Conservation Areas and reviews
Basingstoke Canal Conservation Areas (designated on 10 October 1985)
The Basingstoke Canal was conceived as a link between Basingstoke and the River Thames via the River Wey, at a time when the country's waterways were being improved as an alternative to the costly use of highways for the import and export trade. Work on the canal started at Woodham (in Runnymede) in 1788, and was to take four years to complete, although due to a number of delays the canal was not opened to traffic until September 1794. During construction, brick fields and brick works were set up in the vicinity of the proposed line of the canal to supply the necessary materials for constructing walls, bridges and wharves.
In 1949 the canal was sold and commercial traffic ceased, partly due to the fact that the navigable length of the canal had reduced over the years. At many points along the canal its character is considerably enhanced by woodland areas which are indicative of its original construction through woodlands.
The Surrey part of the Basingstoke Canal enters the County from Hampshire at Ash Vale (Borough of Guildford) and passes through the boroughs of Surrey Heath and Woking before terminating at the junction of the Basingstoke Canal with the River Wey Navigation at New Haw (in Runnymede).
To save the canal from dereliction, Hampshire and Surrey County Councils acquired their lengths of canal and began to carry out restoration works. Mindful of the historic nature of the canal and the need to protect its industrial archaeology and landscape, Surrey County Council designated its length of canal together with appropriate adjoining areas as a Conservation Area. This was done to encourage public appreciation of its unique qualities and ensure a sensitive approach to opportunities for preservation and enhancement.
Egham Hythe Conservation Area
Egham Hythe is a compact conservation area, centred on a small enclave of properties adjoining the River Thames.
It is probable that the Roman crossing place of the River Thames was very close to this spot, being a natural berthing point due to the bend in the river and the confluence with the River Colne on the north bank. Hythe is the old word for harbour, indicating that this continued to be an important docking area for the many river craft which traded at Staines since Roman times.
There has been a settlement here since at least 1369; today the picturesque row of 18th century style cottages back on to the Thames towpath (wharf) and together with the 17th Century Swan Hotel front the ancient road which lead to the original bridging place of the Thames.
The character of the area has been protected by the building of the modern Staines bridge upstream.
The Egham Hythe conservation area map has been updated to reflect approved boundary changes.
Chertsey Conservation Area (designated in October 1969, extended in November 1987. Reviewed and revised in April 1994)
Chertsey first came to prominence as a religious centre following the founding of Chertsey Abbey. After the dissolution of the monastery Chertsey continued to develop as a prosperous market town. Today the historic town centre forms a 'T' shape with Guildford Street, Windsor Street and London Street and the Chertsey Conservation Area is centred on this junction.
The character of this central area is very much that of a traditional small town with relatively narrow building frontages set hard up against the pavement so that the buildings clearly define the public space. The centre of the town is richly endowed with listed buildings most of which date from the 16th and 17th Centuries.
The area to the north of Windsor Street contains the remains of Chertsey Abbey and its grounds which are a scheduled ancient monument and it is believed that significant archaeological remains survive below ground. Some areas have been investigated and old tile kilns, evidence of lead smelting, and original tile pavements have been revealed.
The town grew up alongside this Abbey as a local agricultural centre. The town also has a long history of metal working and from the 19th century had a famous bell foundry, Eldridge, situated in Windsor Street. Herrings, an Iron Foundry dates to the 19th century and was situated in Gogmore Lane.
Please note that this page is currently being updated to include a plan of the revised Chertsey Conservation Area boundary, which was approved by the Planning Committee on Wednesday 12 February 2020.
Egham Conservation Area (designated on 22 April 1993)
Egham High Street formed part of the main road from London to the south west for many centuries, and at one time was an important staging post for horse drawn coaches. Consequently the High Street has a rich and varied townscape quality with buildings from a number of periods. These include The Red Lion whose origins date back to the 16th Century, the 18th century Literary Institute and the Church of St John the Baptist which dates from the early 19th century.
