Council approves conservation area

A Liverpool industrial estate famed for jam-making has become a conservation area after approval was granted on Friday morning.

Hartley's Village, Fazakerley, was home to Hartley's jam from the 1880s until the mid-1900s. Local residents and Hartley Village Heritage Council requested the designation to recognise the area's importance as an example of Victorian manufacturing philanthropy, comprising a purpose-built factory, model village for employees and land for recreation.

William Pickles Hartley founded the factory complex in 1886. A staunch Methodist, he advocated the highest standards of workers' welfare as well as jam production. The factory was located so that fresh fruit could be transported into it and processed as quickly as possible, while the workers' housing and recreational facilities were built immediately adjacent to it.

The proposed conservation area boundary includes the surviving elements of the Hartley factory, including the grade II listed red brick factory buildings; the workers' houses in the adjacent residential square; and the reservoir for the steam engine boilers that provided the factory's power. All of these remain a distinct entity within the surrounding 20th century industrial estate.

Since the factory's closure in the mid 1900's, there have been major losses in the area's original character, including loss of factory roofs, removal of soft landscaping in the recreational areas and the alteration of architectural details on many surviving buildings in the wider area. The site of William Hartley's own villa is now a commercial complex on Long Lane.

The council said becoming a conservation area would halt further losses, help enhance sites where losses have occurred and continue to preserve the character and appearance of the village where possible.

Any proposed demolition in the future will be subject to greater controls with a presumption that there should be no demolition of architecturally or historically significant buildings. There will have to be greater consideration given to the design of new buildings and structures in planning decisions. Minor works, not normally subject to planning permission, such as replacing windows and adding minor extensions will be subject to greater controls.

Liverpool currently has 35 conservation areas, covering 1,005 hectares, 9% of the city area, covering 19,000 properties.

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