7.67 However, designation is not the end of the process and it is vital that development is controlled to protect the character of the Borough’s Conservation Areas.

7.68 In doing this, development proposals will be expected to reflect the special character and appearance of their surroundings. Development which does not demonstrate this will not be permitted.

7.69 Development on sites adjacent to Conservation Areas can also have an adverse effect on the Area’s setting. This policy will therefore also be used to assess development proposals adjacent to, or affecting, Conservation Areas.

7.70 To allow development proposals to be fully assessed in terms of their effect on an areas character and appearance the Council will expect applicants to provide detailed plans when submitting their application. For this reason full applications are preferred.

7.71 In the future, the Council are committed to producing Conservation Area Statements and Design Guidance to help guide development within the Borough’s Conservation Areas. Where relevant, development will be expected to meet the requirements of any subsequent Conservation Area Statements produced by the Council.

Target: E1a, and E1c.


Consent for the total or substantial demolition of buildings which make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a Conservation Area will not be granted other than in very exceptional circumstances. Where demolition is proposed, permission will only be granted when:

  1. the building has no architectural or historic value;

  2. removal of the building would have no adverse effect on the character or appearance of the area;

  3. evidence has been supplied that adequate efforts have been made to sustain existing uses or find viable new uses;

  4. there are proposals for redevelopment with the necessary approvals and supporting contract documentation; and

  5. the merits of alternative proposals for the site outweigh those in favour of preservation.

Evidence of criteria (c) and (d) alone will not be sufficient to justify demolition.


7.72 The designation of a Conservation Area introduces control over the demolition of most buildings within such Areas. The demolition of unlisted buildings within Conservation Areas can adversely affect the character and appearance of the area and proposals will only be permitted in special cases.

7.73 Where demolition and redevelopment are considered acceptable the Council may impose a condition to prevent demolition going ahead before a contract for carrying out redevelopment works has been made. This will prevent sites becoming vacant for many years and such sites detracting from the value of a Conservation Area.

Target: E1a and E1e.


The Council will continue to safeguard the character of areas of historic or architectural interest by designating new Conservation Areas and reviewing existing Conservation Area boundaries where appropriate. The Council will take account of the following when designating and reviewing Conservation Areas:

  1. architectural, historical and archaeological features of the area;

  2. form and layout of buildings;

  3. street patterns, property boundaries, footpaths and historical routes;

  4. open spaces, trees and hedgerows;

  5. the mix of land uses; and

  6. vistas along streets and between buildings


7.74 Some areas make a particularly significant contribution to the history and appearance of the Borough. Special care needs to be taken to maintain and improve their attractive visual character. Conservation Area designation gives the Council greater powers to control and guide change in these areas. Development and demolition in Conservation Areas should meet policies Environment policies E12 - “Development in, or adjacent to, Conservation Areas” and E13 - “Demolition in Conservation Areas”.

7.75 The present Conservation Areas are shown on the Proposals Map and will be reviewed and added to as appropriate.

7.76 Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 imposes a duty on the Council to designate as Conservation Areas any areas of special architectural or historic interest the character of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance. The Burnley Local Plan sets out the Council’s criteria for the designation of new Conservation Areas.

Target: E1b

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