BROCKHAMPTON CONSERVATION AREA STATEMENT OF POLICY
For a map of the area click here (Cotswold District Council website).
The village of Brockhampton lies in a sheltered valley location, high in the Cotswold Hills, yet only some 6 miles due east of Cheltenham. It is situated within a mile of the source of the River Coln which flows southwards through such attractive Cotswold villages as Withington, Bibury and Fairford before joining the Thames close to Lechlade. Just to the north, over the watershed, the Bresmoor Brook leads northwards towards Winchcombe in what appears to be part of the same deeply incised valley.
The hills rise steeply on both sides of the River Coln to over 900 feet above sea level, with Cleeve Common a few miles to the west being, at 1070 feet, the highest point of the Cotswold Hills. Its relatively secluded location, mainly on the eastern valley side adds greatly to the attraction and character of the village, which owes much to the splendid views along and across the valley.
The minor road from Andoversford to Winchcombe runs northwards on the west side of the River Coln, effectively by-passing the main part of the village, though lined on its west side by a group of houses which straddle the District boundary. A lodge building guards the entrance to Brockhampton Park, its broad, curving driveway leading away from the crossroads above the village.
Brockhampton Park, built as a large Victorian house around the nucleus of a 17th century manor, is by far the most dominant building in the village. Together with its attractive group of surrounding stables and outbuildings, it stands in a well-treed parkland setting on the west side of the River Coln, which flows through the man-made lake in the grounds. A timber bridge, with several arches, crosses the lake, aligned with the central axis of the east front of the Park. This axis is picked up to the east and west with avenues of trees, a section of railings in the stone boundary wall allowing views to the west across the former Deer Park. The railings form a feature on both sides of the road alongside the Park and are marked by four tall stone piers. The Park has recently been subdivided into separate ownerships with the house itself split into flats and the outbuildings around the walled garden converted to residential use.
The road into the village runs down alongside the wall of Brockhampton Park to cross the River Coln as it drains from the lake, before climbing more steeply to wind up through the village. The open field to the south of the road is complemented by the stone wall fronting the 17th century Brockhampton Court opposite. This attractive gable fronted house has stone piers, with ball finials, on either side of the pedestrian gateway and the adjacent coach house and outbuildings complete the group. A narrow grass-covered track leads northwards beside the walled garden of the Court towards Spring Cottage, before returning eastwards to rejoin the village street at East Lodge, completing a roughly square form of tracks and roads which enclose an open paddock area in the centre of the village.
The single storey outbuildings of Grange Farm, set tight against the roadside, help to create a strong feeling of enclosure in contrast to the terraced form of the cottages set back from the north side of the street. A lane leads southwards past Grange Farm’s tall east front towards the Old Brewery buildings dating back from the 18th century and dominated by a slender red-brick chimney. This lane also serves a few cottages, the Craven Arms Public House and a pair of more recent reconstructed stone houses whose gardens run down to and across the narrow Coln. The group is completed and enhanced by the pleasant south-facing New Row, a symmetrical terrace of six cottages, stepped in pairs towards the valley and with rear gabled extensions.
The simple Baptist Church and adjacent hall stand opposite an open farmyard and facing onto the small green formed at the crossroads junction in the middle of the village. From here a narrow lane leads south past Gassons Farm into the open countryside which separates the village from neighbouring Sevenhampton and a level, though slightly winding, village street leads northwards between the old and new Post Offices. The main road continues to climb eastwards past a group of Local Authority houses towards the upper part of the village.
Houses and cottages are spaced informally along the street which leads to the north from the village green, some set at right angles to the road and most having large verge coping stones to the gables. The village hall is set tight against the west side of the road, whilst a broad grass verge borders its eastern side below a stone boundary wall. Beyond the partly-metalled lane to Spring Cottage, East Lodge, with its prominent ashlar gable adjacent to the road, marks the end of the village street as it turns sharply to the right and, together with the 18th century Dower House opposite, frames the broad view northwards to the hills above Winchcombe.
The compact upper section of Brockhampton is separated from the main part of the village by a significant area of open countryside and lies some 150 feet further up the valley side at a height of 800 feet above sea level. This part of the village has a very simple linear form astride the steeply rising narrow road as it climbs across the contours towards the hills east of the village, and beyond to Bourton on the Water.
