Section 4.The Conservation Area
The Conservation Area is characterised by the colourful façade of the commercial hub of the town, which people say makes them smile and
The majority of the houses are Grade II listed buildings as contained in the 20th List of Buildings of Special Architectural Interest - held by the WCC Conservation Officer, and a document called New Alresford Conservation Area Technical Assessment (both lodged at New Alresford Town Council Office). This section builds on that document by showing what the people of Alresford themselves value about the Conservation Area.
Alresford relies upon tourism and is a popular tourist venue. People attending presentations at the Swan and the Community Centre of the Workshop and questionnaire findings said they found the brightly painted property fronts uplifting making them want to return.
Property Features Summary:
Foundations and cellars in local brick (some black & tan features) remain and lime mortar used for buildings and brickwork and rubbed flush joints. Most walls built in Flemish Bond with blue brick headers forming a diaper pattern.
- Some with embedded flint-work.
- Wooden, normally white painted window frames.
- Cast iron gutters and pipes.
- Slate tiled roofs.
- Red rubbed brick flat arches above Georgian six-on-six pane sash window and classical porticos, some with neo-classical canopies (unless described differently in character area description).
Access is at the northern end of Jacklyns Lane through the narrow railway bridge for motorists or narrow footpath for pedestrians. The footpath has been a cause for concern for many residents, and the recent widening and traffic calming scheme has provided a 'safer route to school'.
The alternative routes are still dangerous:
- The narrow access at East Street and Sun Lane with blind spots caused by parked cars between the railway bridge and East Street, and also drivers undertaking u-turns near Sunhill School.
- Access to The Avenue via Bridge Road, again with parked cars causing blind spots and traffic queues.
- Children walk across Jacklyns Lane when walking or cycling to school at the end of Nursery Road and the footpath through Lime Road. For safety reasons, traffic calming measures, if applied to the whole of the road, will address some danger spots.
4.1.2 Open Spaces in or near the Conservation Area. (See Map 4.2)
The only designated public space in the Conservation (Area X) is the Bowling Green.
The cemetery behind East and West Street (Area A) is a valued open space as is the public footpath. It is the only green open space within the Conservation Area.Area B). A footpath passes by the watercress beds at the boundary with Old Alresford in Mill Hill and joins with the pathway from The Dean.
The Community Centre, the John Pearson Hall and the Methodist Church are within the conservation area. St Gregory's Church and Arlebury Park with its football ground and tennis courts border the conservation area. At the end of New Farm Road there is a chapel.
Despite Perins School being a Community School the Town Plan research group found that the general and sport after school facilities were not used to full capacity by the public.
In Station Approach, Bailey House, nestles behind the surgery, and is a small 1970's squarely designed purpose built block of sheltered housing flats for the elderly. (Map 4.3: Area A).
In Station Road Alders Court is a development of apartments for the over 50's. Built in dark red brick with dark clay tiled roofs parallel to the road. There is access to the rear for residents parking. (Map 4.3: Area A)
In the central core of the Conservation area two and a half storey properties predominate. In the Lanes, East Street and south of the A31, two storey properties pre-dominate.
Ground levels of properties are at a natural level.
See Section 5
This section of the Design Statement contains guidance together with brief summaries of the design issues that the guidance is addressing. The full Character Descriptions these recommendations apply to can be found in Section 4.5. The guidelines relate to those in the Winchester District Local Plan Review WDLPR adopted in 2006 and W.C.C. Listed Building Policies where applicable.
What Does Designation Mean
The council's control is automatically increased when an area is designated a conservation area.
Full details of these additional powers can be found in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.
This means when making changes to a listed building planning permission is required for alterations, even for something as simple as a slight colour change to the exterior painting of the property. Many alterations and repairs also require permission from Winchester City Council.
Please use this section for listed and unlisted buildings in the conservation area.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP1 - DP 6, HE4 - HE8, HE13 - 16, H3, H5, H8, SF1 - 7 apply):
- Positioning of a new building or extension should reflect the characteristics of buildings, verges and footpaths and how buildings relate to each other and to public and private places.
- Any new development should respect the character of the setting in which it is to be built. It should maintain the quality of its natural features and not damage the visual landscape.
- Where redevelopment and extensions are proposed the footprint of the building should allow sufficient space for private open space and for the retention or enhancement of tree and shrub cover.
