ABOUT JERICHO - CONSERVATION
Conservation, carrots and sticks
Posted - November 06, 2009
At some point Jericho will become a conservation area. A public meeting in July considered the implications and a possible timeline.
At present Oxford has 16 conservation areas covering principally the medieval core and the 19th century suburbs. Jericho already has two listed buildings – St Barnabas Church and Oxford University Press, but a conservation area concerns not individual listed buildings but groups of buildings and the spaces in between.
There are two types of conservation area. The weaker form is concerned with creating awareness and a sense of responsibility among residents – more carrot than stick. While this would be useful it would not add much to the powers the City already has for assessing planning applications, except perhaps when it comes to demolitions and the character of replacement buildings.
The stronger type – with stick – takes the form of an ‘Article 4’ directive which would control many more aspects of development, including the replacement of doors and windows. It might also govern, say, the siting of solar panels which would have to go on rear-facing roofs only. It is not retrospective.
In Oxford only Osney Island has an Article 4 directive. Here it has caused some controversy, very popular with some residents, very unpopular with others, particularly those whose plans have been thwarted.
In February, city councillors will request the funds to start the process in Jericho. The cost, including what is needed for an Article 4 directive, would be around £70,000 – for surveys, plans, and various steering group meetings and consultations. If everything goes ahead the process might be completed some time in 2011.