Acton Turville Conservation Area
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
Figures 24 to 31: Cotswold stone and slate roofs in Acton Turville
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.
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:
Strategic Planning Policy and Specialist Advice Team
South Gloucestershire Council
PO Box 2081
Telephone: 01454 863578