Bid to ensure Holt's special character is protected

Victoria LeggettA north Norfolk town, known for its traditional architecture and independent shops, needs to be protected from 'inappropriate' new developments threatening its character.Victoria Leggett

A north Norfolk town, known for its traditional architecture and independent shops, needs to be protected from 'inappropriate' new developments threatening its character.

Officers from North Norfolk District Council have drawn up a character appraisal and management plan for Holt's conservation area to look at how the town is protected by the planning process.

The team has concluded that, while the area has so far retained its strong Georgian and Victorian feel, work is needed to ensure it is not lost in the future.

A report to go before NNDC's development control committee today will outline the findings of the appraisal and warn there is 'no room for complacency' when it comes to protecting Holt's 'unique sense of place'.


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It says: 'Holt's special architectural character and historic interest needs to be preserved and enhanced not least for its future economic well-being and prosperity.'

The town's many independent shops situated in traditional buildings are seen as a big draw to the area and enable businesses to thrive.

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But past developments have been labelled 'inappropriate' because of their design and locations and poor quality street surfaces and 'uncoordinated' lighting also criticised.

It is suggested measures should be taken to prevent changes, like removing sash windows on homes, to preserve their character.

But the report also emphasises the fact that 'despite the development pressures of the last four decades' Holt remains a town full of character and interest.

At today's meeting, councillors will be recommended to adopt the appraisal and management plan, which would be used to inform planning decisions for the town in the future.

The committee will also be asked to prepare a programme of improvements for the conservation area.

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