Bloomsbury conservation group revamps its website and warns of threat to the area’s ‘special character’

The Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee (BCAAC) wants more people to visit its improved website to learn about the internationally renowned district but warns that heritage assets are facing “significant threats”.

BCAAC covers seven conservation areas in Central London.

The website has been updated to include new information on the conservation areas (including Charlotte Street and Fitzroy Square), and a whole new section for residents, including information on responding to planning applications on heritage grounds.

“We’ve also added a mailing list and most importantly of all, an interactive map so that people can explore our conservation areas, search postcodes, and read our appraisals and management strategies,” says Owen Ward who has been leading the project to improve the website.

It’s a work-in-progress says Ward who admits that it “doesn’t work on mobile yet”.

BCAAC was founded in 1968 by Camden Council to help safeguard its heritage but is run separately from the council.

The group is made up of architects, planners, and community members living and working in the area. Its members have a close understanding of the area’s special character, and extensive experience with the planning and developmental process.

It covers a total of seven conservation areas in Central London, which are referred to as the Bloomsbury Conservation Areas. The committee is consulted on all development in the area and streetscape works.

The area is internationally known for its beauty and interest: its streets being set out around and between green squares which are home to centuries old plane trees.

Today, much has changed, and Bloomsbury has lost much of its initial “special character”, and certainly much of its middle class “affluence” — but its historical importance remains internationally significant. Camden describe Bloomsbury as their “most prestigious” Conservation Area, says the group.

However, the Conservation Areas are under a number of significant threats mainly due to “a pattern of irresponsible decision making from the local authority, Camden, and a tendency to ignore professional advice from both ourselves and the government’s heritage advisory, Historic England, in the face of large scale development”, they say.

The Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee (BCAAC).