The purpose of the Appraisal

Pensford was identified as being of special architectural and historic interest and was designated a Conservation Area in May 1988.

The Council has a duty to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of Conservation Areas, and to periodically reappraise the boundaries.  This appraisal will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

'Conservation Area Appraisals' give an overview of the history and development of an area and try to define what it is that makes them special. They also identify specific features which contribute towards their character, for example historic buildings, open spaces, significant views, natural elements and features which help make an area locally distinct. They may even include intangible qualities such as activities, sights and smells which are characteristic of a place. The documents also identify elements that could be improved.

The appraisal can be downloaded from the Documents section below right.

Pensford: Summary of Special Interest

  • The exceptional landscape setting within the gently undulating countryside of the Chew Valley
  • The medieval street pattern centred on the old market place
  • The central features of the River Chew and Salter’s Brook which physically divide the village
  • The strong association with the medieval cloth trade and vestiges of the industry including water wheels and mill leats
  • Evidence of the former mining industry including miners’ cottages, the miners welfare and abandoned mineworks in the surrounding area
  • The dominant landmark of the disused North Somerset railway viaduct and associated structures
  • The close grain of the buildings, often built hard on to the road
  • The prevalent use of locally distinct materials, particularly Pennant sandstone and clay pan tiles
  • The contrast between intimate enclosure within the village and the fine open space of the surrounding countryside
  • The characteristic roofscape of pitched roofs, clay tiles and chimney pots, more visible due to the undulating nature of the landscape

Summary of Issues and Recommended Management Proposals

  • The policies that govern development in Conservation Areas in the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan (emerging) should be carried forward into any replacement Local Development Document.
  • It is recommended that an Article 4 Direction be considered to cover changes to doors and windows, roof coverings, insertion of rooflights and the demolition of walls under 1m high.  This would help prevent loss of traditional details and protect the visually important roofscape.
  • Enforcement action should be considered in cases of unauthorised works which adversely affect the character of the Conservation Area or listed buildings.
  • The use of underground cables for services would help prevent the streetscape and wider landscape being interrupted by overhead wires.
  • Unlisted buildings of note should be considered for inclusion on the Local List.

Community Involvement

Public support and involvement is essential to the successful management of Conservation Areas. Following the production of a first draft by Bath and North East Somerset Council, copies of this appraisal and the accompanying maps were provided for the parish council and local Members. A copy was posted onto the Council’s website and hard copies provided for consultation in the Council Offices and the central library. Six weeks were allowed for comments to be submitted, after which the final draft was completed. This appraisal was approved by the Council 2008.

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