Morcott Parish Council has agreed its response to Rutland County Council’s appraisal of the village’s Conservation Area.
It is reproduced in full below, with Appendix 1 and 2 attached as pdfs, along with photographs that correspond to specific points in MPC’s response.
RESPONSE FROM MORCOTT PARISH COUNCIL
1 Morcott Parish Council (MPC) welcomes the Conservation Area Appraisal which reflects and complements Morcott’s Village Plan. The latter provides information and illustration which provide context for this response and it is commended for examination alongside it.
2 It welcomes the intention that it should have the status of supplementary planning guidance and be a material consideration when the County Council considers planning applications in the village.
3 MPC supports Management Proposal 1 in Appendix 3 of the document aimed at ensuring that new development pays special attention to the preservation or enhancement of the character or appearance of the village. In line with this intent, we request that the Appendix to Morcott Village Plan entitled “Development Principles and Guidelines” be appended in full to the Appraisal to add further detail and guidance.
4 It confirms that it does not view it necessary at present to introduce an Article 4 direction in Morcott. It considers that unsympathetic alterations to houses are rare and not sufficiently widespread to justify the removal of individual property development rights which an Article 4 direction would introduce.
5 It supports Management Proposal 2 in Appendix 3 to extend the conservation area to include Crown House and Sycamore House, in line with the requirement in the Listed Buildings Act for the review of conservation area boundaries.
Further, MPC recommends that the advent of the appraisal is used for a more extensive review of the conservation area boundary to include some of the built environment adjoining it together with areas of open land around the village. Both the Village Plan and the Conservation Area Appraisal confirm that the fine views of undulating farmland enhance the character of the conservation village and need to be preserved. In many other Rutland villages (Ashwell, Barrowden, Braunston in Rutland, Egleton, Lyddington, Seaton, Tinwell) the conservation area boundaries are not drawn as tightly around the village as they are in Morcott. The English Heritage guidance (paragraph 1.15) notes that the boundaries of some conservation areas designated many years ago (as Morcott’s were) may have been drawn too tightly.
The parish council’s proposals for an extended conservation area boundary are attached as Appendix 1, together with supporting maps and photographs.
It should be noted that this idea was aired and widely supported at the public consultation in the village on 13 May 2014.
6 Morcott Parish Council supports Management Proposal 5 in Appendix 3 of the Conservation Area Appraisal which recommends that there should be liaison with the statutory undertakers to secure the routing of electricity cables underground, as has happened in other Rutland villages. As well as having an adverse impact on the overall quality and appearance of the conservation area, this old method of power supply is vulnerable to damage in bad weather and causes frequent breakdowns in supply.
A further problem is that in order to maintain the supply the electricity company appears to have the right to pollard and possibly de-crown obstructive trees. As an example, a cedar at the eastern end of the churchyard was aggressively pruned in December 2013. Photographic evidence of this is available.
7 The appraisal rightly observes that low, vitrified kerbstones are an attractive feature of the Morcott street scene. However, it fails to note the damage to these which has been caused by heavy goods vehicles, which often mount the kerb to pass obstructions. Although there are restrictions in place which should limit the access of such traffic these are regularly ignored. It is strongly recommended that the appraisal recognises this and recommends action to reduce further risk. This could involve the re-siting of the road signs which limit access to make them visible at the entries to the village and through enforcement of the controls.
8 MPC welcomes the intention expressed in Management Proposals 3 and 4 in Appendix 3 to raise awareness of the implications of conservation area designation and to provide advice on the sympathetic repair of features of architectural or historic interest.
Appendix 1 – is the proposal from Morcott Parish Council to extend the boundary of the current Conservation Area.
Appendix 2 – maps the suggested boundary extension.
Appendix 3 – is an aerial photo on which key sightlines into areas C, D and E are indicated.
Photo C, Photo D and Photo E each illustrate an area referred to in Appendices 1 + 2.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSE: The above is Morcott Parish Council’s response to RCC. In addition, all villagers are encouraged to make their own individual responses direct to RCC, whether your view is in line with MPC’s response, or whether your view differs from MPC’s response.
Individual responses may be made by EMAIL to email@example.com or by using the RESPONSE FORM that can be found on RCC’s website page about Morcott Conservation Area Appraisal.
The deadline for submitting responses to Rutland County Council is 4.45pm on 24 June 2014. If you have any queries about submitting your response, please contact RCC on 01572 722 577 and ask for the Planning Policy section.