Combe Hay was identified as being of special architectural and historic interest and was designated a Conservation Area on 4 November 1981. Its boundary encapsulates the main core of the village. The Council has a duty to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of Conservation Areas in exercising its planning powers, and to periodically reappraise the boundaries. This appraisal will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

The appraisal identifies elements which contribute toward the character of the area and those that detract from it. This provides the basis upon which to develop proposals for preservation and enhancement. It also enables local residents to participate in the identification of features which are important to the special character of the area in which they live. The preparation of this appraisal has been undertaken in close cooperation with Combe Hay Parish Council which included a walking inspection of the Conservation Area and further meetings to discuss the history of the village. Great care has been taken to be as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. However the nature of a document such as this will inevitably result in omissions. Such omissions should not be interpreted as being an assessment of value or significance. The appraisal can be downloaded from the Documents section on the right.

Summary of Special Interest

• Exceptional landscape setting located within a small river valley surrounded by steep sloping fields and the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
• Feeling of rural intimacy and peaceful atmosphere provided by topography, woodland, significant ancient woodland, hedges and densely tree lined brook
• Not encroached by significant modern development, busy roads, modern kerbs, pavements and street lighting
• Prevalence of historic buildings built of local Oolitic Limestone including the Parish Church and Manor House
• Surviving agricultural buildings with characteristic oval Combe Hay “pitching eyes”
• Varying levels and steep inclines that the village is built upon creates visual interest and atmosphere
• Narrow lanes lined with hedgerows overhung by thick tree canopy affording varied and interesting light and dappled shade
• Picturesque cottage gardens and watercress beds provide attractive gaps between buildings
• Quintessential Cotswold stone village with historic cottages in the vernacular style providing a low rise scene
• Ancient and compact village pattern and grain that has undergone little change and witnessed only limited modern development
• Small to medium irregular field patterns with hedgerow boundaries dating from mediaeval period
• Outstanding intimate, short to medium range vistas through gaps between buildings and woodland
• Central position within Conservation Area of Parish Church and classical Manor House within landscaped parkland including ice house, ornamental lake and small historic packhorse bridge over the Cam Brook
• Tree lined avenue approach from the west with a thatched estate cottage orné at the top gives sense of arrival
• Industrial archaeology including remnants of the Somersetshire Coal Canal and GWR branch line
• Historic street furniture and attractive public realm features including an historic Sir Giles Gilbert Scott K6 telephone kiosk dating from 1935 and post box, natural pennant stone kerbing and ornate village spring
• Cock and hen dry stone boundary walls constructed of local Oolitic limestone rubble
• Abundance of deciduous native tree species with very few inappropriate species such as Leylandii

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