Liverpool City Council - conservation




UPDATE: Kensington Fields Conservation Area
Kensington Fields Conservation Area

Following an appraisal of the Kensington Fields area earlier this year the Council has now designated the city's 35th conservation area. The Kensington Fields Conservation Area came into being on 26th October 2007, encompassing some 1,200 Victorian houses in the area bounded by Kensington, Jubilee Drive, Edge Lane and Hall Lane. 

Kensington Fields contains an interesting variety of 'bye-law' terraced housing built to provide better homes for the city's growing population. Victorian bye-laws from the mid-19th century set minimum housing standards for the city's working families who a generation or two before had been living in cellars and back-to-back courts in the city centre. As such it is a type of townscape not represented by any of the city's other 34 conservation areas.

Kensington Fields was developed quite late. It had remained undeveloped as the city's suburbs grew around it; the reason being it contained the city's volunteer parade ground and the Mount Vernon Priory. However, it succumbed to development pressures and the terraced housing we see today was laid out during the 1890s. The Priory's covenant on the sale of the land explains why the area contains not a single pub. This possibly makes it unique amongst the city's 19th century suburbs where a 'pub on every corner' is considered typical.

The conservation area has a place in the city's pop music history, too. In 1955, at the back of his shop on Kensington, Percy Phillips built a small commercial recording studio. It was here that The Quarrymen recorded some of their earliest songs, including a Harrison and McCartney composition that eventually saw the light of day in a 1995 Beatles Anthology.

As a conservation area its special character and appearance will be preserved. This does not prevent new development occurring but it means:-

. Any proposed demolition of buildings is subject to Council control, with a presumption that there should be no demolition of architecturally or historically significant buildings. 

. There is greater consideration given to the design of new buildings in planning decisions so that they are in-keeping with the area's character. 

. Minor works not normally subject to planning permission, such as replacing windows and adding minor extensions, are subject to Council control to protect the area's character.

A map showing the boundary of the proposed conservation area can be downloaded from this link.


The city of Liverpool has 13th century origins, whilst incorporated in its present-day suburbs are a number of historic settlements of an earlier date, in some cases pre-dating the Domesday survey. However, little remains of this early period of the city's history. The city's most significant buildings and townscapes date from the time of the port city of the 18th century and beyond. The great global port that grew from the world's first enclosed commercial wet dock of 1715 has left the city with an outstanding cultural inheritance. It is a legacy to rival any great world city. The city's historic environment has stories to tell us about the city's past and is helping to shape its future. To date the following international, national and local heritage designations are in place.

. The historic docks and city centre were inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 2004. 

. The city has more than 2,500 listed buildings

. The City Council has designated 35 conservation areas since their introduction in 1968, covering almost 10% of the city and roughly half the city centre. 

. The city also has 10 historic parks, gardens and cemeteries included on the national Register of Parks and Gardens. 

. 4 sites are scheduled as Ancient Monuments. 

. Work has recently commenced on drawing up a 'local list' for the city.

In 2002 the Council launched the "Historic Environment of Liverpool Project" - HELP for short - an exciting project working with English Heritage and others to better understand, manage and celebrate the city's historic environment. It aims to ensure that Liverpool's historic character plays a part in shaping the city's future. It has brought about new listings for Liverpool buildings; underpins the city's World Heritage Site inscription and on-going management; supports an active 'Buildings at Risk' project; acts as a focus for partnership working for the city's regeneration initiatives; supports heritage events, such as 'Heritage Open Days', and; is planning to produce a series of publications as part of English Heritage's 'informed conservation' series specifically about aspects of Liverpool's heritage.

The City Council has a Conservation Team within its Planning Service consisting of a Team Leader, 3 Conservation Officers, a World Heritage Site Officer, a Buildings at Risk Officer and a 'Townscape Heritage Initiative' grant programme Manager. The team is able to:-

. Gives help and advice on works affecting listed buildings and development affecting the historic environment generally. 

. Look into funding to help projects for the city's preservation and enhancement. 

. Produce policy, information and guidance. 

. Work with national and local agencies, civic societies and other organisations to promote the best interests of the city's historic environment.               

You can telephone the Conservation Team for more information or help on 0151 233 3021 or email them at

The Merseyside Civic Society and a number of local civic and conservation area societies are also involved in protecting and enhancing the city's historic buildings and places. You can obtain details from the Conservation Team about local societies in your area.