Opposite the open allotment gardens, cottages are set tightly against the south side of the road, in a generally terraced form, stepping up the hillside and, having a southerly aspect, take advantage of the extensive views down and across the valley. The land form drops steeply away to the south-west into a dry tributary valley of the River Coln. Beyond the early 19th century Old Bethel Chapel, now converted to a house, the development continues on both sides of the narrow road, with 17th and 18th century cottages in terraced or detached form set close to the roadside or set back behind small walled front gardens. Others have small Victorian porches opening directly onto the street and the occasional house is set at right angles to the road adding interest and variety to the street picture.
Several of the cottages on the north side of the road have names which reflect the presence of the former stone quarry immediately behind them, cut into the rising hillside. At Quarr Cottage the road levels off slightly until it clears the end of the village before again climbing steeply towards the ancient Salt Way a mile away to the east. From the above village extensive views are obtained over the rooftops across the valley towards Cleare Common and southwards to Kilkenny.
Throughout the village, the majority of houses and cottages are built in natural Cotswold stone of a warm creamy colour and with many roofs of natural stone tiles. There are a few more recent houses in reconstructed stone and at least one, Woodview, faced in roughcast render, with the red-brick chimney of the old Brewery adding colour in a surprisingly attractive way. Most of the larger houses are to be found in the lower part of the village, with the cottages in the upper section being of a generally smaller domestic scale.
Any new development within the village would be strictly limited to the occasional infilling plot, but there are several open areas within and around the edges of the village which would not be considered suitable for development. The present clear distinction between the two sections of the village should be maintained and care taken to protect valuable views.
Alterations to existing buildings may be permitted to enable them to adapt to changing needs provided that the scale and character is compatible with the original building. Any new buildings, alterations and extensions will be expected to be in harmony with the area by way of setting, scale, form, materials, colour and texture. Every effort will be made to preserve the best buildings, groups of buildings, walls, open areas, natural features and trees upon which the character of the Conservation Area depends and the District Council will consider other ways of preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the area.
To assist in achieving these general objectives, development control will be exercised in accordance with the following established policies and principles:-
- Permission in outline form will not normally be given for building development within the Conservation Area and more detailed plans to show the new development in its setting and particulars of proposed design, materials and existing trees will normally be required. Particular care will be exercised to ensure that inappropriate colours or materials are not used and that the design is in character with the local traditions.
- Additional buildings, or additions to existing buildings will only be permitted where they make a positive contribution to the character of the area or will be entirely unobtrusive. Replacement of buildings may be permitted, when it can be shown that the existing building is of an inappropriate character or wholly beyond repair.
- Within the Area, uses which generate unreasonable noise, other nuisance, or excessive traffic, or which would result in untidy sites, will not be permitted and existing uses of this nature will not normally be allowed to expand.
- Any proposal to demolish a building or wall, whether “listed” or not, which forms an essential part of the character of the area will be resisted. Proposals to fell or lop trees which make a valuable contribution to the character of the Conservation Area will also be resisted.
- Proposals to convert a property to a business use will be examined carefully to ensure that this will not develop into such a use that would be incompatible with the visual qualities and functions of the Conservation Area.
- Proposals to develop open areas and significant natural features forming an essential part of the character of the area will not normally be permitted. This policy applies equally to those areas of open land around the village and outside the Conservation Area which are considered to be of importance to the character and setting of the settlement.
- Advertisements, signs and notice boards will be subject to the most stringent control afforded by the Control of Advertisements Regulations 1969, and will be permitted only if they are considered to be essential and are well sited and designed to harmonise with the area.
Essential development by statutory undertakers is frequently exempt from planning control. In such cases it is the Council’s intention to foster a spirit of co-operation with these bodies to ensure that such works are carried out in sympathy with their surroundings and in the spirit of the Town and Country Planning Acts. Local initiative will be encouraged in any suitable efforts which are made to enhance the area within the spirit of the Act.
THIS POLICY IN NO WAY IMPLIES ANY RELAXATION OF THE QUALITY OF PLANNING CONTROL OUTSIDE THE DESIGNATED CONSERVATION AREA.