What is a conservation area?
Conservation areas take many different forms, varying greatly in their nature and character. Watford's conservation areas range from the semi-rural areas of Grove Mill Lane and Watford Heath, to the 1930s civic core at the north-western end of the High Street. Conservation areas are created so that areas of 'special architectural or historic interest' can be preserved or enhanced. Areas of architectural or historical interest might include:
- the historic layout of roads, paths and boundaries
- characteristic building and paving materials
- a particular mix of building uses
- public and private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens
- trees and street furniture
- and spaces between buildings
There are a number of advantages of conservation area designation:
- any new development or redevelopment is more closely controlled in terms of its character and appearance;
- control over demolition prevents underdeveloped sites blighting the area;
- Conservation Area status can encourage residents to form local groups, who can then work with a range of organisations to improve the area even further.