Heritage and conservation

South Northamptonshire contains some of the country's most quintessentially English landscapes interspersed with attractive, largely unspoilt villages characterised by picturesque stone cottages. We are committed to preserving what is special about the district and our historic buildings and landscapes are fundamental to the character of the area.

We work with others to protect, sustain and enhance the district's heritage. The Heritage Team is responsible for managing change to the district's historic buildings and areas through the planning process (known as Development Management). It also advises on the preparation of planning policies to sustain and enhance the historic environment. The team also offers specialist advice on repairs and alterations to owners of the 1,800 listed buildings and other historic buildings in the district.

Ancient Monuments and Landscapes An ancient monument is an early historical structure or monument (eg an archaeological site) worthy of preservation and study due to archaeological or heritage interest. The character of the landscape in the district is an essential element of what is special about this district.
Conservation Areas A Conservation Area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. There are currently 62 Conservation Areas in the District. Article 4 Directions are designations imposed locally which restrict some of the Permitted development rights which would normally be allowed. The Council is currently reviewing its Conservation Areas - details can be found by clicking on the link to the left.
Conservation Advice Notes As part of the Council's commitment to preserving what is special about the district, the Heritage Team have produced a number of conservation advice notes to assist homeowners and members of the public in their dealings with the historic environment. These advice notes include guidance on Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings as well as a range of other subjects.
Listed and Historic Buildings Listed Buildings are those of special historical or architectural importance. Buildings can be listed because of age, rarity, architectural merit, and method of construction.
Village Design Statements The Council has published a series of village design statements prepared by villages. A VDS is a document that describes the distinctive characteristics of the locality and provides design guidance to influence future development of the area.
Conservation Strategy (171 kb pdf)

We are committed to protecting the district and ensuring that this exceptional heritage is recognised, valued, enhanced, explained and made accessible to as many people as possible. This Conservation Strategy is a fundamental step to ensuring that this happens. It sets out the Council's responsibilities and aspirations for the historic environment within the district, the resources that are available to it and a programme for how it intends to undertake this task over the next five years.

We recently consulted on a new Conservation Strategy for the period 2016-2021. Please see our Consultations page for details. Responses are now being considered and analysed and the website will be updated to advise of the document's progress at a later date.

Heritage Library: Canals, Village Design Guidance and Culture There are a number of publications related to conservation and Heritage including a number relating to canals including Stoke Bruerne Conservation Plan (2008), a full range of guidance for development in the villages and hamlets across the district and the Cultural Strategy (2003).
Article 4(1) Directions  If we think that a certain type of development would compromise the planning objectives we have for an area, or if the development would be a threat to the amenity of the area then we can serve an Article 4 direction on the land. This means that specific development rights on the land would be removed.
Grant Aid The aim of this grant is to protect our heritage by assisting with the repair or reinstatement of traditional features on Listed Buildings and on Article 4 Buildings in conservation areas.

To be eligible for the grant the applicant must have owned or leased the building for at least 10 years prior to the date of application and in all but exceptional cases the building must be their sole residence. The grant is for up to 35% to a maximum of £2,000 of the total cost for the repair of tradition historic doors, windows and other architecturally important features, or the reinstatement of traditional features
Visiting South Northamptonshire History For details of attractions to visit with a heritage interest please visit these webpages for information and links.

Contact details

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01327 322265

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