Alresford Design Statement

Section 4.The Conservation Area

4.1 The Built Environment - Introduction

Map showing Conservation Area
The centre of New Alresford (highlighted in yelloe on Map 4.1) was designated a Conservation Area to protect the special environment and historical character that is admired by residents and visitors. Especial enjoyment is gained from the main streets and glances into the lanes feeding them.

The Conservation Area is characterised by the colourful façade of the commercial hub of the town, which people say makes them smile and

East Street
in the survey responses ranked first amongst their favourite views, and the way the variety of buildings and colours blend.

East Street
Properties immediately front Broad Street, East and West Streets and the lanes and are built parallel to the road. Built of local bricks and materials with porch features and wooden small pane windows. Many have access to the rear of the property for the disposal of household waste and off street parking. A few properties have no way to dispose waste except taking the dustbin through the house, off street parking, or access to it. Contract parking is used as owners have voted not to have parking bays in front of the house because parked cars pose the risk of danger and loss of view for visitors. The survey of residents indicated an inadequate parking provision for both residential and commercial purposes.

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.

Example of embedded flint workAttractive colour painted properties:

4.1.1 Access to the Conservation Area

Sun Lane joins East StreetAccess 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:


4.1.2 Open Spaces in or near the Conservation Area. (See Map 4.2)

Map of the Open Spaces in the Conservation AreaThe 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.

Memorial Gardens
At the bottom of The Dean, Pinglestone Road runs alongside the River Alre (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.

Memorial Gardens
The Soke is at the southern end of Mill Hill. Turning left into The Soke The Globe public house can be seen directly ahead. Beyond this are the pond (Area C) and the river, (where people used to swim) abounding with entertaining wildlife.

4.1.3 Other Recreational Facilities

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.


4.1.4 Homes for the Elderly

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).

Private Provision

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)

Evelyn MewsIn The Dean is Evelyn Mews and a new small development, Orchard Dean, just outside the conservation area, also in The Dean. (Map 4.3: Area B)

4.1.5 Bulk of Buildings

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.

4.1.6 Foot Paths

See Section 5

4.2 Building Guidelines & Design Recommendations

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.

4.3 Guidance

Please use this section for listed and unlisted buildings in the conservation area.

C1.  Positioning and Design of Properties and Extensions

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP1 - DP 6, HE4 - HE8, HE13 - 16, H3, H5, H8, SF1 - 7 apply):

C2.  Building Materials - Walls

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.

Wrong mortar used in repair.

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, DP4, HE5 - HE9 apply):

C3. Building Materials - Roofs, Gutters and Pipes

Cast iron gutters & down pipesRoofs 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.

C4.  Dormer Windows

Roofs & Dormer WindowsGuidance (WDPL R Ref: DP 3 applies):

C5.  Building Materials - Windows

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):

C6. Building Materials - Doors

Guidance(WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE8, HE9 apply):

C7.  Building Materials - Porches and Porticos

Portico in Broad StretProperties normally have a porch or portico that enhances the street scene.

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE8, HE9 apply):

C8.  Extensions

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5 - HE8, apply):

C9.  Garages - Materials and PositioningMalthouse Cottages before conversion

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).:

C10.  Wooden Sheds and Garden Buildings

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP3, HE5, HE6 apply):Malthouse Cottages after Conversion

C11.  Green Energy

Guidance (WDLP R Ref: DP6 applies):

C12. Fencing and Hedges

Guidance :

Generally hedges, deciduous or non deciduous, should not be over 1.83 metres in height.

Recent new build in Broad Street4.4 Other Guidance in more detail.

G1.  General

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):

G2.  Affordable Homes

Guidance on this issue is covered in the Local Plan (WDLP R Ref: H 5 apply).

G3.  Footpaths

The Dean and River AlreGuidance (WDLP R Ref: DP1, T8 apply):

G4.  Parking

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):

4.5 Character Areas

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

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

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.

West StreetAll 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

Character Area D - The Lanes

Bakehouse YardProperties are two and two and a half storey, built at differing times, as small hostelries and terraced cottages, parallel to the road.

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.

The Dean

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).

Pound Hill

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).

Pound HillLandmarks & Key Features in and bordering this Area

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.

Alresford StationThe 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

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 Churchyard Coottageswith 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

Next - Section 5