The designation of a neighbourhood as a Conservation Area, by the appropriate local authority - currently, the City Council, in the case of Edinburgh, - is intended formally to recognise features which make that area an outstanding one, whether in terms of history, architecture, visual appeal or a blending of these qualities. Across the country, the nature of Conservation Areas can vary widely, encompassing settings which are rural and urban, highly-developed or open, ancient and modern. Apart from recognising special qualities in an area, Conservation designation also lays down a set of procedures and requirements, which aim, not totally to set a neighbourhood in aspic, but to help protect its essential character and try and ensure that changes and developments - which are, in some measure, inevitable - are consonant and in keeping with the special nature of the area concerned.
Edinburgh now has over 40 Conservation Areas, of which Blacket was the first to be designated, in 1972.
Conservation Area Associations are usually groupings of local property owners / residents who aim to help sustain this approach, to act as a focus for community opinion in relevant matters and, generally, to maintain and enhance the amenity of their home patch.
Two Conservation Associations between them cover the major part of the designated Blacket Conservation Area. The Blacket Association concerns itself with properties on the “five streets” of Blacket Place / Avenue, Dryden / Alfred Place and Mayfield Terrace. The West Blacket Association covers Minto Street properties and those to the west side of that Street, within the Area.