A NEW conservation area could be established in a village with several timber framed buildings up to 600 years old.

Shropshire Council’s cabinet is being asked to approve plans for the Tilley conservation area in the village, near Wem.

The village features several timber framed buildings, seven of them listed assets.

The authority’s director of place, Mark Barrow, is asking the cabinet to give the plans their backing at a meeting next Wednesday.

Mr Barrow said the proposal will mean the area is protected from certain development or work taking place.

He said: “The council was approached by the Tilley Timber Project, a Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project drawing attention to the significance of the village and its built heritage.

“The village is particularly noteworthy because of the high degree of survival of timber framed buildings within it, which include seven listed buildings (six Grade II and one Grade II*).

“In officer’s opinion this represents a rare survival in Shropshire and as a consequence the village and its immediate rural setting retains a strong and distinct character.

“The appraisal was received and reviewed by the council.

“This provided a detailed analysis of the built character of the village and the associated open spaces to its margins.”

He added: “Designation of a conservation area would place a duty in respect of relevant planning decisions to pay special attention to the preservation or enhancement of the conservation area, providing additional planning protection from unsympathetic development which might otherwise spoil the area’s special character, including the safeguarding of important trees and open spaces.

“Conservation area legislation emphasises the importance of the character of an area as a key consideration when decisions are made in respect of development proposals.”

Mr Barrow said the consultation saw 12 letters in support of the plan and seven objections.

Objectors said they were concerned about being affected by planning restrictions, as well as concerns about more modern developments in the area being housed under the conservation area banner.

But Mr Barrow recommended approval, concluding: “A number of factors give rise to the significance and special interest of Tilley: its variety of timber-framed and brick buildings, the oldest of which contains timbers dating from the 15th century; its overall form which has changed very little from its early 17th century layout, retaining its overall character as a small, linear settlement running along a single, principal road.”

The cabinet will meet to discuss the plans on April 1 at Shirehall, Shrewsbury.