The 19th century was a time of expansion in Egham with the coming of the railway, the development of the residential area to the north of the High Street and many fine individual buildings including the country's first labour exchange.
The small scale of the buildings, the historic line of the High Street and the townscape quality created by the older buildings and mature trees give Egham its unique character which designation as a conservation area seeks to preserve and enhance.
Please note that this page is currently being updated to include a plan of the revised Egham Conservation Area boundary, which was approved by the Planning Committee on Wednesday 12 February 2020.
Englefield Green Conservation Area (designated on 24 February 1970, extended in August 1978)
Englefield Green is an old village lying on high ground south-west of Egham on the edge of Windsor Forest. It is thought that the name was derived from a Saxon forest clearing known as 'Ingas open space'.
Proximity to Windsor (and the Royal Court) and the facility of a good road encouraged the gentry to build homes north of the Green, and some of the larger properties at one time had grazing rights for sheep and cattle on the green.
The original Conservation area only included buildings and land immediately adjoining the principal open area of Englefield Green, because it was considered that this portion of the green with the properties immediately fronting on to it had the greatest visual impact.
The extension, which was to the northern side of the existing area takes in the wooded part of the Green with its surrounding development of mainly Victorian and turn of the century housing, some of which has considerable character. It was considered that the designation of the extended area would also assist the retention of local character in the approach to Shoreditch Teachers' Training College (later to become Brunel University) and the important public access to the Cooper's Hill and Runnymede Memorials and vistas.
Thorpe Conservation Area (designated on 24 February 1970, extended on 9 August 1984)
It is thought that Thorpe Village might be the successor to the settlements which have existed in the district since early prehistoric times, and numerous archaeological discoveries have been made, especially from the gravel pits and other developments around the village.
Thorpe Village has existed in some form since 672 AD when it was granted by King Frithuwold to endow Chertsey Abbey, and it remained dependent on the Abbey for many centuries (until the Dissolution).
The oldest existing building is the church of St. Mary, parts of which date from 12th century. Many buildings date from 16th century, and the village hall was originally a tythe barn.
The original Thorpe Conservation Area was designated on 24 February 1970 and extended in an easterly direction in 1984.
Many periods have contributed to the character of the conservation area. It is characterised by a mix of farmhouses, cottages and more substantial residences, and the roads tend to be narrow and appear even more so in places because of the characteristic high brick walls which line them.
This continuous line of high brick walls on both sides of Coldharbour Lane give a sense of enclosure opening up at Church Approach to reveal a small enclave of thatched and tiled cottages with the view closed at its southern end by the parish church.
It is considered that this character at the heart of the village should be preserved, drawing a clear distinction between the historic core and the subsequent modern development.
At the time of designation it was also considered that another feature of the village which should be preserved was the attractive manner in which mature trees overhung the walls and emphasised the sense of enclosure and perspective.
Wey Navigation Conservation Area (designated August 1999)
The designation of the Runnymede section of the Wey Navigation as a conservation area formed part of the comprehensive strategy to designate a linear conservation area along the total length of the Wey and Godalming Navigations.
The Navigations run for 20 miles from Weybridge to Godalming, and pass through five local authority areas. It was considered that this whole area merited conservation area designation by virtue of its antiquity, appearance and special quality.
The Navigations form the country's second oldest man-made inland waterway, and the southernmost extremity of the inland waterway network, and for these reasons are considered to be of great archaeological and historical importance.
The construction of the waterway involved other engineering works including locks, weirs and other means to manage the flow of the river. Together with associated structures such as lock keepers cottages, mills, storehouses, stables and wharves, the waterway makes up a unique man made feature.
The section of the River Wey navigation that passes through Runnymede has a distinctive and attractive character, with great historic interest rooted in its past and continuing use as a navigable waterway.
