Cabinet Report

Report of Head of Planning

Author: Samantha Allen

Telephone: 07717 274692


Wards affected: Drayton Ward


Cabinet member responsible: Cllr Andy Foulsham



Date: 29 September 2023



Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review Adoption


(a) That the Drayton Conservation Area boundary is adopted as per the proposed revisions shown at Appendix 1.

(b) That the Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan as amended following public consultation is adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) as part of the Development Plan evidence and is a material planning consideration.

(c) To delegate to the Head of Planning in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member to make minor changes, typographical corrections or non-material amendments to the Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan document prior to formal publication and statutory notification requirements.


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the representations received during the public consultation on the draft Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review and to detail the changes that have been made to the document as a result in order to seek formal adoption of the boundary and associated document.

Corporate Objectives

2.    The Appraisal accords with 2020-2024 Corporate Objectives 1 (Providing the homes people need) and 3 (Building healthy communities). The document also forms part of the development plan evidence base supporting the preservation and enhancement of the district’s historic environment.


Purpose of the Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review

3.    Under Sections 69 & 71 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 local authorities have a duty to designate conservation areas and from time to time to review the boundaries.  Such areas are defined as ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. The Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal Document is the mechanism by which the local authority defines the special interest of the area, and the boundary was reviewed during the writing of the document.

4.    Drayton Parish Council, in conjunction with their Neighbourhood Plan Review, commissioned a review of the designated conservation area and production of an Appraisal and Management Plan.

5.    Officers were satisfied that the draft document and proposed boundary extension met with the tests of Historic England’s guidance for Conservation Area designation and appraisal and the draft documents were issued for a public consultation.

6.    Internal consultation was undertaken in September 2022 and feedback and responses received fed into the draft document that was issued for public consultation.

7.    A four-week period of public consultation commenced on Wednesday 18 January 2023, closing on Wednesday 15 February 2023. Hard copies of the document were provided at the Drayton Village Hall and Abingdon Library. We were assisted with the advertising of the consultation by the parish clerk.

8.    Under Section 71 of the above act, we have exercised our duty to formulate and produce proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the conservation area. The appraisal document once adopted will form part of the evidence base for the Development Plan. It should be used in the development management process to manage positive change within the designated conservation area or its setting to minimise harm and encourage preservation or enhancement.

Statement of Consultation Methodology

9.    This SPD has been prepared and consulted upon in accordance with the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement (Dec 2022).

10. Appended to this statement is a full Consultation Report (Appendix 2) which outlines the methodology for consultation in accordance with the requirements set out in the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012 (Regulation 13), the full results and how these were reviewed.

11. The Consultation Report summarises how relevant issues have been addressed and supports the proposed adoption of the Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan for Drayton as an SPD in accordance with Regulation 14 of the above regulations.

Summary of the Appraisal Document and alterations to the Proposed Boundary

12. This document has been commissioned and produced by Drayton Parish Council following on from work undertaken as part of their Neighbourhood Plan. The conservation team have reviewed draft versions of the document and advised on changes necessary to ensure the content is appropriate and compliant with current good practice for the production of appraisal and management plans as well as being consistent with council documents. The Conservation Team recognise the work undertaken by Drayton Parish Council and support the adoption of the appraisal.

13. The document provides a summary of the history of Drayton and its development, an assessment of its historic and architectural interest, a gazetteer of local interest buildings (non-listed structures) and illustrative maps showing various details of spatial and character analysis.

14. During a review of the existing Conservation Area boundary, the Parish Council have identified areas that are of sufficient interest and significance to be considered for inclusion within the designated boundary (see map at Appendix 1). The Conservation Team have also reviewed the proposed areas for inclusion and are in agreement with the Parish Council that these areas meet the tests to be included in the designatedarea and support the proposed revisions to the existing boundary.

Proposed changes to the Designated Boundary

15. There are three areas where the existing Conservation Area Boundary is proposed for revision. The proposals are shown at Appendix 1.

·         Extension to add the historic core of Sutton Wick and Millennium Green, to the north.

·         Extension to add an area east of Church Lane.

·         Extension to add a small area west of Abingdon Road, across from High Street.

Summary of consultation responses received

16. In total, 14 responses were received during the public consultation period. This is made up of 10 responses via the online survey and 4 responses via email.

17. Further detail and the list of responses can be found in Appendix 2, the Drayton Consultation Report produced by the Consultation and Community Engagement Team.

18.Overall, the responses received were generally supportive of the content of the document. Summaries of the changes made as a result of the comments are detailed below.

Proposed changes to the consultation version of the Appraisal Document

19. The draft appraisal document will be updated to reflect the outcome of the public consultation. Specifically, Section 1 will be updated with the dates of consultation and outcome of adoption and more up-to-date photographs will replace older ones to reflect recent developments.

