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Conserving Your Town
Thursday 8th January, 2009

Conserving Your Town
The Raven pub in Wigan town centre, an example of a building within the conservation area.

The public are being asked for their views on two of the borough’s conservation areas.
Howe Bridge in Atherton and Wigan town centre are the latest of the 23 areas where the council has identified special historic or architectural interest.

Both of these conservation areas were first listed about 30 years ago. As part of its work, planning officers have commissioned two fascinating reports into their architectural and historic significance.

Councillor John Hilton, chair of the council’s planning committee, says: “We are carrying out a borough-wide review of conservation areas, and I hope that anyone interested in the heritage of Howe Bridge and Wigan will take a look at the documents. I would encourage everyone to give us their comments.”

Both appraisals outline the varied histories of each area as well as examining the quality of the built environment and street scene which is very different in both conservation areas. Each document also examines proposals to amend the existing conservation area boundaries to ensure adequate protection for the historic environment.

Buildings of interest in the areas include St Michael and All Angels Church and School in Howe Bridge and in Wigan, the Raven Hotel and old Bluecoats School.

Planners say the conservation area appraisal review will provide the basis of plans to protect the best of the past whilst providing for the needs of today’s modern society. The council is now looking for the thoughts of local residents and businesses on both documents.

Copies of the report are being circulated to local residents living within the conservation areas. A copy of either appraisal is available on request or can be viewed on the conservation areas section of the council’s website, where a comments form is also available to complete and download.

The Wigan consultation will begin on Monday January 12, with the closing day for comments Friday February 27. The Howe Bridge consultation starts on Monday January 19, with comments needed by Friday March 6.

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