Reviews of Conservation Areas
The Council has been awarded design quality grant funding from the Government. The Council has utilized some of this funding to appoint consultants 'Purcell' to undertake a review of some of the borough's Conservation Areas.
Conservation Area Appraisals
The consultants produced a draft appraisal for the Egham Hythe Conservation Area which was out for consultation from 11 March - 23 April 2019. The consultants also attended the Hythe Centre on 2 April 2019 to answer queries about the draft appraisal - a copy of the A1 display boards can be found here A1 Boards Egham Hythe - 05Mar19 [3.5MB]
The consultation responses received were fully considered by the Council and the consultants and the Egham Hythe Conservation Area Final Appraisal and Designation Report was approved by the Planning Committee on the 11 September 2019 as Technical Planning Guidance subject to the Local Planning Authority giving notice locally and giving notice to the Secretary of State.
A copy of the Egham Hythe Conservation Area Final Appraisal and Designation Report can be found here
A copy of the amended boundaries of the Conservation Area, as approved, can be found here
The consultants produced a draft appraisal for the Chertsey Conservation Area which was out for consultation from Monday 21 January - Sunday 03 March 2019. The consultants also attended the Chertsey Museum on Thursday 24 January 2019 to answer queries about the draft appraisal. A copy of the A1 display boards can be found here A1 Boards Chertsey January 2019 [9.85MB].
The consultation responses received were fully considered by the Council and the consultants. The Chertsey Conservation Area Draft Appraisal and Designation Report was produced by the consultants and was discussed at the Planning Committee on 11 September 2019.
The Committee did not approve this draft appraisal and recommended further revisions to the Conservation Area boundary to include additional land within a former burial ground along Alwyns Lane and to retain an area of land to the south of the Conservation Area (which was originally proposed to be removed).
The Council has updated the Chertsey Conservation Area Draft Appraisal and Designation Report to reflect these recommended changes put forward by the Planning Committee.
The Council undertook additional public consultation to advise those properties affected by these recommended boundary changes and the updated Chertsey Conservation Area Draft Appraisal and Designation Report was out for consultation between Thursday 05 December - Monday 20 January 2020.
The consultation responses received were fully considered by the Council and the Chertsey Conservation Area Final Appraisal and Designation Report was approved by the Planning Committee on Wednesday 12 February 2020 as Technical Planning Guidance subject to the Council giving notice locally and giving notice to the Secretary of State and Historic England under Section 70 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and placing advertisements in the London Gazette and the local paper.
The Council is currently updating its records and maps to include the approved revisions to the Chertsey Conservation Area boundary.
Egham Town Centre
The consultants produced a Draft Conservation Area appraisal for Egham Town Centre, which was out for consultation from Thursday 08 November 2018 - Wednesday 02 January 2019.
The consultants also attended an open event on Tuesday 04 December 2018 at 19/21 Station Road North, Egham to answer queries about the draft appraisal. The consultation boards from the event held on 04 December can be found here: A1 Boards Egham 27th November 2018 [5.41MB]
The consultation responses received were fully considered by the council and the consultants and this resulted in the consultants proposing some additional boundary changes to the Conservation Area. The Council has updated the Egham conservation area draft appraisal and designation report to reflect these changes.
The Planning Committee on 11 September 2019 agreed that further consultations be undertaken with regards to these recommended boundary changes.
The Council undertook additional public consultation to advise those properties affected by these recommended boundary changes and the updated Egham Conservation Area Draft Appraisal and Designation Report was out for consultation between Thursday 05 December - Monday 20 January 2020.
The consultation responses received were fully considered by the Council and the Egham Town Centre Conservation Area Final Appraisal and Designation Report was approved by the Planning Committee on Wednesday 12 February 2020 as Technical Planning Guidance subject to the Council giving notice locally and giving notice to the Secretary of State and Historic England under Section 70 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and placing advertisements in the London Gazette and the local paper.
The Council is currently updating its records and maps to include the approved revisions to the Egham Conservation Area boundary.