20. In this and several other conservation area appraisal consultations we have had feedback concerning the accessibility and ease of use of some of the interactive features of the consultation draft appraisals, such as the mapping. In light of this, we have simplified these elements across all of our appraisal work, including the Drayton conservation area appraisal. No content will be lost as a result of these changes.

21. There are no other major changes anticipated to the document.


22. There are three options for Cabinet:

1)    To find that the Drayton Conservation Area as proposed to be extended is of special architectural and historic interest and designate the whole area as a conservation area and adopt the accompanying appraisal.

2)    To find that the Drayton Conservation Area as proposed to be extended is not of special architectural and historic interest and not to extend the designated area, leaving the existing boundary as the designated conservation area.

3)    To find that there is an area of special architectural and historic interest that extends beyond the existing boundary but that it should be different to that proposed. Having identified and justified the difference to designate that area the conservation area.

23. Based upon officers’ assessment of Drayton as presented in the Conservation Area Appraisal and the responses received during public consultation, it is recommended that the proposed extension to the boundary is adopted and the whole area is designated Drayton Conservation Area together with adopting the accompanying Appraisal, which is in line with Option (1) above and the recommendations made at the beginning of this report.

Climate and ecological impact implications

24. There are no anticipated negative climate or ecological implications as a result of the proposed boundary revision or appraisal document.

25. The management plan section of the document encourages high quality and energy efficient designs to combat climate change for all proposed development within the conservation area.

26. Conservation Area designation also specifically increases protection of trees over a certain size.

27. The appraisal document also notes that: “The Green offers an opportunity for enhancement through the re-engineering of the road junction giving greater priority to pedestrians, rationalising car parking and landscaping to create a greater sense of a public open space.” 

Financial Implications

28. Any council decision that has financial implications must be made with the knowledge of the council’s overarching financial position. For Vale, the position reflected in the council’s medium-term financial plan (MTFP) as reported to full Council in February 2023 showed that the council was able to set a balanced budget for 2023/24, but that there is expected to be a budget gap in future years.  However, there is great uncertainty over this caused by a lack of clarity from government.


29. The future funding gap is predicted to increase to over £7.8 million by 2027/28, based on current cautious officer estimates of future funding levels.  Whilst it is anticipated that overall funding for the council will remain relatively unchanged in 2024/25, the lack of certainty on future local government funding from 2025/26 onwards means the level of funding, and the resulting estimated funding gap, could be significantly different from current officer estimates in either a positive or negative way.  Every financial decision, particularly those involving medium-term funding commitments (i.e. those beyond 2024/25), needs to be cognisant of the potential for significant funding gaps in future years.


30. The process of designating a conservation area entails a small external cost to advertise the designation of a new boundary to meet the statutory notification requirements as described in the legal implications section below.

31. Dwellings within the proposed extension once designated would be required to apply for planning permission for certain works that no longer benefit from permitted development rights. In the case of these proposed changes this affects at least 50 properties.

32. There will be some increased work to the council arising from the processing of those applications but some of the cost of processing these applications would be recovered from the planning fee. Additionally, there may be a small increase in overall workload for the service that might not be recovered because some cases will be more complex than average. However, having regard to the number of additional properties that the extension would cover, this impact is likely to be very modest relative to annual workloads.

33. The modest costs associated with the above points will be met from existing Planning budgets.

Legal Implications

34. The Appraisal meets the Council’s obligations required by the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Under Sections 69 and 71 of the Act, the Council should review conservation area boundaries from time-to-time and formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of any parts of their area which are conservation areas. This Appraisal for Drayton forms part of the Council’s rolling programme of providing conservation area appraisals for all its designated conservation areas.

35. The principal legal effect of the designation of an area as a conservation area is control over demolition of buildings (including structures classed as buildings in planning legislation) and control over works to trees. In determining applications, the council also has a duty under the Planning Acts to have regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area and there are less generous permitted development rights, under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015.

36. The Act requires that the designation of a new conservation area or variation to it be advertised in the London Gazette, a local newspaper and registered as a local land charge. The Secretary of State (DCMS) and Historic England will also be notified.


37. No strategic or operational risks associated with the matters covered in this report have been identified

Other implications

38. An Equality Impact Assessment is not required for this Conservation Area Appraisal document. The document is a supplementary guide to existing planning policy and statutory designation with no negative impact on associated policies, service users or employees. The document has been produced to be as accessible as possible.


39. Having regard to the evidence collected and presented in the Drayton Conservation Area Appraisal and to the responses received during consultation, it is recommended that the Drayton Conservation Area boundary is amended as proposed. It is also recommended that the Conservation Area Appraisal document is adopted for development management purposes in line with the recommendations made at the beginning of this report.



Background Papers

·        Appendix 1: Drayton Conservation Area Proposed Boundary Map

·        Appendix 2: Consultation Report



Appendix 1: Drayton Conservation Area Proposed Boundary Map

Appendix 2: Consultation Report