Community steeped in history looks to the future
The residents of Croscombe have produced a report that seeks to influence any future development in their village.
Their Village Design Statement outlines the qualities of their village that they value the most and hope to be preserved.
In February 2012 an open meeting was held where a draft document was discussed by villagers who were then encouraged to comment on it.
The design statement was then worked on by the parish council alongside Mendip District Council to produce the final draft.
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It describes Croscombe as a thriving community of 640 people which is home to 16 groups and clubs.
The population has a mix of age groups which is broadly in line with the rest of Somerset.
The main part of the report discusses the architectural style that gives Croscombe its character.
Founded in 706AD Croscombe has absorbed many different building styles over the years.
The historic core of the village contains 63 buildings that are either listed or designated as of special architectural or historic interest.
The report makes it clear that any future development in the area should use the same materials as the existing buildings so as to not affect the village setting.
This also includes styles of windows and walling, each of which are outlined in the design statement.
For example, hydraulically guillotined stone should be used sparingly as it fails to replicate the semi-dressed rubble of traditional walls.
These sorts of issues have become particularly important with the drafting of Mendip's Local Plan.
The plan outlines 35 new homes to be added to Croscombe's 265 and the statement says that these should be provided by small scale, minor developments and infills.
It is hoped that the additional homes should not come in the form of a single development or extension to the village as this could compromise its character.
The report concludes with a list of issues that they believe should be taken in to consideration when looking at planning applications.
It states: "New developments should not adversely intrude on the existing setting of the village and residents' outlooks; new dwellings should reflect the style and boundaries of adjacent properties; they must make provision for adequate parking and that listed buildings form an important part of the village's character and new buildings should not detract from that."
Mendip officers have recommended that the planning board endorses the Village Design Statement so that it can be used as a material planning consideration when assessing applications within Croscombe.