Liverpool is a city of history, but it isn’t a history that needs to be learnt through books, lectures and documentaries; the history of Liverpool is visible as you walk around the magnificent city itself.
Liverpool’s heritage, history and culture are retained in its structures. With the second most listed buildings out of any city in the country behind the capital and nearly 10% of it under the jurisdiction of conservation areas, great steps have been taken to preserve the history of the city.
The oldest grade one listed building in Liverpool is the Toxteth Unitarian Chapel, built in 1618 to provide a chapel for the growing puritan Christian population. However, the iconic buildings of Liverpool all come from the peak of the British Empire when the city was the most important port in the world. The Liver Building, The Town Hall, The Albert Docks are all grade one listed buildings that fully display the awesome power the city portrayed to the world.
Behind the construction of the city’s most iconic buildings during the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras was a massive wave of housing expansion in the city to accommodate the rapidly growing population. Many of these districts now fall under the jurisdiction of conversation areas and are some of the city’s most sort after properties.
The concept of Conservation Areas was introduced in the Civic Amenities act of 1967; Liverpool now has 26 Conservation Areas, 11 of which are considered ‘outstanding’ by the Department of the Environment.
The designation of a Conservation Area means the City Council has to give special care to the maintenance and any future development within the area. Well-known areas such as Castle Street, the traditional business centre of the city, became a Conservation Area quickly and is stuffed with listed buildings including the Liver Building.
You’re unlikely to live in the Liver Building, however if you live on Princes Road, Rodney Street, Mount Pleasant, William Brown Street, Canning Street or any of the other historic Conservation areas that are dotted around the city it is important that you look after your property, more so than any new build; and this can come with complications.
For example, it took years to get planning permission to replace a window in the Wavertree Garden Suburb Conservation Area. Even after the approval was given in May 2015, it was only for two properties, with many others home-owners ignoring the council when they replaced their classic Sash Windows with modern UPVC replacements (http://www.liverpool.ndo.co.
It’s an undeniable fact that old timber windows can rot and decay after nearly a century of wear and tear and any resident should be able to address this. But for houses in Conservation Areas, there are alternatives to replacing the windows outright that does not need City Council permission.
For example, Joineryworkshop.com has over 15 years’ experience repairing sash windows and replacing them with new timber if necessary. We specialise in ensuring that the windows are changed as little as possible, and therefore come under the agreed ‘permitted development’ clause of the Conservation Area.