Blackpool neighbourhood gets extra protection

Raikes Hall is part of the heritage to be protected
Raikes Hall is part of the heritage to be protected
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A historic part of Blackpool has been given added protection from potentially ugly development.

The council has tightened up procedures to ensure the character of the Raikes Hall Conservation Area is maintained.

An article four direction order restricting the scope of development rights was formally confirmed at a meeting of the executive.

The policy was first put forward at the end of 2016, but has only now been rubber-stamped following widespread consultation.

Out of 1,100 notices distributed to residents, only eight concerns were raised which included four from people who had misunderstood the order.

The move means residents must get permission for minor changes to their property such as removing boundary walls and chimneys.

In unrestricted areas some alterations are classed as ‘permitted development rights’ and can go ahead without a planning application having to be made.

Raikes Hall Conservation Area, which is bounded by Leamington Road, Bryan Road, Raikes Parade, Beech Avenue, Forest Gate and the east end of Reads Avenue, was created in February 2014 to reflect the neighbourhood's special architectural interest.

A council report says: "Raikes can be summarised as a good, well-preserved example of a largely early 20th century suburb with notable religious buildings, almost all of which are of good or very good architectural and historical quality.

"It is one of the best surviving areas of suburban housing in Blackpool and compares well with similar areas elsewhere in the country.

"Despite Conservation Area designation, there is still a range of minor works which would be allowed under permitted development rights."

The additional measures will enable the council to control the visual impact of changes to property in order "that the conservation area’s essential character will be preserved."

The Raikes Hall area is considered distinctive due to its inter-war housing, but it also boasts two of the oldest buildings of Blackpool’s central area – the late 18th century Raikes Hall which is now the Raikes Pub, and the Number Three pub.

Up until 1901, extensive gardens covered the area including fountains and terraces.