We look to broaden our public appeal and attract more members. Our core aims are to encourage high standards in public planning and architecture in Bruton and its surroundings, as well as to maintain or improve local features of historic interest.
Please visit the Pharmacy, where membership application forms are to be found, together with a brief description of our activities. Or you can download the form here: Subscription Form (93 downloads) (Please note: this is now a new user-friendly form). Annual membership starts from £6 and your support will, in particular, help us to continue work on our plans for the former medieval fishponds site, adjacent to the Wincanton road as you travel up to the Hauser and Wirth gallery at Durslade.
Ed Tickner (Chair)
Tricia Rawlingson-Plant (Hon Sec)
Matt Rawlingson Plant
Nigel Watts (Hon Treasurer)
Bruton Trust Projects
The Saving of Bruton House
AGM of the Bruton Trust 2018
Annual Report2018-BT-Annual-Report.docx (110 downloads)
ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2019
The Annual Report for the 2018-2019 AGM of the Bruton Conservation Trust
The AGM of the Trust was held in the Bruton Museum on the 22nd May at 8pm after a talk by Laura Burnett, Somerset Archaeological Finds Liaison Officer.
This development has been mentioned in several of the recent annual reports. Building work had started by this time last year and is well under way at present. Visually, the general appearance from the road is that the houses are set higher than was probably anticipated but this is mainly a result of the land surface being appreciably higher on that side than it is opposite. The houses look to be closer spaced than anticipated. Good planting and screening will of course off-set the current rather barren look to the site. It will be important to closely monitor the adequacy of measures to counter flooding and how the street lighting will look, both in the estate and on the roadside.
Marks Danes on the Frome Road (CUBIS)
In the Conservation area, works in the High Street at the old Post Office, and at Nos. 50 and 54 are now completed and we await the building of the new lounge at the back of Sexey’s Hospital. Number 1, High Street (Windmills as was), awaits completion and another important building, the old pharmacy next door is up for sale. Most of these buildings and others have been restored sensitively and hopefully will continue to enhance the much improved look of the High Street over recent years.
Applications have been made for a new build at Lower Tolbury Farm and for a house to replace garages at the top of St Catherine’s Hill. Neither has appeared appropriate for its context, reflecting little or nothing of the established architectural styles of the immediate vicinity. We would expect applications for building projects within and immediately adjacent to the conservation area of the town to enhance and conserve the architectural and historical character of Bruton. The council planning policy says as much in point 9 of its planning policy recommendations and we risk diluting the particular appeal and significance of the designated conservation area in accepting such applications.
The turmoil in Planning at SSDC, and indeed nationally, is contributing to a loss of confidence in planning regulations being properly enforced. Specifically, the role of Conservation Officer appears no longer to exist and we would ask all to be vigilant in inspecting planning applications and making their views felt to the Council and in responses to the Planning Department at SSDC. There are significant risks to the nature of this town in the current planning climate and we would ask all to contribute their views.
Proposed development on the Brewham Road As many will know, Area East have looked at land owned by Maria Viney to the south of the Brewham road as it leaves Bruton and the current plan is the building of 70 houses on land where the original proposal from architect Mark Merer, was for 20 houses. The Area East plan does not appear desirable or manageable, particularly in the context of the number of dwellings already accounted for on the Frome Road. The entire response to the Planning Department from the Trust is printed below.
‘Bruton has yet to experience the effects on the town of the current Cubis development of 70 dwellings to the west of the Frome Road. The Trust broadly supported the original plans for that and now the current town council planning policy recommendations state the following: Any larger developments will be focused to the west of Frome Rd. Within the remainder of the parish, the scale of new housing will usually be limited to small infill plots/developments.
This is a policy that the Trust supports and recommends. This application flies in the face of it and the Trust is opposed to it. There is no current requirement in the Local Plan for a development on this scale in Bruton and this proposal appears premature to say the least. Additionally, the Trust strongly recommends a wait of 5 years or so in order to allow an assessment of the impact on the town of what the Cubis housing will generate in extra traffic on an already over-stretched and narrow one-way system and to gauge how successful the surface water drainage arrangements from the west and down through Cuckoo Hill into Quaperlake really turn out to be.
Where would those who would occupy another new development of this size work? Clearly away from Bruton for the most part and children would need delivering to school as access and narrow pedestrian walkways are unlikely to be safe. The increased traffic input so caused would undoubtedly be detrimental to safety, slowing traffic flow, and reducing still further the air quality in town in Quaperlake and the High Street in particular.
