09/02/22: Public consultation opens on next stage for Swaffham heritage plan

Breckland Council's Cabinet has voted to put draft plans for Swaffham's High Street Heritage Action Zone out to public consultation. The two documents are the Swaffham Conservation Area Appraisal and the Swaffham Town Centre Improvement Masterplan, and the consultation on them is now open and will run until 4 March 2022.

The £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, which is being delivered by Historic England, will unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations.  Historic England is working in partnership with Breckland Council to implement this programme in Swaffham.

The Conservation Area Appraisal has been prepared by Purcell Architecture. A conservation area is defined as an area 'of special architectural or historic interest the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'. The Swaffham Conservation Area covers the historic town centre and the roads radiating away from it, as well as the churchyard and green spaces to the east. The Conservation Area Appraisal sets out the defining features that make the area special and provides a set of management recommendations for the area's ongoing protection and enhancement.

The Conservation Area was last appraised in 1974, by Breckland Council. This new appraisal makes recommendations for some changes to the boundary of the area to account for changes to the town since then. If adopted, the new appraisal will help to inform planning policy for Swaffham.

The Town Centre Improvement Masterplan has been prepared by design consultancy Urban Symbiotics. It aims to set out a vision for Swaffham's future as a 21st-century market town that incorporates its rich heritage. It has been devised after engagement activity involving local business owners, community groups, youth groups and other stakeholders.

The third element of the HSHAZ programme is aBuilding Improvement Scheme, which is being delivered with Kings & Dunne Architects. It provides funding for improvements and reinstatement of traditional and heritage character features to buildings within the HSHAZ boundary area and is already open to applications from building owners.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council's Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth, said: "The High Street Heritage Action Zone is a really exciting project for Swaffham, and I'm delighted to see it moving to the next stage. These two documents complement each other: the Conservation Area Appraisal defines in detail which buildings and areas are important to Swaffham's unique character and the Town Centre Masterplan sets out our vision for including that character in Swaffham's future. I'd encourage everyone to take this consultation period as a chance to look at both documents in detail and let us know your thoughts. Our Future Breckland project is harmonising with the HSHAZ project under our Thriving Places corporate priority: the future really is bright for Swaffham."

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England said: "I'm delighted to see the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone gathering momentum and would love to see the people of Swaffham getting involved and giving their thoughts during this consultation period. Swaffham's historic character makes it a special place for people to live, work and enjoy life and I'm looking forward to seeing how the High Street Heritage Action Zone can enhance that for the future."

View the documents and leave your feedback


Last updated: 08/04/2022 08:38:31