Where a development may impact on a heritage asset, applicants should provide information that describes the significance of any heritage assets affected by the proposed development, including any contribution made by their setting. The assessment of significance should be informed by relevant information including the East Boldon Community Character Statement.
In the determination of development proposals:
- Great weight will be given to the conservation of a designated heritage asset and any harm or loss to its significance will require clear and convincing justification in accordance with national policy; and
- A balanced judgment will be required to fully consider the effects of any development proposals affecting a non-designated heritage asset, having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.
Heritage assets can either be designated or non-designated. Designated assets have statutory status within the plan area and include listed buildings and conservation areas. A nondesignated asset is a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape of lesser significance.
The glossary of the NPPF defines a heritage asset as:
‘A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).’
The NPPF states that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and requires them to be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance. Also, that planning decisions affecting a heritage asset are required to be based on a sound understanding of the significance of the asset and the impact of the proposal on that significance.
The historic assets of East Boldon are a vital part of its character. The plan area includes the East Boldon Conservation Area, as well as seven grade II listed buildings. In addition, there are 16 locally listed buildings, all of which lie within the conservation area. A further eight nondesignated heritage assets have been identified as part of the work on the plan. The East Boldon Community Character Statement (2019) provides an up to date list of the heritage assets within the plan area.
The East Boldon Conservation Area Character Appraisal (2006) provides an overview of the historical development of the area, spatial and character analysis as well as information on loss, intrusion and damage to the conservation area. The character appraisal describes the origins of the development pattern of the area, explaining the important early linkages with West Boldon. The appraisal highlights the important form and materials of the area and describes that the layout of the area is strongly focused on the street frontage with open gardens/ estates behind. It also describes the character of different parts of the conservation area, explaining their special characteristics, what is considered to be ‘against the grain’, key issues and opportunities for enhancement.
The East Boldon Conservation Area Management Plan (2009) seeks to provide guidance for new development. It identifies that historic buildings within the conservation area are increasingly under threat for a number of reasons, including lack of maintenance, insensitive alterations and continued pressure from development. The management plan highlights the need to:
• Retain agricultural land, gardens, parks, recreational areas and other areas of open space;
• Respect the scale, harmony and design of buildings and the wider streetscape;
• Retain trees;
• Preserve and enhance sites of archaeological interest;
• Resist proposals for the demolition of unlisted buildings;
• Retain historic magnesian limestone walling;
• Retain shopfronts that contribute to the character of the building or area; and
• Ensure new shop fronts and signage respect the character and appearance of the host building and surrounding area.
South Tyneside Council has a list of locally significant heritage assets, which identifies 21 heritage assets that lie within the plan area. The East Boldon Community Character Statement provides an up to date list of the heritage assets within the plan area.
The East Boldon Community Character Statement, prepared by the forum, has been informed by the council documents referred to above, but also by a wealth of local knowledge. It is supplemented and reinforced by an architectural survey of the properties on Front Street (north side) and Grange Terrace and Front Street (south side), which form the historic core of the conservation area. The community character statement provides an update to the list of local heritage assets and includes details of tree preservation orders and article 4 directions that apply across the plan area. It is accompanied by two companion architectural survey documents, which provide a summary of the history, development, character and identity of East Boldon village, with particular emphasis on the old village core and the conservation area. They highlight why residents and people who work in the village, value its atmosphere, distinctiveness and community spirit.
The information contained within these documents provide valuable insight to the heritage assets within the plan area and should be used to inform the understanding of the significance of an asset, the significance of which could be effected as a result of unsympathetic development.
The built and historic environment background paper provides a summary of the evidence documents which support the proposed policy approach. It identifies a number of additional heritage assets, which the forum considers to be worthy of local listing by South Tyneside Council:
• 44-60 Front Street;
• Garage Block, Front Street (between Toad Hall and 35 Front Street);
• Church Hall (original) Boldon United Reformed Church, Front Street;
• 85-91 Front Street;
• 1-4a St Bede’s;
• 1-7 The Terrace;
• 1-19 North Lane; and
• Historic passageways leading from Front Street.
Early engagement on the plan identified strong support for the protection and enhancement of heritage assets across the plan area. Policy EB4 therefore seeks to ensure that appropriate weight is given to the impact of a development proposal on the significance of a heritage asset supporting the delivery of plan objective 2.