- In areas influenced by Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses a continuance of the design features found should be encouraged.
The appearance of the centre of Alresford is highly valued by tourists, visitors and residents.
Many of the properties built after the 1689 Fire of Alresford are built on the original structure of the building and the cellar, foundations and walls are built with lime mortar (more flexible than concrete). The cellars are aired through openings to the street or garden and the original floor is sand or gravel, which helps to protect the property from damp.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, DP4, HE5 - HE9 apply):
- Proposals should take great care to ensure that new properties, garages and extensions are well built in materials that blend with the Conservation Area.
- Close spacing of buildings with timber frames and fascias or thatched roofs should not be encouraged because of the risk or fire spread.
- Brickwork of extensions should match the host property, use similar materials, and be built to the same gauge and lime mortar used for pointing with rubbed flush joints, where already existing.
- Any materials used for repairs or alterations to the foundations should be the same as originally used.
- The repainting of walls should be the same colour as before, unless permission has been obtained for a change of colour or wall surface.
- New properties should use similar wall materials to those existing in the Conservation Area, especially those of neighbouring properties
- Traditional knapped flint, Hampshire decorative brickwork and hipped roofs are encouraged at the initial design stage.
Roofs are a mixture of red tile and slate. There are still some thatched properties in Mill Hill. Gabled roofs and dormer windows are common.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5 - HE8 apply):
Traditional materials should be used on historic buildings in the Conservation Area and sympathetic materials used on new build as the choice of materials will affect the character of the town.
- Tiling for new build and repairs should be weathered where possible, and identical in colour to provide harmonisation.
- Flashing should be lead.
- Rainwater gutters and pipes should be in cast-iron where previously existing.
- Rainwater gutters and pipes should always be in character with neighbouring properties.
- Flat roofs are unlikely to blend well, and may be unattractive to neighbouring houses.
- Roof size should not appear to dominate the building or surrounding buildings and pitch should blend with surrounding properties.
- Care should be taken with close spacing of dormer windows as the rhythm of frontages may be disturbed.
- Dormers have been used to reduce overall building height. If a new dormer over looks neighbouring rear gardens. Opaque glass should be considered.
Windows are predominantly timber, often six by six pane, sometimes stained, but more frequently painted white.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE8 - HE12 apply):
- Large window panes should be avoided. Small panes are encouraged.
- There should be no change to the style and type of window frames if it upsets the street scene. Applications for a change in window frames should be carefully considered.
- Shop Windows: Should be designed to fit the street scene. Existing windows that have details and proportions that contribute to the character of the frontage should be retained.
Guidance(WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE8, HE9 apply):
- Doors should reflect the design of the host building, and where possible repaired and retained as existing, including any stone steps.
- Replacement and repair materials should be the same as the original.
- Door colours should match those of existing doors of the property and complement the colours of windows and walls.
- Disabled access is necessary for businesses and public place and should be designed in character with the host building.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE8, HE9 apply):
- Porticos should be repaired and retained as existing, including any stone steps.
- The angle and pitch of porches should echo that of a dormer or gable so as not to be obtrusive.
- The height line of a porch in a terrace of properties should be in line with the porch line of its neighbouring properties.
- The porch should be unenclosed and may be covered or uncovered but should be in proportion to and complement the scale, design and materials of the host property.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5 - HE8, apply):
- Extensions to building usually require planning permission. Proposals should allow for important current tree and shrub cover to be retained between the host and neighbouring properties.
- No extension to a property should take light from a neighbouring property. or block access to the rear of properties.
Not all properties in the centre of New Alresford have private parking or residents parking permits. There are also no allocated parking permit places in the town's public car parks.
Guidance (WDLP Ref: DP3, HE5 - HE8, apply).:
- Garages should not take light from neighbouring properties or make access to the rear garden of neighbouring properties impossible.
- On all new and infill development, off road parking is encouraged to enhance the street scene and for security purposes.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE6 apply):
- Larger buildings require planning permission.
- The garden building should be an enhancement and important tree and shrub cover maintained.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP6 applies):
- Future developments should address energy saving and water conservation.
- New buildings and changes should aim to achieve the highest standards of thermal insulation compatible with existing character and appearance.
- Rainwater capture for use by occupants is encouraged.
