Weston’s conservation area approved by council executives

The proposed conservation area. Picture: North Somerset Council

The proposed conservation area. Picture: North Somerset Council - Credit: North Somerset Council

Plans to extend Weston’s conservation area – and open it up to receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of grants – has been given the green light.

North Somerset Council executives praised the work of the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) team, which proposed turning the five existing conservation areas into one larger area.

The Great Weston Conservation Area stretches from Birnbeck Pier, in the north, to Royal Sands, in the south, and also includes the town centre.

The area is considered worthy of preservation or enhancement because of its special architectural or historical interest.

Weston, at the moment, has five areas of conservation: Birnbeck Pier, the Boulevard, Beach Lawns, Ellenborough Park and Grove Park.

HAZ officer Cara MacMahon said: “The adoption of Great Weston Conservation Area is a game changer for Weston.

“By including the town centre in the conservation area, we gain access to the partnership grants scheme from Historic England.

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“This scheme will generate at least £500k of grants from Historic England over the next four years to enhance shop fronts.

“It will also engage us with shop owners and residents as partners and stakeholders in the shaping of Weston as a quality place to live, work and enjoy.”

The HAZ is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme, which is delivering improvements to key development sites and encouraging investment within the town.

The vision focuses on the themes of living, learning and lifestyle in the hope of turning Weston into a lively university town.

At an executive meeting on December 4, council leader Nigel Ashton thanked Ms MacMahon and her team for their ‘tremendous effort’ on the project.

Hillside Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, who is also chairman of the museum and heritage sub-committee on Weston Town Council, said the area will recognise the value of the town’s built heritage and emphasises the need to care for it.

He added: “It is very important people who live in the area can be emotionally and personally attached to an area.

“All too often people feel detached from an area and therefore they don’t care about it.

“This is about bringing back that sense of personal attachment.”