Land at Church Farm, Holton, Wincanton, Somerset

Protecting the character and significance of a village conservation area

Historic Buildings & Places objected to an application for Permission in Principle to erect three new dwellings on a vacant site adjacent to the Grade II* listed church of St Nicholas. The proposal would have impacted on the setting of several listed houses as well as on the character and appearance of the Holton Conservation Area.

Permission in principle applications allow an owner to seek permission for a development concept and, if approved, submit the technical details as a second application, at which stage the local authority cannot refuse the principle of the application, only the design.

Our objection was on the grounds that full details needed to be provided for any proposal for the site to be considered, as any form of new development would not only erode the positive contribution the open green space provides within the Conservation Area, but also harm the setting of the Church and other adjoining listed buildings. We advised that, as part of a full planning application, a Statement of Heritage Significance was needed to demonstrate that the site was capable of some form of sensitive development and to determine the scale and nature of that development. The planning authority agreed and refused the application.

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