Norwich families could find home improvement plans hit by heritage protection

Families in more than a hundred homes around Norwich have been told improvements to their homes will only be allowed if they do not detract from the area's historic character.

Norwich City Council has been drawing up blueprints to protect the city's heritage and has recently carried out 11 appraisals of conservation areas, with Heigham Grove and Bracondale the most recently approved.

The point of the appraisals is to look at the historic development, design, architectural and natural character of the areas, so officers can propose how to manage and enhance the area.

Being in a conservation area can protect features of buildings and make it tougher to obtain planning permission for projects which might damage the area's look, with owners encouraged to make sympathetic changes when making alterations, such as replacement windows.

The council has just published what is known as an Article 4 direction, controlling what can happen at certain properties in Heigham Grove and Bracondale, as well as in two sections of the city centre conservation area – Calvert Street and Bishopgate.

A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: 'People are still able to improve their homes, but we have introduced measures to ensure original building features are preserved and the historic character of the area is maintained and enhanced.

'When people make an application for something that might not be in keeping with conservation, we will work with them to find a solution that means others can enjoy that area's heritage for years to come.'

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Among the streets affected are parts of Conesford Drive, King Street, Carrow Hill, Cambridge Street, Essex Street, Clarendon Road, Grosvenor Road, Unthank Road, Park Lane, Mill Hill Road, Trinity Street and Earlham Road.

Is it right to protect the city's heritage in this way? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email