Survey brings villagers one step closer to conservation

Work to help conserve and enhance the special character of two villages in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is one step nearer to getting underway.

Members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) have approved the latest Conservation Area appraisals for Buckden and Langcliffe.

The appraisals detail the things that make the villages so special and suggest work that might be done to look after them in the future.

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They also include changes to the Conservation Area boundaries in both villages.

Drafts of the appraisals went out to public consultation so that people could have their say about what they thought of the proposals.

The authority will now be working with the parish councils and other agencies to decide which of the proposals for action should be taken forward.

Examples of the kind of action envisaged include simplifying road signs or reducing the amount of overhead wiring.

Roger Bingham, the YDNPA member champion for conservation of cultural heritage, said: "We had good feedback from residents about the proposals for future action and their input has been invaluable in refining the appraisals.

"Comments ranged from concerns over inappropriate uPVC windows and on-road parking to the need for further tree planting.

"Much of the character of the Dales' villages depends on little details that don't require planning permission and can easily be lost through incremental change.

"The appraisals are intended to draw attention to things that might not be thought of by some householders but that help them protect the character of these attractive villages."

There are a total of 37 conservation areas in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the national park authority is in the process of producing appraisals for each of them.

Robert White, the YDNPA's senior historic environment officer, said: "Some of the possible actions that have been identified in the appraisals sound quite straightforward, like simplifying road signs or reducing the amount of overhead wiring but, in practice, can take an awful lot of negotiation."