Historic Worcester road set to be given special status

Park-Avenue Park Avenue

A historic Worcester street, with many late 19th and early 20th Century houses, could be set to be formally designated as a Conservation Area.

Worcester City Council's Planning Committee will be asked to give Park Avenue, in the Barbourne area to the north of the city centre, the special status when they meet on March 19.

Conservation Area status is made under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and helps preserve the character and appearance of buildings and streets by managing the design of new developments and changes to the physical neighbourhood.

The City Council has carried out public consultations on making Park Avenue a Conservation Area, which have resulted in some small changes to the original proposals.

If approved by the Committee, the Conservation Area will be centred on the tree-lined avenue of Park Avenue but extend to the rear of the properties to include Park Lane, Victoria Lane, Bourne Street and Ivy Street. The proposed area would be bordered by properties on Ombersley Road, Victoria Street and Lavender Road.

Unlike many Conservation Areas, Park Avenue would not include any listed buildings.

Councillor Chris Mitchell, Chair of the Planning Committee, said: "Worcester has a rich and beautiful history and it is important that the Council uses its powers to preserve the streets and roads which exude our city's special character."

Park Avenue has been selected for Conservation Area status because it boasts good examples of Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles with many surviving details, including historic windows and doors plus decorative door and window surrounds. There are also traditional back lanes on each side of Park Avenue and a large number of mature trees which extend along the road to make it distinctive as an avenue.

In addition to the powers that Conservation Area status brings, the Planning Committee will also be asked to make an Article 4 directive for the area. This will remove several of the permitted development rights that homeowners normally have so that, for example, planning permission would need to be obtained before changes to building frontages – such as doors and windows – can be made.

At its meeting on March 19 the Planning Committee will also be asked to agree boundary changes and adopt a Conservation Area Appraisal for the Riverside Conservation Area, which encompasses the River Severn within the city boundary and the adjoining buildings and spaces including the Riverside Park.

If approved these changes would remove some modern residential and industrial buildings from the Conservation Area but add in Park View Terrace and the 19th Century Northwick House on Old Northwick Lane, once the home of John Knapp, owner of the riverside brickworks.

There are currently 18 Conservation Areas in Worcester. 

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