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Plans to extend conservation area could help stop ‘creep’ of new homes

PUBLISHED: 11:24 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 11 March 2019

New developments in Great Waldingfield should not

New developments in Great Waldingfield should not "creep" any further to the historic heart of the village, Babergh District Council's report said. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

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Babergh District Council has been re-appraising each of its 29 conservation areas in the district – areas considered to be of special architectural and historic interest, which are given additional planning controls and considerations.

Babergh councillor Margaret Maybury said the village was Babergh councillor Margaret Maybury said the village was "unique". Picture: BABERGH COUNCIL

They also aim to recognise the individual character and appearance of locations.

Public consultations were carried out between April and June last year for the latest three to be re-appraised – Brent Eleigh, Naughton and Great Waldingfield – with plans to extend Great Waldingfield’s conservation area in order to “maintain the historic settlement’s rural character”, according to the council report.

Babergh’s cabinet unanimously agreed to adopt the latest version at its meeting on Thursday, March 7.

Waldingfield councillor and cabinet member for assets and investments, Frank Lawrenson, said: “I am thrilled to see that Babergh is making these steps towards preserving our heritage.”

Extending the conservation area in Great Waldingfield aims to protect the historic character of the village. Picture:  ELLA JOHNSTONExtending the conservation area in Great Waldingfield aims to protect the historic character of the village. Picture: ELLA JOHNSTON

Fellow Waldingfield councillor and cabinet member for communities, Margaret Maybury, added: “It’s a unique area that we have at Great Waldingfield.

“There are few places left that look like that with the church and surrounding old buildings with it.”

With Great Waldingfield the only one to date recommended for an extension, a further public consultation will be organised with precise boundary changes before it can be adopted permanently.

Among some of the village’s features to have been highlighted are the medieval church and Babergh Hall, which the report said was “the ancient meeting place for the Hundred of Babergh, from which the modern district council takes its name”.

The report added: “The recent housing development north-east of the heath has encroached a little into the older settlement’s ‘buffer zone’ of agricultural land and should creep no nearer.

“Protecting the older settlement could be achieved by extending the conservation area boundary to include such a buffer zone.”

The re-appraisal means there are just three conservation areas remaining in the district due for reassessment, having not been reconsidered since their inception in the 1970s.

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