The Porthleven Conservation Area was designated in March 1978, with its boundary encompassing much of the harbour and the nineteenth-century town.\r\n\r\nPorthleven has medieval origins but developed particularly in the nineteenth century following the construction of a walled harbour in 1811–1825, followed by a more sheltered Inner Harbour in 1855. The harbour played an important role in the export of Cornish copper and tin; boat-building and fishing were also important local industries. In the twenty-first century, there remains some fishing, but Porthleven is principally now an attractive dormitory settlement for Helston and RNAS Culdrose as well as a popular seaside holiday destination.\r\n
The aim of conservation area designation is to ‘preserve and enhance’ the features which contribute to an area’s special architectural and historic interest. Such features include historic buildings, of course, but also other aspects of the townscape including trees and planting, paving, walls and boundaries, and open spaces.
The aim, therefore, is to preserve and enhance the historic environment as a whole, not just individual buildings. Conservation area designation brings into force planning controls to help manage the impact of change on the historic environment. It is not that change cannot take place, but that it is carefully managed so that changes are appropriate and balance the needs of the historic built environment with those of residents and businesses.
The Appraisal and Management Strategy for the Porthleven Conservation Area can be downloaded below.