New Alresford Design Statement


Station Sign
Alresford Design Statement

Section 1 Introduction

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1.1 What is a Town Design Statement?

The purpose of a Town Design Statement (TDS) is to influence the planning process so that changes and developments in the town settlement area will reflect local characteristics and will preserve the qualities the community values in its surroundings.

Broad Street showing the Georgian style windowsProduced by the community, a TDS, once having the official status of 'Supplementary Planning Document' gives detailed practical guidance on the broad outline within the local development framework. In Alresford's case, the research undertaken for the New Alresford Town Plan and Action Plan was followed by a two-year research and consultative process for this document. The documents relating to this research is held at New Alresford Town Council (NATC).

It will assist developers and planners when assessing planning proposals; also ensuring further development and change is sustainable and based on an understanding of the common threads linking past and present, the continuing maintenance of land and buildings, and contribute positively to its future.

Why a TDS for Alresford?

Alresford is a small market town, voted the most attractive in the south of England (and second in the whole of England) in the 2005 Country Life Market Towns competition. It is famed throughout the country for its colourful Georgian architecture, open airy streets and quaint passageways and is set on the edge of the Alresford marshlands in the beautiful Upper Itchen Valley countryside nine miles east of Winchester.

The area has a long history of settlement going back to the Iron Age due to its sheltered position and clear shallow source of water. It is bordered by the Upper Itchen Valley, for which it part sources natural irrigation, and is recognized in the Winchester District Landscape Character Assessment as an area of natural beauty. The town's economic and social history is so important to its current character; this is covered separately in Section 2.

By setting sustainable guidelines for development within the town and its surroundings this design statement will help safeguard the New Alresford conservation area, as well as the settlement and industrial areas that have built up around it since Victorian times by setting sustainable guidelines for development within the town and its surroundings. What area does it cover?

The River Alre at the Town Mill

This design statement covers the New Alresford ward of Winchester and District constituency as shown in Maps 1.1 and 1.2.

The River Alre runs from the Old Alresford Pond along much of the northern border and tributaries sweep southwards towards Tichborne and westwards where it feeds the river Itchen. To the west beyond the water meadows is the Upper Itchen Valley. To the south-east and east of Tichborne Down are wooded and farmed down lands with footpaths alongside the golf course, and the golf course. These are integral parts of the local environment. The town's surroundings help shape its character and ambience, and give a magnificent landscape for the community and visitors to enjoy.

Consultative Process

The consultative process for this document started in October 2004 and is ongoing. This and the statement of public involvement are described in Appendix A.

This document is published for formal public consultation and comments should be sent by the 5 April 2007 to:

Head of Strategic Planning,
Winchester City Council,
Colebrook Street,
Winchester, Hants SO23 9LJ

1.2 Summary of Aims and Objectives

The aim of the New Alresford Town Design Statement is to be a positive and continuing influence helping to shape future development of the town.

Its objectives are to help ensure the town develops in a way that retains its essential characteristics and historical features by providing:

Subjects people highlighted as important, not relevant to this document, will be taken forward in the Town Plan Health Check.

This is the community's perception of New Alresford, as it is in 2006 and its ideas on how it can be shaped in the years ahead in a way that will protect it for future generations, together with summary Character Descriptions and Guidance based on those perceptions, to encourage quality in design of new properties.

The Community Centre and Swan Hotel, West StreetWe would like to thank all those who have participated in the research for this document, in particular, those people who have participated in the workshops and the subsequent consultation process; Planning Aid South, Alresford Town Councilors, the Town Plan Steering Group, The Alresford Society, and all those who have worked with them.

We would also like to thank the Swan and The Community Centre for providing venues without charge during the six-week public display in 2005.


This document refers to:

Textual Format

The following format is adopted in the document:

Next - Section 2