Conservation area bid to safeguard village history

Proposal to turn a village centre into a conservation area.

Proposal to turn a village centre into a conservation area. - Credit: Archant

THE centre of a North Somerset village could soon become a conservation area to preserve its historical features and protect it from developers.

North Somerset Council is currently carrying out a consultation on whether to turn the centre of Barrow Gurney into a designated conservation area.

Steps Farm, Springhead Farm, Compton Mead, Thatched Cottages and the Long House all have listed status, but this does not cover a number of the surrounding buildings, structures and natural features.

Barrow Gurney Parish Council has been hoping to get this designation for 11 years to protect it from developers and make it more appealing to tourists.

Chairman Eric Gates said: “Our aim is to preserve the essential character and visual setting of our distinctive village by protecting the unique historical and architectural character of the buildings and their surroundings.

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“Ultimately our vision continues to be the creation of an attractive historic village that people might wish to visit to enjoy its special character.”

The council has had overwhelming support from the village in its quest to seek conservation status.

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Barrow Gurney is a well-preserved example of an estate village which existed to support Barrow Court.

The group of farms makes up the core of the old village, with the mill, the chapel and the pub close by.

The laundry - now the Long House -and the surrounding houses made up the remainder of the community.

Land Yeo stream also has a long history of milling and in the mid 19th century its spring provided a source of water for Bristol.

The aim of a conservation area is to ensure that the quality of a town or village is preserved or enhanced as well as protecting individual buildings.

Cllr Gates added: “This is part of the vision we had for improving the village and developing it after the link road construction.

“It would allow the enhancement of the special features that contribute to the character of the village and potentially redress some of the negative aspects of the current highways scheme.”

The council will also continue to develop a network of footpaths in the village to improve access around Barrow Gurney.

People can share their views on the proposal at Home until April 29.

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