Draft appraisal of St Peters Conservation Area published

July 2017

You can read the draft appraisal of St Peters Conservation Area here.

The document will be launched at St Peters Church Fete on Saturday 8th July, where we will be very happy to answer any questions.

Two copies are also available in Caversham Library from July 8th, together with a consultation leaflet, which can be returned to Waltons Jewellers on Prospect Street, who have kindly agreed to collect the completed forms.

Please use this link to our online form for your comments.

If you prefer you can also comment: by emailing appraisal@cadra.org.uk, or by writing to: St Peters Conservation Area Appraisal Comments, 121 Upper Woodcote Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 7LB

The consultation period runs from July 8th to August 19th.

This will be your main chance to comment on the document.

As it will be important to able to show that the appraisal has public support, your views will be very much welcomed.

We look forward hearing from you.

Launch of the Draft Appraisal for St Peters Conservation Area, Caversham

June 2017

The new draft appraisal for St Peters Conservation Area will be launched at St Peters Fete on the afternoon of Saturday 8th July. It will available here, shortly before July 8th, together with supporting information, and two copies will be held in Caversham Library.

Several CADRA committee members serve on the new Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC), a group of volunteers drawn from similar groups across Reading who provide expertise to supplement the limited resources RBC can deploy for its conservation role. A major long-term task is to review and update the appraisals that justify all 15 Conservation Areas, two of which - St Peters and Surley Row - lie north of the river. The review of St Peters, covering the historic centre of Caversham, is one of the first. Last July, 28 volunteers attended a briefing followed by a walking tour to identify features of importance and also detractors from the area. A key proposal was to extend the Conservation Area to include the Church Street/ Church Road/ Bridge Street junction, Bridge Street, and Caversham Bridge, and this proposal has been incorporated into the appraisal.

It is hoped that the appraisal will eventually be adopted by Reading Borough Council as part of its formal planning policy. The engagement of residents and building owners is key to its credibility and acceptance by RBC, which will have to undertake its own formal consultation to give the document full legal force.

This consultation will run from Saturday 8 July until Saturday 19 August.

This will be your main chance to comment on the document. As it will be important to able to show that the appraisal has public support, your views will be very much welcomed.

There will be some simple questions for you to complete, either on line or via a consultation leaflet which will be available at the fete and at the library. Waltons Jewellers on Prospect Street have kindly agreed to collect paper responses.

Do look out for the appraisal which will be online a few days before the fete on 8 July, together with information on how to comment.

We will look forward to seeing you at the fete, or hearing from you with your comments.

A new appraisal of St Peter’s Conservation Area

June 2016

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There is to be a community led re-appraisal of St Peter’s Conservation Area (CA). Once adopted by the Council, this will be an important influence on planning decisions.

Conservation Areas in Reading

Reading has 15 Conservation Areas, including Surley Row and St Peter's north of the river. They should be appraised every 5 years to ensure that they reflect the up to date situation and are continuing to do the job they are designed for – to protect areas ‘the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.

A new community-led, Reading–wide Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) has been set up to advise the Council when preparing CA Appraisals or policies for the preservation and enhancement of CAs, Heritage Sites or other areas of historical importance. CADRA and Friends of Caversham Court Gardens are both represented on the new CAAC.

Community-led appraisals will involve local people in assessing their CAs.  Once a series of stages have been successfully completed the new appraisals will be formally adopted by Reading Borough Council and they will inform local planning decisions. The first Reading CA to begin their community–led appraisal was the Russell Street & Castle Hill CA, a large densely populated  CA experiencing many of the problems of multiple occupation and inner city living.

Advice from Historic England

Historic England has a statutory role to give expert, constructive advice to owners, local authorities and the public, and to champion the wider historic environment. (English Heritage – now an independent charity – manages heritage sites and buildings.) Historic England have recently been advising both the Council and community volunteers. They organised training in Reading for local volunteers to teach them how to do appraisals of CAs using a ‘toolkit’.

Launching work on St Peter’s CA

Historic England are clear that the appraisal should include local involvement and should capture local views on what makes the area special and distinctive. A launch event was held on 16 July 2016, when those interested heard presentations and walked parts of the area, using the toolkit to record information contributing to a Character Assessment. The two presentations are here: initial presentation and second presentation.

As part of the exercise, historical maps, photographs and other information are being gathered. If you can contribute information about individual buildings in or near the CA, that would be very welcome. Please contact:  StPeterCA@cadra.org.uk

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St Peter’s Conservation Area

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