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Acton Turville Conservation Area

Introduction

A conservation area is an area of ‘special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’. Once designated, the local planning authority has a statutory duty to ensure that any proposed development will preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area and its setting.

Acton Turville was designated a conservation area on the 30th July 1975 and had an extension of its boundary on the 1st July 1991. A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) appraisal leaflet was published following the conservation areas designation. This document is not a review of such, but sets out information as produced, in an accessible format supported by current policy context, pictures and mapping.

Policy context

Local authorities have had the ability to designate locations of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ as conservation areas since 1967 when introduced as part of the Civic Amenities Act. Section 69 (2) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation) Act 1990 legislates that authorities are to carry out reviews of existing conservation areas from ‘time to time’. Section 72 also states that ‘special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area’. Guidance on conservation area appraisals and the management of conservation areas is produced by Heritage England.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out national planning policy and must be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and is a material consideration in planning decisions. The NPPF defines conservation areas as ‘Heritage Assets’ and sets out in Para 126 that local authorities should ‘recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and should conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance’. Para 127 states that when designating conservation areas local planning authorities should ensure the area justifies this status because of its special architectural or historic interest.
South Gloucestershire has 31 conservation areas, and there are a number of policies within the Council’s Local Plan documents that are relevant. South Gloucestershire Local Plan 2006 saved policy L12 requires development within or affecting the conservation area to preserve or enhance its character or appearance. Further to this policy L13 states that development affecting the setting of a Listed Building will not be permitted unless ‘the building and its setting would be preserved’. South Gloucestershire Core Strategy 2006-2027 sets out in CS9 that the ‘natural and historic environment is a finite and irreplaceable resource’, and expects that new development will conserve, respect and enhance heritage assets.

The emerging Polices, Sites and Places (PSP) Plan policy PSP18 states that development should ‘serve to protect, and where appropriate, enhance or better reveal the significance of heritage assets and their setting’ and ‘development within their [listed buildings] setting will be expected to preserve and, where appropriate enhance… their special architectural or historic interest’. It should be noted the PSP Plan is currently a material consideration and at this time very limited weight is given to policies.

Setting

The village of Acton Turville is situated approximately two miles south of Badminton, near the Wiltshire border. It is strategically placed at the junction of several routes and is surrounded by the open fields of the Cotswold Plateau (see figures 1 to 3).

Photo showing Views southwards to Acton Turville

Figure 1: Views southwards to Acton Turville

photo showing Views westwards from the Fox and Hounds car park

Figure 3: Views westwards from the Fox and Hounds car park

photo showing Views west of Limes Farm

Figure 2: Views west of Limes Farm

The buildings are set close to the carriageways and combine a mixture of styles and materials with local stone predominating (see figures 4 and 5). Acton Turville is located within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Photo showing Figure 4: Buildings set close to the road in Acton Turville

Figure 4: Buildings set close to the road in Acton Turville

Photo showing Figure 5: Buildings set close to the road in Acton Turville

Figure 5: Buildings set close to the road in Acton Turville

History

The old canopied well which stands on the small green was originally the site of a sanctuary dating from Saxon times indicating that the area was probably a settlement during this period and possibly before. The Church of St Mary (grade II* listed), although much altered, dates from around the 12th century and still retains relics of the old Church, including Norman font, an early decorated arch over the doorway, relics of another arch on the north wall and a fine early English bellcote (see figures 6 to 8). Alterations were made in the 13th and 16th centuries before the Church was restored and rebuilt in 1853 by T.H. Wyatt when the north aisle and vestry were added.

photo showing Figure 6: a Feature of St Mary's Church

Figure 6: Feature of St Mary’s Church

photo showing a Figure 7: Feature of St Mary's Church

Figure 7: Feature of St Mary’s Church

photo showing Figure 8: St Mary's Church

Figure 8: St Mary’s Church

During the 17th Century the village became part of the Badminton Estate, its main economic activity being farming. Church Farm and Hollybush Farm (grade II listed, see figure 9) with their associated barns and agricultural buildings remain strong features within the village today.
photo showing Figure 9: Hollybush Farm

Figure 9: Hollybush Farm

Some of the buildings, particularly The School House (grade II listed) are characteristic of the 19th Century building style of The Badminton Estate (see Figure 10).
photo showing Figure 10: The School House

Figure 10: The School House

Acton Turville’s close proximity to Chipping Sodbury, a medieval trading centre, and the existence of Pike Cottage (grade II listed), a toll house dating from the 18th Century turnpike era, suggests that the village was located on an important transportation route probably to London (see figure 11). No doubt the Fox and Hounds provided accommodation and stabling for travellers (see figure 12).
photo showing Figure 11: Pike Cottage

Figure 11: Pike Cottage

photo showing Figure 12: The Fox and Hounds

Figure 12: The Fox and Hounds

Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey Map Acton Turville

Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey Map Acton Turville

Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey Map Acton Turville

Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey Map Acton Turville

Character

The village is compact and centres around the village green and well (see figure 13). This is surrounded by a fine collection of buildings with steeply pitched roofs which create a sense of enclosure (see figure 13 and 14) relieved by narrow views across farmland to the South East (see figure 15). A considerable variety of building styles can be found in Acton Turville and include traditional domestic and farm buildings, farm workers cottages, larger more formal properties and of course the turnpike (see figures 16 to 23).

photo showing Figure 13: Village green and well

Figure 13: Village green and well

photo showing Figure 14: Around the well

Figure 14: Around the well

photo showing Figure 15: Narrow views

Figure 15: Narrow view

photos showing buildings
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Figures 16 to 23: Buildings
The predominant building material is Cotswold stone although a wider range of materials can be found on the later buildings. Many buildings retain their traditional Cotswold stone slate roofs which offer texture and a variety of tones to complement the building facades (See figures 24 to 31).
photo showing cotswold stone and slate roofs in acton turville
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photos showing cotswold stone and slate roofs in acton turville

photos showing cotswold stone and slate roofs in acton turville

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photos showing cotswold stone and slate roofs in acton turville
Figures 24 to 31: Cotswold stone and slate roofs in Acton Turville

 

The Cotswold stone walls are also an important feature in the village, defining the carriageway and individual property boundaries often with imposing gate piers and iron gates (see figures 32 to 35).
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photos showing cotswold stone walls and gate piers in acton turville
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Figures 32 to 35: Cotswold stone walls and gate piers in Acton Turville
St Mary’s Church is situated behind the village and can be accessed by a public right of way. The mature trees and green space around the church create a tranquil atmosphere which complement the historic interest of the church (see figures 36 and 47).
photos showing green space around st mary's church
photos showing green space around st mary's church
Figures 36 to 37: Green space around St Mary’s Church
The dovecote in the gable of one of the outbuildings of Church Farm can be viewed from here (see figure 38).
photo showing Figure 38: Dovecote

Figure 38: Dovecote

Acton Turville is a typical Cotswold village which retains many traditional features and examples of building types which relate to its historical development. These individual elements combine to form a rich and pleasing environment.

photo showing acton turville traditional features
photo showing acton turville traditional features
photo showing acton turville traditional features

Summary map

summary map of acton turville

Contacts

The council is keen to work with the local community and other parties to help preserve and enhance this special area. If you wish to assist in any manner or have any further suggestions, please let us know.

For further information or advice please contact:

Conservation Officer
Strategic Planning Policy and Specialist Advice Team
South Gloucestershire Council
PO Box 2081
South Gloucestershire
BS35 9BP

Telephone: 01454 863578
Email: conservation@southglos.gov.uk