Given the protection they provide, Conservation Areas are important in Planning decision making as the June 2020 application for the re-development of the Grey House School amply demonstrated.
Today, five conservation areas cover the majority of the village including the High Street and five greens (Hunts Common, Causeway Green, Cricket Green, the (Oaks) Common and Phoenix Green) but excluding large areas of 20th & 21st century housing to the north-west and south-east and the new estates at St Mary’s Park and Hartley Row. Within the Parish there are five more such designated areas – Church Farm, Dipley, Elvetham, Hartfordbridge, West Green
A review is currently underway to amend and update the existing appraisal dated 2008 which can be found on Hart DC’s website. Please see the following statement dated 06 June 2022;
Revision of the 2008 Conservation Area Appraisal
Undeterred by Covid, work has been going on in the background to update this 2008 Review and the revision has now been sent to Hart District Council for their scrutiny. You will be able to have your say at a public consultation which it is hoped will take place sometime this Autumn.
The actual changes are quite small, but the Review Group thought it would be helpful to share with you the spirit of the document which recognises the need to balance our history with the realities of modern day living.
Extract from 2022 Appraisal.
‘The Hartley Wintney Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Proposals put together by the Parish Council and the Heritage Society demonstrate our stewardship of the five Conservation Areas of Hartley Wintney. It defines the character and history of the area in terms of its management. While creating rules to sustain the nature and atmosphere of the surroundings it also recognises the social need for development. Even though the more recent developments of St Mary’s Park and Hartley Row Park do not form a part of the Conservation Area there is an attempt, at the point of planning, to blend the old and the new together in a harmonious way providing a framework in which change and development within a Conservation Area can be managed.
This document demonstrates the ways in which the community of Hartley Wintney sets out to protect, conserve and manage the Conservation Area identified within the settlement boundary. It is recognised that the area cannot stand still, and appropriate change and development will be embraced to provide housing for future generations. It is recognised that increasing challenges will come from the growing focus on green issues and that in some cases a balance will have to be struck that favours sustainability and biodiversity.
However, the village of Hartley Wintney will be robustly defended against development which threatens to coalesce the village of Hartley Wintney with its surrounding neighbours, it will work to preserve the strategic gaps and to protect the distinctive views.
The fabric of the area will be managed in terms of its green spaces, trees, ponds and commons and guardianship will be demonstrated to protect both the history and the historic buildings and landmarks against harm. This will be done through use of the various legal frameworks mentioned in this document in order that the Parish Council can hand on the management of the Conservation Areas to future generations with a clear conscience.’
Note: The various legal frameworks referred to above include, for example. statutory planning guidelines such as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and closer to home our own Neighbourhood Plan.
Cllr Chris Farrance