DOZENS of historic buildings in Great Harwood will be protected if plans to extend the town’s conservation area are given the go-ahead.

Numerous streets will be included in the new, extended area, which follows a review into Great Harwood Conservation Area in 2011.

They include Blackburn Road, a route which is shown on the 1818 map and home to several buildings, suggested for inclusion on the Local List.

The Methodist Chapel in Commercial Road, built in 1853 and now a pub, and a short terrace of houses in Edward Street will be included.

Sections of Queen, Loynd, Westwell, Cattle, Water, and Church streets will all fall under the new conservation area boundaries.

A significant area around Grade II-listed St Bartholomew’s Church, at the junction of Park Lane and Church Street, which was described as having ‘its own distinct character’, will also be included.

Coun Noordad Aziz said: “Some of the buildings of the town are gems and we need to be taking steps to preserve them.

“The architecture of Great Harwood is unique, and the conservation aim is to preserve, especially given the investment that has been undertaken around the Town Gate Square.”

Chief planning officer at Hyndburn Council, Simon Prideaux, said in documents put before last week’s cabinet meeting: “The Local Planning Authority has a duty to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of their conservation areas.

“However, they are not open-air museums but living communities, which must be allowed to change over time in order to remain vital and prosperous.

“The emphasis is to guide and control development rather than to prevent it.”

Residents and businesses within the new area would be forced to apply for permission to prune trees, alter or add to a roof, install solar panels or some satellite dishes, and several other works.

The plans have received five responses, two for and three against.