Council empowers residents to preserve treasured Ironbridge Gorge

Telford & Wrekin Council has today announced planning surgeries which aim to support residents planning any alterations to their properties within the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site (WHS).

Council empowers residents to preserve treasured Ironbridge Gorge

These informative sessions will enable residents to make well-informed decisions if they are contemplating any changes or carrying out work to their dwelling houses and surrounding land.

The Ironbridge Gorge, a place of unparalleled historical significance and natural beauty, holds the prestigious title of 'World Heritage Site' and is also designated as the 'Severn Gorge Conservation Area.' 

These designations underscore the utmost importance of preserving its unique character and appearance in all planning decisions.

Councillor Carolyn Healy (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Green Spaces, Heritage & Leisure said: "These surgeries for planning in the World Heritage Site present a useful opportunity for our residents to get comprehensive information and expert guidance, empowering them to safeguard this cherished World Heritage site for future generations.                                                                                     

Recognising the challenges residents face with planning matters, such as alterations and unauthorised works, these surgeries will provide localised support which aim to reduce enforcement issues, fostering a supportive environment for addressing planning concerns within the WHS community."

Councillor Richard Overton (Lab) Telford & Wrekin Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Homes & Enforcement said: "The 'Article 4 Direction' applied to all dwellings within the WHS boundary emphasises our commitment to safeguarding the area's distinctiveness. 

This measure ensures that even minor works are conducted with utmost care to maintain the site's unique character and preserve its 'Outstanding Universal Value.”

The surgeries will serve as signposts for residents, directing them to relevant guidance on how to carry out any works to their property while safeguarding the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area's built and natural environment. 

Additionally, expert advice on the considerations for any alterations will be available during these sessions. In addition to the drop-in sessions, residents can access advice through the planning service virtually or by phone, ensuring continuous support in preserving the site's exceptional heritage. Valuable resources and information can be accessed through the Telford & Wrekin Council web pages:

Planning applications and advice, appeals, enforcement and guidance 

Listed buildings, conservation areas and heritage assets

The community surgeries for planning in the World Heritage Site will launch with the following dates and locations:

Thursday 10 August 2023 | 11am - 2pm
The Furnace Kitchen in Coalbrookdale 

Thursday 14 September 2023 I 11am - 2 pm
The Tontine in Ironbridge