Plans to make the Old Meadows, which includes the Embankment and Memorial Gardens, into a conservation area have been approved by Nottingham City Council.

The proposals, which were put forward by members of the community through the Old Meadows Tenants and Residents Association, will help protect the area’s distinctive historical and architectural features.

Conservation areas are parts of a city with special character and historic interest. They are granted a unique protection status and are subject to additional planning controls, to help safeguard and enhance them. The character and appearance of the conservation area are taken into account for all types of development and this includes ensuring architecture is preserved and special consent gained to tear down buildings.

Planning permission will be required for the total demolition of a building, the demolition of a wall, gate or fence over one metre high and cladding the outside of a house. Extensions, which are smaller than required outside a conservation area, would also require permission as will installing satellite dishes. Notice will also be required for works on trees.

The Old Meadows has a number of distinctive historical and architectural features, which have contributed to the proposals being be put forward.

 These include:

  • The distinctive red brick terraced houses arranged in a grid-like pattern of roads
  • Historical industrial, public and commemorative buildings/structures
  • The riverside promenade of Victoria Embankment, The Meadows Recreation Ground and The Memorial Gardens, which creates a pathway of public green space, and covers around 50% of the proposed new conservation area 
  • The curving path of Wilford Crescent East and West results in an attractive sequence of views and a distinctive townscape
  • Large suburban villas fronting the river provide a contrast with the denser brick buildings further north.

The plans for the Old Meadows were consulted on at the end of 2019 and residents have welcomed the move.

Margaret Spencer of the Old Meadows Tenant’s and Residents Association said: “I have lived in The Meadows all of my life and am very passionate about the area. I have seen many changes over the years, but I believe it is very important that future generations should be aware of the history of the area, and that history lies in the buildings and layout.

“The Meadows is a great place to live, with so many amenities such as easy access to buses, trams, railway station, town, sports grounds and most important of all, the lovely Victoria Embankment.

“I truly believe that conservation status would benefit the whole of the Old Meadows.”

Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage, Councillor Linda Woodings said: “We’re very proud of the city’s historical buildings and structures which bring significant benefits to the city and create a sense of place specific only to Nottingham.

“The city’s unique character and history is a powerful pull for investment and, now approved, the conservation area in the Old Meadows could provide a catalyst for investment by making the area eligible for heritage grant funding as well as protecting the area’s historical character for future generations to come.”