- Introduction of hard paved surfaced that discharge water to sewers should be avoided in favour of permeable surfaces that allow groundwater recharge.
Generally hedges, deciduous or non deciduous, should not be over 1.83 metres in height.
The guidance that follows relates to Character Descriptions for the Conservation Area, (Section 4.5.) and for other areas, including the land surrounding Alresford.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: HE 4, HE5, apply):
- New buildings of twenty first century design are encouraged, provided proposals demonstrate respect for the character of the locality.
- When proposing new developments the developer should take the opportunity to protect natural tree cover.
Guidance on this issue is covered in the Local Plan (WDLP R Ref: H 5 apply).
- Footpaths linking new development with existing development and the centre of town, recreational areas, old walkways and droves with their natural tree cover and wildlife habitat, should be included in all development proposals, where possible.
- The footpath network should be maintained and enhanced allowing safe use for all, including ensuring there are even surfaces and there is access for the disabled.
Many homes need to have two cars and not all homes have garages/off street parking. The photographs in Section 3 show how this damages the landscape. There is resultant congestion and problems caused to residents trying to park near their own home.
Guidance (WDLP R Ref: T4 applies):
- Garages, undercroft and off street parking are encouraged. Where this is not possible, then residents parking bays could be considered.
There are eight differing types of building in the Conservation area, spanning the eight hundred years since the area was re-settled.
Character Area A - Broad Street
This is the most appreciated part of Alresford, and runs north to south from the River Alre (at the Soke and Mill Hill) to its southern junction with East and West Street, almost opposite the Community Centre and behind which is St John's Church.
A tranquil setting with people enjoying being involved in a richly coloured street scene defines the character of Broad Street. This is one hundred feet wide, and tree and grass verge lined, giving an air of tranquillity; bordered by two and a half storey mostly Georgian brightly painted, colour-washed properties in hues of pink, blue and yellow, mixed with properties with red or Flemish bond patterned brickwork.
The houses were rebuilt in the 17th century on the original 33' x 330' plot. Some are built around the original thirteenth century timber frame construction, and some on pre-existing foundations and internal walls. The majority have new cellar walls and internal walls dating from the 15th century; all are in local brick and lime mortar, and have lime mortar pointing with rubbed flush joints. They have red clay tiled ridge roof with dormers set parallel to the road, and square mainly white painted wooden Georgian small pane windows with matching square topped doorways and porches. Many porches have classical porticos, whilst a few have a non-classical canopy. Most houses have a passageway to the rear, a garage or parking space.
From Mill Hill, looking northwards towards and beyond the Alre there is a twelfth century house and the thirteenth century houses and bridge that survived the 'fire'. Looking southwards the nineteenth century Fire Station is a little way up the hill on the left.
The houses at the southern end of Broad Street, East Street and West Street now contain a wide variety of colourful shops - most architecturally broadly in keeping with the host property.
Landmarks & Key Features
Street-lantern style lighting.
The wrought iron canopy over No 13 Broad Street.
The Pink House in Broad Street a neo-Venetian façade. Other good façades in Broad Street are 27, 31, 33, 43 & 47 on the west side and 28 on the east.
The Globe Inn and 3-7 Mill Lane are the few houses to escape the fire of 1689.
The tower of St John's rising above the Town Hall with its clock.
A small island at the junction with East & West Streets marking where the original town/market cross was.
The Horse & Groom, the only black and white hostelry in the town centre.
The old Fire Station.
The twelfth century Bridge at the Soke.
Houses in the Soke and Mill Lane (east side) built alongside/over the river.
The old mill.
Character Area B - East Street
East Street is characterised by terraces of vibrantly painted smaller houses, mainly built around the mid-18th century of brick or flint, spaced between larger properties. Tightly packing the properties together has resulted in some rear accesses being blocked and subsequent problems with waste disposal and rear emergency access in the event of a serious fire. The houses have varied black slate and red clay tiled roofs, smaller six on six windows than those in Broad Street, and some of the properties approaching Broad Street are used for commercial purposes.
Landmarks & Key Features
The Old Sun Inn,
Cardew House, (once a hotel)
6, 22, 24, 42,
Brandy Mount with its large Georgian house and brick and flint cottages.
