Trust Annual Report 1998

 

Projects Group 1997-1998

 

The Preservation Trust's motto is "...cares for the character of Winchester". Over the past year, the Projects Group has again been working on two specific issues, which affect the character of Winchester on different levels.

 

The gradual erosion of character by piecemeal change within the conservation area is a real threat to the special qualities of Winchester. Such changes (for example, insertion of roof lights into street-side roof slopes, removal of garden walls and railings etc.) are often outside the remit of the planning authorities, and are termed "permitted development rights". These could be controlled by the introduction of an "article four direction", a legal limitation on permitted development, which can be introduced where a demonstrable threat to the character of an area exists. The Projects Group has compiled a trial study on a street in Hyde, and has submitted this to the City Council for their consideration. Their detailed response to the study is still awaited. In the meantime, the street in question is suffering from further alterations to its housing stock, under the guise of permitted development.

 

The second issue on which the group has been working is the compilation of a series of "neighbourhood studies". These examine the various individual areas of Winchester, and, although they are not intended to be the definitive guide to each area, it is hoped that they will provide some useful background information concerning the history and character of the various parts of the city which make up the whole. The first study area to be considered in detail is Fulflood, and the study for Oram's Arbour and the St James area is currently in production. The documents will be sent to councillors on the Planning Committee, amongst others, as a means of deepening the level of understanding of the character of our city. The studies will also be made available to any who are interested via the Heritage Centre.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Projects Group, Shione and Michael Carden, Mark Dodd, and in particular Nick Bourne. Nick has worked tirelessly in researching the areas for the neighbourhood studies, and also in producing beautiful line drawings and sketches to illustrate and enliven the reports.

 

Antony Feltham-King

Chairman, Projects Committee