Cabinet Report

Report of Head of Planning

Author: Samantha Allen

Telephone: 07717 274692


Wards affected: Watchfield and Shrivenham Ward


Cabinet member responsible: Cllr Debby Hallett



Date: 18 August 2022



Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review Adoption


(a) That the Great Coxwell Conservation Area boundary is adopted as per the proposed revisions shown at Appendix 1.

(b) That the Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan as amended is adopted.

(c) To delegate to the Head of Planning in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member to make minor changes, typographical corrections or non-material amendments to the Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan document prior to formal publication and statutory notification requirements.


Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of this report is to provide a summary of the representations received during the public consultation on the draft Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review, to detail the changes that have been made and to seek formal adoption of the boundary and associated document.

Corporate Objectives

2.    The Appraisal accords with 2020-2024 Corporate Objectives 1 (Providing the homes people need) and 3 (Building healthy communities). The document also forms part of the development plan evidence base supporting the preservation and enhancement of the district’s historic environment.


Purpose of the Conservation Area Appraisal and Boundary Review

3.    Under Sections 69 & 71 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 local authorities have a duty to designate conservation areas and from time to time to review the boundaries.  Such 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 Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal Document is the mechanism by which the local authority defines the special interest of the area and the boundary was reviewed during the writing of the document.

4.    This appraisal and review were instigated by Great Coxwell Parish Council following on from their Neighbourhood Plan work. The Conservation Team assisted with proof-reading of early drafts and produced the desk-top published version of the document issued for consultation.

5.    The Council were satisfied that the draft document and proposed boundary extension met with the tests of Historic England’s guidance for Conservation Area designation and appraisal and the draft documents were issued for a public consultation.

6.    An eight-week period of public consultation commenced on Wednesday 6 April 2022, closing on Wednesday 1 June 2022. Hard copies of the document were provided at the Parish Church of St Giles and Faringdon Library. We were assisted with the advertising of the consultation by local residents who put together much of the document. 

7.    Under Section 71 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, we have exercised our duty to formulate and produce proposals for the preservation and enhancement of the conservation area. The appraisal document once adopted will form part of the evidence base for the Development Plan. It should be used in the development management process to manage positive change within the designated conservation area or its setting to minimise harm and encourage preservation or enhancement.

Summary of the Appraisal Document and alterations to the Proposed Boundary

8.    The appraisal document provides a summary of the history of Great Coxwell’s development, an assessment of its historic and architectural interest, a gazetteer of local interest buildings (non-listed structures) and interactive mapping showing various details of spatial analysis.

9.    The Conservation Team propose revisions to the existing boundary. These include rationalisation of the boundary where it crosses through a plot boundary and proposed extensions.

Proposed changes to the Designated Boundary

10. There are three areas where the existing Conservation Area Boundary is proposed for revision. The proposals are shown at Appendix 1.

·         The boundary is proposed to be rationalised to follow the domestic curtilage of Greenlanes at the southern end of the village, correcting an existing mapping anomaly partly through the garden and the existing right of way. 

·         The boundary is proposed to be extended at the current boundary at Holloway Lodge to the east to include the remaining historic spaces to the rear of properties along Holloway Road that extend to Dark Lane, one of the historic routeways around the village.

·         The boundary is proposed to be extended to the south of the church to include the new burial ground extension and open land that is closely surrounded by the historic routeway that encircles the outer limits of the village.

Summary of consultation responses received

11. In total, 13 responses were received during the public consultation period. 9 responses were via the online web survey, 2 responses were received via email and 2 responses were paper replies. A consultation statement summarising the detailed comments is attached at Appendix 2.

12. An anonymised comment was received on behalf of the Parish Council. The local group who worked on the Neighbourhood Plan team produced the document. 

13.Overall, the responses received were generally supportive of the content of the document with two respondents welcoming the document that would help to manage change and one seeking to extend the boundary further to protect the natural and wild status of the southern fields.

14. Two respondents commented specifically on the justification for the proposed boundary revisions – Historic England and a Local Resident. One respondent raised concerns about the further inclusion of land associated with Greenlanes. Detailed comments on how the Conservation Team have responded to all the comments received can be found in Appendix 2. Summaries of the revisions made as a result of the comments are detailed below.

Proposed changes to the consultation version of the Appraisal Document

15. The following specific changes are proposed to be made to the document following the public consultation:

·         Historic England identified that the County HER (Historic Environment Record) data was not reproduced within the document. The HER data has been sourced from Oxfordshire County Council. A brief summary of findings will be provided within the document and the relevant local finds plotted on the interactive map. This information does not affect the overall content of the document or any permitted development rights of residents and therefore no further public consultation is considered necessary on this element.

