Conservation Areas are defined as ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.
The Conservation Area in Barrington is centred on the distinctive elongated village green with its abundance of thatched properties with white render which give the conservation area a very strongly rural character – reflecting the long history behind the Barrington settlement. There is also a significant number of twentieth-century buildings in the conservation area but these mostly adhere to the prevailing character of the older buildings in scale, materials, and roof profile.
There are 39 listed buildings within the Barrington Conservation Area. All Saints Church is Grade I, the Royal Oak public house and Newlyn (14 West Green) are Grade II*. Each listed building or structure is identified on the Conservation Area map, and full details of their listing can be found at Historic England.
The Barrington Conservation Area has several features of special architectural and historic interest the District Council has a duty to ‘draw up and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement’ of its Conservation Areas as required by the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
A recent Appraisal of the Barrington Conservation Area has been undertaken by the District Council and the draft Appraisal will be published for consultation hopefully in September 2021. The draft Appraisal document will cover all the aspects set out by Historic England on conservation area appraisals and management plans, including an analysis of the special character of the Barrington Conservation Area and recommended actions for the management of the Area so as to preserve and enhance its character.
Additional planning constraints therefore apply to any proposed development in a conservation area. Guidance to promote enhancement of the conservation area is provided in the South Cambs District Council’s District Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and in the Development in Conservation Areas SPD. These two documents which are available on the Council’s website, are material considerations when making planning decisions. The weight to be attached to them in decision making to be determined on a case by case basis and consistent with National Planning Guidance and the adopted South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018.
The Barrington Conservation Area Appraisal – once finalised – will also be an important document in that regard.
In general terms, sustaining the character of the conservation area into the future will depend on proper management of the existing heritage assets, on care in the design of new development, including alterations and additions to existing buildings, and on taking opportunities for enhancement.
The Parish Council and the Green Charity both take great care to ensure the sustainability of the Conservation Area and of Barrington as whole for the generations to come.