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Little Badminton 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.

Little Badminton was designated a conservation area on the 30th March 1983. 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 the 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.


The Cotswold village of Little Badminton is located in high open countryside on the eastern boundary of South Gloucestershire just to the north of Great Badminton and lies within the Badminton Estate. There are expansive views towards distant woodland (see figures 1 to 3) to the north and west, whilst the extensive formal parkland of Badminton House adjoin the village to the east.

The village is located within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Badminton Deer Park is listed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

Figure 1: Views looking west from Buren’s Lodge, Well Lane

Figure 1: Views looking west from Buren’s Lodge, Well Lane

Figure 2: Views looking North West from the rear of Little Badminton Farm

Figure 2: Views looking North West from the rear of Little Badminton Farm

Views looking south from the church, Church Lane

Figure 3: Views looking south from the church, Church Lane


Little Badminton has a rich archaeological heritage which includes the remains of a sunken medieval village and the probable site of a manor house complex with associated farm buildings and garden earthworks. Further evidence of the medieval village is provided by the survival of the medieval dovecote (Grade II* listed, see figure 4), probably the best early dovecote in the country.

Figure 4: Medieval dovecote

Figure 4: Medieval dovecote

Badminton House (Grade I listed), dating from the 1600s, is the ancestral home of the Duke of Beaufort. Little Badminton appears to have been replanned as a result of one of the periodic extensions to Badminton Park. In medieval times the park (See figure 5) would have been used for hunting deer and hare as well as the raising of horses. Deer are still raised in the park although the Deer House (Grade II* listed), situated to the south east of Little Badminton, is now converted into a dwelling.
Figure 5: Views across from Well Lane westwards over Badminton Deer Park

Figure 5: Views across from Well Lane westwards over Badminton Deer Park

The Church of St Michael and All Angels (grade I listed, see figure 6), to the north of the village on rising ground, is early English in style and dates from the early 13th century. It was restored in the 14th century and again altered in the 19th century with the insertion of 2 additional windows (see figure 7). Its early origins are evident in the simple round arch to the south door and the overhanging timber bellcote at the west end (see figure 8).
Figure 6: Church of St Michael and All Angels

Figure 6: Church of St Michael and All Angels

Figure 7: Additional windows

Figure 7: Additional windows

The substantial listed farmhouses and barns (see figure 8) dating from the 17th century with extensions in 18th and 19th century indicate Little Badminton’s prominence as an agricultural centre within the Badminton Estate over a considerable period. The majority of other buildings within the village are estate worker dwellings which date from the 18th and 19th centuries. These vary in style (see figures 9 to 14) with thatch being evident as well as the later 19th century pair of stone cottages with stone tiles roofs and plain bargeboards so typical of the Badminton Estate building style of this period (See figure 15).
Figure 8: Agricultural buildings in Little Badminton

Figure 8: Agricultural buildings in Little Badminton



Figures 9 to 14. Various building styles in Little Badminton
Figure 15: Pair of stone cottages

Figure 15: Pair of stone cottages


Circa 1880 Ordnance Survey map Little Badminton


Little Badminton, although scattered in its layout retains a sense of cohesion. The existing buildings have developed around the village green, the site of the previous medieval village, and face each other across this open space, the dovecote providing a focal point (see figures 16 to 19). Individual buildings are clearly defined within their own plots and are linked by the circular road. Although the building style has changed over time, the scale of development, plot sizes and materials used creates a varied but unified visual impression.

Figures 16 to 19. Buildings surrounding the village green and following the circular road layout

Little Badminton’s parkland setting is evident (see figures 20 and 21) particularly from the church where one of the rides radiating from the house and marked by an avenue of trees is clearly visible.

The village is essentially rural character retaining many fine buildings related to its agricultural origins. Little Badminton has been largely unaltered by the 20th century and remains as a secluded peaceful settlement within the Cotswolds.

Figure 20: Views looking south from the Church

Figure 20: Views looking south from the Church

Figure 21: Views looking east from The Cottage, Well Lane

Figure 21: Views looking east from The Cottage, Well Lane

Summary map




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