Netherlee and Crookfur conservation areas approved

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Council chiefs have decided to approve plans to formally designate conservation areas at Netherlee and Crookfur Cottage Homes.

The proposed Netherlee zone is characterised by two-storey, red sandstone terraces while the Crookfur area includes groups of cottages and buildings, designed by Sir Basil Spence, Glover and Ferguson.

Conservation areas are introduced “to protect the character and appearance of areas that they consider to be of special architectural or historic interest”, a report to councillors explains.

Speaking at a full council meeting, a council officer said: “Conservation area status is about permitted development rights in relation to planning. It covers issues such as driveways, UPVC windows, traditional sash windows etc.”

Netherlee “is an attractive and distinctive area, with a broadly uniform and coherent character and appearance”.

“It is considered that conservation area designation would be the most effective way of ensuring that the area’s character and appearance is preserved and enhanced,” the report states.

The Crookfur Cottage Homes are “predominantly of traditional construction and incorporate materials such as white harling and slate, as well as other elements of more modern design, such as monopitched roofs”.

“The cottages sit in pleasant wooded grounds, have a uniform and coherent character and appearance and are unique in East Renfrewshire.”

In Crookfur, 108 residential properties would be affected by the plans while 683 residential and 30 commercial or community premises would be impacted at Netherlee.

Affected properties will have fewer permitted development rights, meaning planning permission will be required to build extensions and outbuildings over a certain size, demolish front boundary walls and gate piers, form driveways in front gardens or change traditional windows and doors to UPVC windows and doors.

Before designating conservation areas, local authorities are expected to carry out consultation.

As East Renfrewshire’s scheme is included in its Local Development Plan, the consultation “can be deemed to have been carried out” during that process, the report explains.

There are currently five conservation areas within East Renfrewshire at Eaglesham, Busby, Giffnock, Upper Whitecraigs and Lower Whitecraig.