/ Sittingbourne High Street gains place on ‘At Risk Register’ for first time
I’ve seen some fairly damming comments with regard to this and whilst there is no doubt that the High Street needs some assistance, this isn’t necessarily the bad news that it might first appear.
A good deal of the High Street forms part of the Sittingbourne Conservation Area which is actually what has been added by English Heritage to their ‘At Risk Register’.
Whilst English Heritage has stated that the High Street is in no immediate danger as such, the condition is however described as poor and continuing to deteriorate.
Swale Conservation Officer, Peter Bell explained to us that recognition of the problem is the first step towards improvement and that in order to gain funding from organisations such as the Lottery Fund recognition from a qualified body such as English Heritage is vital.
The Sittingbourne Conservation Area has been in place since December 1969 with the aim of protecting the wider historic environment, in particular Roman Watling Street, the medieval route of the High Street, important 18th century coaching stop and the predominance of 18th and 19th century development that remains.
Hopefully then this will provide some much needed impetus to gain funding to assist in saving and maintaining our High Street which includes some 26 listed buildings.