The Conservation Area

Morcott has been a ‘Conservation Village’ since 1981, and in Autumn 2014 the Conservation Area was significantly extended.  The information on this web-page is supplied by Rutland County Council and is correct as at 31 October 2014.


What is a Conservation Area?
A conservation area is “an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance” (Listed Buildings Act, 1990).

Morcott Conservation Area was declared in 1981 and is one of 34 conservation areas in Rutland. It is not the purpose of a conservation area to prevent all new development but to manage change to protect the character and appearance of the area. Conservation areas are not intended to be preserved as a museum piece.

In consultation with the Parish Council and residents, Rutland County Council has prepared a conservation area appraisal for Morcott. This identifies the features that contribute to Morcott’s special character and appearance and which justify its conservation area status. The appraisal was adopted as supplementary planning guidance in October 2014. The conservation area boundary was also revised to include the whole of the village and adjacent land that is important to the setting of the village. The revised boundary is shown on THIS MAP (a pdf of RCC’s map of the village and its Conservation Area).

What is the special character of Morcott Conservation Area?
The appraisal identifies the special character of Morcott as resulting from: the compact layout in which the historic Saxon and medieval street pattern is still apparent; good quality stone building; visual harmony created by the use of a limited range of materials, notably limestone with steep pitched, gabled Welsh slate or Collyweston roofs; the simple, understated design of buildings, with limited decoration; tight enclosure with houses predominantly at theback of footway, especially along High Street, and stone boundary walls; harmony is reinforced by the majority of buildings being two storey; green space, verges, trees and greenery within private gardens and along the former railway provide balance with the stone buildings; The low height of houses means that key buildings, such as St Mary’s Church, Morcott Hall and the Manor House are prominent in views within the conservation area.

What is the effect of the Conservation Area Designation?
Conservation area designation recognises that the character of the area should be protected and there are more stringent planning controls in respect of new development, demolition, alterations and work to trees. Within a conservation area, planning permission is needed to: clad buildings in stone, artificial stone, render, timber, plastic or tiles; enlarge a house by an addition or alteration to the roof, such as a dormer window; extend beyond the side wall of the original house; extend by more than one storey beyond the rear wall of the original house; demolish boundary walls or buildings of more than
115 cubic metres; install a satellite dish on a chimney, wall or roof facing and visible from a highway; display illuminated advertisements.
When deciding planning applications within a conservation area, the Council is required to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area. Planning applications are also subject to extra publicity through press and site notices and consultation with the parish council.

Repair and Restoration
Rather than replacing existing features, sympathetic repair and restoration will help preserve the appearance of the village. If beyond repair, matching as closely as possible the original materials and design will maintain the traditional character.
Examples of sympathetic repair include: re-using original slates or tiles or re-roofing in matching slates or tiles; re-pointing brick and stone with soft lime mortar rather than cement; rebuilding, not removing, chimney stacks; repairing windows and doors rather than replacing them. Timber windows rather than upvc are appropriate to the area. Secondary double-glazing or simple draught proofing can be cheaper and might better preserve the appearance of the property. Front boundary walls are important features and should be retained.

Trees within the Conservation Area
Trees are an important feature and are given special protection. It is an offence to cut down, lop, top or uproot a tree without giving at least six weeks notice in writing to the Development Control section at Rutland County Council. This allows the Council to consider whether the tree is worthy of protection by serving a Tree Preservation Order.
Certain works do not require consent. These include: work to a dead, dying or dangerous tree which is in imminent danger (although the Development Control section at Rutland County Council should be given five days notice of proposed work to such trees); work to a tree that is less than 75mm in diameter 1.5 metres above ground; work by certain statutory undertakers, such as electricity suppliers; work to fruit trees in a commercial orchardl work required as part of a development authorised by a detailed planning approval.

Further Information
If you are considering making alterations or repairs to a building within the conservation area, you are welcome to contact the Conservation Officer at Rutland County Council on 01572 758268.

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