·         The justification for the inclusion of two new areas of the conservation area was not adequately drawn out in the Boundary Changes Section (Section 7) of the document although the information was provided elsewhere in the text. It is proposed to update Section 7 to repeat the descriptions found elsewhere in order to provide clarity on the proposed boundary revisions. As no new information is provided no further public consultation is considered necessary on this element.

·         It is proposed to add the standard methodology information from the other adopted appraisals into the introductory section of the document along with a summary of the consultation process as per comments received from Historic England.


16. There are three options for Cabinet:

1)    To find that the Great Coxwell Conservation Area as proposed to be extended is of special architectural and historic interest and designate the whole area as a conservation area.

2)    To find that the Great Coxwell Conservation Area as proposed to be extended is not of special architectural and historic interest and not to extend the designated area, leaving the existing boundary as the designated conservation area.

3)    To find that there is an area of special architectural and historic interest that extends beyond the existing boundary but that it should be different to that proposed. Having identified and justified the difference to designate that area the conservation area.

17. Based upon officers’ assessment of Great Coxwell as presented in the Conservation Area Appraisal and the responses received during public consultation, it is recommended that the proposed extension to the boundary is adopted and the whole area is designated Great Coxwell Conservation Area together with adopting the accompanying Appraisal, which is in line with Option (1) and the recommendations made at the beginning of this report.

Climate and ecological impact implications

18. There are no anticipated negative climate or ecological implications as a result of the proposed boundary revision or appraisal document.

19. At paragraph 8.1.3 the management plan section of the document encourages high quality and energy efficient designs to combat climate change for all proposed development within the conservation area.

20. Specifically at section 8.2 the document also encourages the effective tree and hedge management, repair and maintenance of the village’s historic buildings and structures to ensure their longevity and reduce the need for new replacement as well as continued use of traditional materials.

21. Conservation Area designation also specifically increases protection of trees over a certain size. 

Financial Implications

22. Any council decision that has financial implications must be made with the knowledge of the council’s overarching financial position. For Vale, the position reflected in the council’s medium-term financial plan (MTFP) as reported to Full Council in February 2022 showed that the council was able to set a balanced budget for 2022/23, but that there is expected to be a budget gap in future years.


23. This future funding gap is predicted to increase to over £3.7 million by 2026/27. As there remains no certainty on future local government funding, following the announcement of a one-year spending review by government, and as the long-term financial consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic remain unknown, this gap could increase further. Every financial decision made needs to be cognisant of the need to address this funding gap in future years.


24. The process of designating a conservation area entails a small cost to advertise the designation of a new boundary to meet the statutory notification requirements as described in the legal implications section below. This cost can be met from within existing planning budgets.

25. Dwellings within the proposed extension once designated would be required to apply for planning permission for certain works that no longer benefit from permitted development rights. In the case of these proposed changes this only affects four properties, three of which are already partly within the existing designated area.

26. There will be some increased work to the council arising from the processing of those applications but some of the cost of processing these applications would be recovered from the planning fee. Additionally, there may be a small increase in overall workload for the service that might not be recovered because some cases will be more complex than average. However, having regard to the very small number of additional properties that the extension would cover, this impact is likely to be very modest relative to annual workloads.

27. The modest costs associated with the above points will be met from existing planning budgets.

Legal Implications

21. The Appraisal meets the Council’s obligations required by the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Under Sections 69 and 71 of the Act, the Council should review conservation area boundaries from time-to-time and formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of any parts of their area which are conservation areas. This Appraisal for Great Coxwell forms part of the Council’s rolling programme of providing conservation area appraisals for all its designated conservation areas.

22. The principal legal effect of the designation of an area as a conservation area is control over demolition of buildings (including structures classed as buildings in planning legislation) and control over works to trees. In determining applications, the council also has a duty under the Planning Acts to have regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area and there are less generous permitted development rights, under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015.

23. The Act requires that the designation of a new conservation area or variation to it be advertised in the London Gazette, a local newspaper and registered as a local land charge. The Secretary of State (DCMS) and Historic England will also be notified.


24. No strategic or operational risks associated with the matters covered in this report have been identified.

Other implications

25. It has been confirmed that an Equality Impact Assessment is not required for this Conservation Area Appraisal document. The document is a supplementary guide to existing planning policy and statutory designation with no negative impact on associated policies, service users or employees. The document has been produced to be as accessible as possible.


26. Having regard to the evidence collected and presented in the Great Coxwell Conservation Area Appraisal and to the responses received during consultation, it is recommended that the Great Coxwell Conservation Area boundary is amended as proposed. It is also recommended that the Conservation Area Appraisal document is adopted.




·        Appendix 1: Great Coxwell Conservation Area Proposed Boundary Map

·        Appendix 2: Consultation Statement