Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Council makes designation to create Leicester’s 25th conservation area

A new conservation area around Leicester’s Fosse Recreation Ground and a nationally-listed Victorian church building has been designated by the city council.

Following consultation with residents, the council has designated the new St Paul’s conservation area to protect the neighbourhood’s special architectural and historic interest.

The new conservation area – the 25th to be designated in the city – is centred on the locally-listed Fosse Recreation Ground and is located a little over 1km west of the city centre. It includes the full 11-acres of the tree-lined park with boundaries on Fosse Road North to the east, and Kirby Road and part of King Richards Road to the south.

Among the landmark buildings in the area are the Grade II-listed former St Paul’s Church on Kirby Road, which dates back to 1870; the late-19th century neo-Gothic St Andrew’s Methodist Church on Glenfield Road East; the Estonian House on Fosse Road North; and several fine examples of late-Victorian and Edwardian villas and terraced housing.

The area has a long history, with notable archaeological significance dating back to the Romans. It also offers a well-preserved built history of Leicester’s suburban development over the last 150 years.

The suggestion to designate St Paul’s as a conservation area was originally proposed by local residents and supported by Fosse ward councillors. A consultation with residents and other local property owners carried out in late 2021 gained a 95% approval for the proposal from those responding.

Conservation areas form parts of the city that have buildings, local landmarks or other features of special historic or architectural interest that deserve to be preserved and enhanced. St Paul’s is the first new conservation area to be designated in the city since 2006, when the designation was made for Granby Street – an area currently the focus of investment through the High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor and city council heritage champion, said: “Conservation areas are an important part of our city’s heritage, and the new St Paul’s conservation area is no exception.

“It tells a fascinating chapter in the Story of Leicester, particularly around the development of our suburbs, with many fine buildings remaining. The area also boasts a very attractive park that plays an important part in promoting biodiversity.

“By designating this latest conservation area we can help ensure that another important part of the city can continue to develop while ensuring that its unique character and architectural heritage is protected for future generations.”

A new management plan will now be adopted for the conservation area which will include a range of further projects and interventions.

The city council is also due to extend the nearby West End conservation area to include Dulverton Road and bring in enhanced planning controls – known as Article 4 Directions – to help protect the distinctive character of properties in both areas.

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