Southwold Town Council recently commissioned Place Services to undertake Character Area Appraisals for the Council’s Neighbourhood Plan group. The document provides a baseline of the historic development of the town and its key heritage and landscape characteristics, to inform future development and design with regard to the sensitivities of the historic environment and its unique character.
Through conducting site walkovers, assessing historic maps and existing guidance for Southwold, and consulting members of the Neighbourhood Plan group, the town was divided into seven distinct character areas.
The project included the review of three draft Character Area Appraisals undertaken by a group of residents and Neighbourhood Plan team members, led by two local conservation architects. Collaborating closely with members of the Neighbourhood Plan group, our team reviewed and updated these draft documents, and further work was undertaken to create four new character areas.
Each Character Area Appraisal provides a baseline history, an assessment of development, and identifies key heritage assets and landscape features as well as the contribution these make to the unique character areas. The historic and landscape characteristics of the town were used to identify key sensitivities and susceptibilities of the character areas, with a view to informing and developing policies for the Neighbourhood Plan. The study provided an understanding of the significance of the historic development and characteristics of Southwold in order to ensure that future decision making is sustainable, robust and sound.