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A Conservation Area is defined as "an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance". In a Conservation Area it is the whole area, made up of the buildings and the spaces in between them, that is of architectural or historic interest. Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a duty on every local planning authority to determine which parts of its area are of special architectural or historic interest and merit Conservation Area status and to prepare and publish proposals for doing so. The purpose of a Conservation Area Appraisal is to define what is important about the character and appearance of an area and to identify its important characteristics. It is also a vital tool to enable the active management of the Conservation Area. It identifies the area's special features and changing needs through a process that includes researching its historical development, carrying out a detailed analysis and preparing a character assessment.

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