An appraisal for the conservation area in Abbots Langley has been written and approved for the first time since 1994.

The centre of Abbots Langley was designated as a Conservation Area in 1969, and a Conservation Area Appraisal was undertaken by BEAMS on behalf of Three Rivers District Council in 1994. An updated draft appraisal has been completed which builds on and updates the 1994 document and it was discussed at a policy and scrutiny committee meeting this week.

The draft will then go to the executive committee to be decided upon.

Peter Wakeling, vice chairman of the committee, said: "I went through the normal procedure and it was agreed unanimously by all the committee. It’s really important for Abbots Langley because it protects the area from planning applications. Builders and developers need to respect the conservation areas. The areas that are laid out in the draft are of particular historical value."

The Abbots Langley Conservation Area was one of the earliest designations in Hertfordshire. It is drawn tightly around the medieval core of the village and focuses on the Grade I listed Church of St Lawrence which dates from the middle of the 12th Century.

The Conservation Area encompasses the early built development around the church and manor house and the link between these two areas, which is mostly made up of later 19th Century buildings.

Three Rivers District Council has a duty under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to designate as Conservation Areas any "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".

The Act additionally requires local authorities to keep Conservation Areas under review and to formulate and publish, from time to time, proposals for their preservation and enhancement.

Consultation on the draft Abbots Langley Conservation Area Appraisal has begun since the committee approved the draft on Tuesday, January 21, and will run for six weeks.

The draft appraisal is available on the Three Rivers District Council website and hard copies are available at Three Rivers House and Abbots Langley Library.

As part of the consultation process, the council will write to all properties within and adjacent to the Conservation Area asking for comments on the contents of the appraisal.