Conservation and Heritage
Heritage is the legacy of history and its artefacts that we have inherited through archaeology and surviving buildings and streets. Of these Winchester has an abundance.
The walled town of Roman Winchester was placed in a valley landscape, and originally constructed for military purposes. It developed as an administrative and ecclesiastical centre along with Hyde and St Cross, with layers of development over the course of a thousand years, to make Winchester one of the finest cathedral cities in England.
The City Centre and the suburbs are now subject to constant development, with skips and scaffolding now part of the everyday scene. Planning permissions for change of use, alterations, extensions, redevelopment and new development generate pressures for growth, increased demand for services and more traffic and parking.
These pressures and the need to improve infrastructure, if not recognised and handled sensitively, can have an adverse and irreversible impact on the relationship of the City with its historic landscape setting and wildlife, and erode the character of the streets and buildings in the City Centre.
The City is subject to the pressure of renewing and repairing gas, electricity and water services and vehicles parking on pavements. This activity often takes place where new paving has been laid. Poor reinstatement and damage often introduce a shabby appearance to historic streets and the setting of buildings. A higher standard of management is required to improve the condition and appearance of roads and pavements.
It is in the City Centre, Hyde and St Cross where the great legacy of historic buildings and streets is to be found. Modest housing and other buildings contribute to the character of Winchester and provide the context for our special buildings. The responsibility is to ensure that this legacy is maintained and enriched.