Watford’s Conservation Areas - have your say!

St Marys Church

Watford is undertaking an eight-week consultation with residents as part of a review of the town’s Conservation Areas, running from 8 August until 30 September...

Conservation areas exist to protect the uniqueness of places and there are around 10,000 areas in England, with 10 of them within the Borough. They have extra planning controls and considerations in place to protect the historical elements of the area. The areas include: Civic Core, Estcourt, Grove Mill Lane, High Street and King Street, Macdonell Gardens, Nascot, Oxhey, St Mary's, The Square and Watford Heath.

They are normally areas of special architectural or historic interest, including buildings which are included on the council’s Local List. This includes a wide range of properties and structures, from the Watford Girls’ Grammar School and the town’s Central Library, to Edwardian horse troughs and World War II pillboxes.

The list also features buildings in the town that were designed by architects of international importance, such as Erno Goldfinger, Alison and Peter Smithson and Ethel Clara McNamara - one of the first women architects to be recognised as such in England in the 1920s.

The Watford Conservation Area Management Plan is currently being reviewed and updated to ensure the document reflects the latest policy and guidance, as well as ensuring that the unique special interest of the areas are captured and protected.

Residents can have their say via the council’s engagement at watfordheritage.commonplace.is, which allows people to use geographically-focused interactive maps. Users can pin their feedback to specific locations, to help the council understand what local residents are saying - and where. Questions being asked include people’s favourite area of Watford and suggestions for places that could be further enhanced.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “Watford has a lot of beautiful places that need to be preserved to protect the heritage of the town. There are also 259 locally listed buildings in Watford and this document helps protect these buildings and places. It’s so important the council hears from residents about what places and buildings are important to you, and we would really welcome the public’s thoughts on our Conservation Area Appraisals.”

Upon adoption, the plan will set out the actions the council will be taking to ensure that the special architectural or historic interest is protected for future generations. For more information, please visit www.watford.gov.uk/planning.

Published: 8th August 2022

Feedback button