Most of the older buildings lie within the conservation area, with the Market Place as the centre, and consist mainly of two and occasionally three-storey buildings. They include residential dwellings (A) as well as commercial establishments (B).
Many of the buildings open directly onto the street frontage, some with small front gardens or railings. Occasional archways, narrow openings and tracks provide discreet access to further dwellings, small courtyard developments (C), infill sites and off-road parking behind this street frontage development. These create the appearance of an uninterrupted building line, particularly around the Market Square and on approach roads.
There are also some larger detached dwellings within extensive grounds, located further away from the town centre, such as King’s Lodge, The Lawn, The Mount, The Roos, The Limes, Berehill House, Redleaf and The Elms, as well as The Gables (D) and Ivy Cottage on the edge of the town.
Not only are these dwellings important in terms of their history, but their grounds also contribute to the green canopy and open space so highly valued within the town.
In our surveys we found that some residents have concerns about the “scruffy” appearance of some of the buildings in the older parts of the town centre. Most residents regret that there aren’t more shops and services in the town.
Also included within this period are small developments of two-storey red brick Victorian houses including those on Station, Oakland, Winchester and London roads and Edwardian houses in Test Road, all with characteristic small front gardens.
Having been built in the era before the motor car was in wide use, these dwellings seldom have garages or car standing areas off the street. This means that cars are parked on most of the narrowest streets in the town.
Although this provides low-cost and effective traffic-calming, it also creates vehicle congestion and increased noise and exhaust pollution. We discuss traffic and parking issues in Section 5: Road and footpath networks.
Recent historical research has revealed some old structures in the town that exist behind relatively modern facades. Although not listed, these buildings are historically important, and any planning applications for them should avoid damage to this historical heritage of Whitchurch. These are shown in the separate panel below, and others may exist.