The increase in surface water is only likely to increase flooding risk from the Brue in town. Already sewage covers and surface water covers have been forced up by water flow pressure in periods of heavy rain in the last few years at the western end of the Lower Backway and over the bridge at Mill on the Brue.
A densely occupied housing estate of the type that this appears to be might work in an urban area providing good existing transport links to employment and to schools and where shops and medical facilities are within safe walking distance. In Bruton, a rural settlement with exceptional adjoining landscape features that should be protected, this large development is unlikely to meet any of these criteria.’
Walls of Bruton Survey
This was under the aegis of committee member Fran Steele. Fran has now resigned from the committee in order to take up other work and we thank her for the study that she has initiated. The idea is to track ownership of some of the older walls, where possible, and to encourage owners to undertake such maintenance as seems appropriate. The walls along Park road and those running to the west of the Wincanton road adjacent to the Fish Ponds are good examples of the challenges posed by ivy invasion, pointing decay, especially on the horizontal tops of walls and sheer old age.
Please see a committee member to offer your services in this survey.
The proposed footpath link up to the allotments remains an important aim and the contractor is keen to start work. Sources for funding remain in place including the support of Hauser and Wirth but King’s School has yet to hand over the management and lease of this area to the council so no works can yet be carried out.
Possible Blue Plaques Scheme
This is currently under discussion. The proposed idea is to celebrate buildings of merit in Bruton with exterior plaques offering a brief description of their interest and particular attributes. We would look to provide such information for tourists and local inhabitants alike.
Bruton and AONBs
Bruton stands between two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cranborne Chase and the West Wiltshire Downs to the south and east and Mendip to the north. An extension west of the current north-west boundary of Cranborne Chase AONB near Stourhead could neatly include Bruton. There are various reasons for it to conceivably be appropriate for us. These include enhanced planning controls over inappropriate development, controls over and good practice in lighting in order to protect our dark skies and support for projects that aim to conserve the natural beauty and wildlife as well as the cultural heritage of the area.
Much research and data provision are required if this is to be a plan that could be brought to fruition so any help and advice are to be welcomed.
Concerns remain about the various sources of light pollution, from over-harsh and unnecessary numbers of lamp standards along the road to Frome in particular, and from facilities within the town. Good designs and downward shrouded lighting are available for all settings, as are warmer colours of LED lighting, than are generally apparent. The Conservation Officer was taking an interest in this issue but with the demise of the post it is not going to be easy to maintain a momentum for change. Many may not have noticed the two examples of a semi-traditional lamp standard in Quaperlake. One stands at the library corner. These are appropriate in design and will hopefully be the replacement type used in other street lighting works in the conservation area in the future.
We hope that the membership details we hold are up to date and would welcome any relevant input from you and other interested parties so as to address possible information gaps. The Town website, brutontown.com and regular reports in the Dove magazine are the main repositories of our information and news and please note that those so wishing can contact us directly on email@example.com. A form to join The Trust can be downloaded from our page on the town website. It can also be picked up as hard copy from the Town Office and from the Pharmacy where cash joining fees may be left. Please note that the setting up of a Direct Debit would be most appreciated. In this way the funding of the Trust and its work is best assured and administration is much reduced. Please pay tonight any subs due by cash, to a committee member.
Ed Tickner, Chairman; Acting Honorary Secretary, Tricia Rawlingson-Plant; Nigel Watts, Treasurer and Membership; Angus Davies, Wildlife Conservationist; John Bishton; Mike Brownlow; Rebecca Kimber-Danger; Rob Lowry and Matt Rawlingson-Plant.
All offer themselves for re-election together with Tricia Rawlingson-Plant as new committee member. She has been acting Hon Sec for some time now and we are very pleased to have her on board. She has taken over some of the duties previously carried out by John Bishton. I am glad to say that John remains a valuable committee member, able to brief committee on many issues, drawing as he does on his vast experience and detailed knowledge of civic and local history matters. As mentioned above, Fran Steele has resigned in order to concentrate on other work. Andy Pickering joined the committee briefly but was then approached by the museum to become the new museum chairman next year. We wish Andy good luck with his new role for which his experience and knowledge will be admirably suitable, and thank him for his contributions.
Please contact Ed Tickner at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be more involved with the Trust and its work.
EJT May 2019 \lsdpriorit