Our heritage is under threatLearn More
The demolition of much of the historic quadrangle of the former Royal Free Hospital on Gray’s Inn Road has
On 5th February our committee met with Camden’s Development Management to discuss the Bloomsbury Conservation Areas.
The meeting was very
We have learned that Camden are working with London Councils to draft a bylaw to control dockless bicycles, with the
‘A Conservation Area is an area of special historic or architectural interest, the appearance or character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.’
Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
Central London is an area of especial and international historic and architectural interest, reflected in the fact that London is the most visited city in all of Europe. All of Central London is designated as a conservation area, with the exception of small islands of inappropriate modern development. As the particular type of historic and architectural interest varies significantly throughout Central London, there are a number of different conservation areas, each with their own special character, which combine to cover its entirety.
Conservation areas can have a CAAC – a Conservation Area Advisory Committee – whose duty it is to protect its conservation area. We are the Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee (BCAAC), and we actually cover multiple conservation areas, which we broadly refer to as the ‘Bloomsbury Conservation Areas’. This covers all of Central London within the Borough of Camden, with the exception of Hatton Garden.
Our core role is to assess all planning applications that affect our conservation areas and recommend an approval or rejection based on a fundamental test – whether the proposed changes preserve or enhance the special character of the relevant conservation area. Special character is a broad technical term which comprises the special architectural and historic interest of a place, as defined by the Planning Act 1990.
We have a wider responsibility to protect our conservation areas for the enjoyment of the people of today, but also for the people of a thousand years hence. We therefore partake in wider activities, such as advising developers and other individuals working on projects in our conservation areas, and educating the public about the special character of our conservation areas, and the threats which they face. Our responsibility to protect the conservation areas we take very seriously, so that in their interest we sometimes place ourselves under personal risk by pursuing legal action against harmful development and irresponsible authorities.
We act as wardens of today’s history.