So what is there to see? The key items are two documents:
- Cale Green Conservation Area Character Appraisal (17 pages); and
There isn't time to take all that in at the exhibition so I have provided the above links. Local historians will find these documents of interest as they provide a brief description of all the key buildings in each area, as well as some info of buildings which are no longer there.
The exhibition also provides some photos of the key buildings, mostly modern photos, but there are some historic shots as well. None of these photos appear in the documents. (Two of these buildings are currently for sale: 1 Edgeley Fold and 44 Mountfield Road.)
The exhibition also highlights some of the buildings in easy to read bites on A4 pages.
The objective of the conservation area is to preserve their character. The consequence is that there will be restrictions on making visible changes to the buildings and walls, including replacing wooden frames with PVCu, use of sympathetic dormer windows and no painting or rendering of brick walls (unless already done). Notice also has to be given before trees are cut down, in case the Council wishes to object. It is more onerous on residents, but it says there will be no charge for making planning applications, where an application would not be necessary if it weren't a conservation area. It is to be hoped that residents welcome these controls in return for protecting the character of the area.
The boundaries are interesting. It excludes most of the terraced houses, except for the larger ones, such as those built for the bleachworks managers. I suspect that they don't wish to overlap with the Shaw Heath Renewal Area and place limits on the Council's investment in repairing the cheaper housing stock. I imagine that they don't wish to put controls where there is perceived to be a risk of economic decline.
It is a shame that more of the terrace houses aren't included. Some of the brickwork in terrace houses on the Northern side of Edgeley is very striking. I can't think of anywhere comparable.
I think the Alexandra Park Conservation Area should be extended up St Lesmo Road, though perhaps not quite as far as my house.