Character Area C - West Street
The two hotels, both originally coaching inns define the character of West Street: the Bell, the original Market Inn, built after the Great Fire, and The Swan. The Swan is a colourful painted brick re-build of the original property and has a recently re-built Crypt, the origins of which go back beyond the time it was first re-built in the 19th century.
All but four properties provide a variety of commercial enterprises. The brightly painted premises have large Georgian and Victorian window frontages. There are flower and vegetable shop displays and colourful hanging baskets. Several properties have original under-crofts, often now used as cellars and initially constructed with sand floors and ventilation shafts. All used local materials and are pointed in lime mortar with rubbed flush joints.
At the top of West Street is the Victorian Community Centre with its roof apex facing the road.
The Alresford Gallery, in West Street, is an unusual design and is a good example of brickwork. Opposite on the south side, is a group of attractively designed older properties with original features.
Landmarks & Key Features
Street front displays of produce and flowers
The red square telephone box.
Two old coaching inns still run as hostelries (two as hotels):
The Swan, The Bell.
Lloyds TSB Bank, Nos. 33, 36, & 38.
Character Area D - The Lanes
The older houses are predominantly brick and flint and the newer properties designed to blend with neighbouring ones. They have small frontages or face straight on to the lane and have rooflines parallel to the road. Their side passageways provide glimpses of their colourful gardens and trees beyond.
Character Area E - The Dean and Pound Hill
Mainly built in the 19th century infilled with a 1960's Fire Station and 1970's mews terrace.
Evelyn Mews is a 1980's infill close of homes for people over 55, built in red brick with timber window and door detail in a style to blend with the bottom of West Street, and with allocated parking spaces, is at the southern end of The Dean. From The Dean the Alre and the downs beyond can be seen. Opposite Evelyn Mews are a nineteenth century chapel and some smaller properties (mainly converted to commercial use).
On the northern side there is a terrace of nineteenth century cottages, the first of which adjoins the last cottage in The Dean, all have cellars, behind here is a chapel (now converted for residential use), another nineteenth century public house, and mixed detached and semi-detached houses. These lead to the well kept Avenue of trees with the Arlebury Park flint wall and coach houses bounding its northern side.
On the southern side there is a cottage painted white with flint walls and a clay tile roof (now Ferndale House). This is pre-Victorian and was the Quaker meetinghouse. Further on there is the new fire station and then Perins School (both 1960's design).
The old Quaker Meetinghouse.
Pinglestone Road going through the River Alre.
19th Century chapel.
Character Area F - Jacklyns Lane and the Station Area (South of East/West Streets).
Victorian two storey cottages with patterned brickwork and the narrow nineteenth century railway bridge with its define the character of Jacklyns Lane's railway cottages at its' northern end. This is the main footpath and road link to Cheriton.
Station Approach to the east, contains Edwardian railway cottages built of brick with slate roofs and small well kept private frontages with a part Edwardian railing front wall and gate. Some are modernised keeping the bay windows and using traditional materials.
The Victorian railway station (pictured) is built in London stock brick with dark green painted windows. Next to this in Station Road is Station Mill built in London stock brick, awaiting conversion into apartments with allocated parking. The Edward Knight Building, a sympathetically restored railway goods shed, is at the western end of the car park.
Landmarks & Key Features
The railway station
The old goods shed (Edward Knight Centre)
Station Mill - all late Victorian buildings.
Character Area G - 1960's - 70's Development
Station Road contains a 1960's doctors surgery, Alders Court (purpose built for the over 55's) and Bailey House (a sheltered housing unit), the police houses and Police Station and post war public toilets, and the western end of Haig Road contains late 20th century single, one and a half and two storey individually designed properties.
Character Area H - Haig Road and Sun Lane
Sun Lane, at the eastern end of Haig Road, originally contained hostelries. In Edwardian times semi-detached cottages were built at the northern end of Haig Road and mixed small terraced properties with black slate roofs, and front and rear gardens with rear access were built backing onto these in Sun Lane. Turning north on the right hand side is the wall to Langtons Court. To the left are some small properties to the rear of The Old Sun and the entrance to Alresford Bowls Club. Facing Sun Lane is Cardew House whose grounds back onto the pond. This is a large early twentieth century red brick property with white painted windows and a rear exit into Broad Street.
Landmarks & Key Features
St John's Church and churchyard
Haig Terrace - an example of Edwardian terraced housing.