Sports, leisure and the Arts Ballbrook Conservation area

Improvement and enhancement

It is envisaged that small-scale development and refurbishment will take place from time to time. The main aim of designation is to ensure that the character and quality of both the buildings and the spaces between them is retained. As with all conservation areas, attention must be paid to maintaining harmony with regard to building heights, the type and the colour of materials.

The owners of properties will be encouraged to replace like for like when considering repairs to walls, roofs, windows and mouldings. Artificial materials such as Upvc for windows or concrete for walls will not be encouraged, and the painting of brick and stone elements is considered to be inappropriate and conducive to rapid deterioration.

Walls are generally red or orange-red brick with dressings in stone, moulded brick or a contrasting colour of brick. Heavily moulded and strongly contrasting colours in terracotta or faience are to be used with restraint.

Roofs on Ballbrook houses are predominantly of plain red tile and this should be used as a replacement. Ridge tiles sometimes have decorative fins, and similar matching tiles should be used where replacements are needed.

In existing buildings, windows should follow the pattern of the originals they replace. Although the openings may be either vertically or horizontally proportioned, they are always subdivided into vertical panes by mullions. A transom often separates a smaller top light from the main window below. The frames should be made from moulded timber sections and set in the same plane as the originals. In new development, windows should be set back at least one brick depth from the front face of the wall.

Where boundary treatments are being renewed, walls, preferably matching the originals, should be constructed in brick with moulded brick copings. Advice should be sought from the South Area Team to establish whether or not planning permission is required for such work.

Existing examples are approximately one metre high, although further height may be achieved by an evergreen hedge. Hedges without walls are not acceptable; most existing hedges are privet, but other evergreen species may be planted.

Fences are inappropriate, and should never be used in Ballbrook, although rustic pergolas to support climbing plants are acceptable. Gate piers should be replaced in brick with terracotta copings, rather than concrete or timber. Each of these solutions requires less maintenance than the initially cheaper alternatives.

None of the original cast-iron street lamp standards remain today, having been replaced with modern concrete poles. An opportunity exists to re-create some of the original character of the area by replacing them with Victorian-style, cast-iron columns with appropriate lanterns, provided that the levels of illumination and maintenance meet with present-day requirements.

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