Leigh Cliff Conservation Area

Leigh Cliff Conservation Area

Leigh Cliff Conservation Area was designated a Conservation Area in 1981. It is located on the cliff top to the east of Leigh’s historic centre. To find out which properties are within Leigh Cliff Conservation Area please visit our directory.

Leigh has a long history as a settlement dependant on the sea. It was first recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 as "Legra", a tiny fishing hamlet. Between the 13th and 18th centuries development  focused around the fishing port in Old Leigh but following the arrival of the railway in 1856 there was an explosion of speculative development eastwards over fields along the top of the hill to the east of the Old Town. This area contains the Leigh Cliff Conservation Area. Further information on the history of Leigh Cliff Conservation Area can be found in the Leigh Cliff Conservation Area Appraisal.

Leigh Cliff's special interest

Leigh Cliff marks the start of Leigh's transition from a village to a larger urban area in the late 19th century. Its special interest comes from its association with Leigh's expansion and changing role, its typical late Victorian and Edwardian architecture and its fine position on the hillside overlooking the Estuary. Aspects contributing to its interest include:

  • Its position towards the top of the hill slope, the straight alignment of its streets and the open cliff gardens to the south provide a fine setting with many views of the Estuary.
  • Good examples of well preserved Late Victorian and Edwardian houses a number of which have been designed to make the best of the estuary aspect.
  • Leigh Broadway remains a thriving shopping centre with views of the Estuary and a mix of converted late Victorian houses and more substantial purpose-built shops and flats dating from the early 20th century. Traditional shopfronts and upper floors in the Broadway contribute to the Area's character.
  • The Grand Hotel is the most notable building in the townscape on a prominent corner site. It is a richly decorated four storey red brick Edwardian style building, with distinctive shaped gables and chimney stacks.

For further details see Leigh Cliff Conservation Area Appraisal

Development in the Conservation Area

Minor works to most houses in the conservation area which would normally be classed as permitted development (works that can be undertaken without planning permission) such as changing windows or roofing materials are covered by the Leigh Cliff Article 4 Direction and a planning application must now be made. This enables the Council to control aspects of local character which make an important positive contribution to the conservation area. The updated Conservation Area Appraisal for Leigh Cliff Conservation Area (adopted March 2022), makes a recommendation to update the Article 4 direction for this area, and work is underway to review this, although currently the Leigh Cliff Article 4 direction is as per the information provided below.

All development in the Conservation Area including extensions and alterations such as changing windows and roofing materials should follow guidance set out in the Conservation Areas Do’s and Don’ts Leaflet and the Design and Townscape Guide in particular Section 9 Historic Buildings. It is always advisable to review the Leigh Cliff Article 4 Direction and to check with the Council if planning permission is needed before undertaking any works to the exterior of a property in the conservation area.

Further Information

Leigh Cliff Conservation Area Appraisal

Leigh Cliff Conservation Area Map (see page 4)

Leigh Cliff Conservation Area Article 4 Direction

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