Local Character Area 03: Caterham Hill Centre
This area covers part of Manor Avenue and all properties both sides of Church Road, Park Road, High Street and Town End. It is an area of distinctive local character that represents the historical evolution of Caterham from a small settlement focused around a medieval church, manor and farm into a village and the present town. Although there have been several 1960s and 1980s developments that are incongruous in architectural style and building materials, many of the original buildings remain to retain a strong sense of character and place. The nationally and locally designated heritage assets can therefore make a significant contribution to regeneration, particularly along the High Street. Part of it is designated as an SCC Area of High Archaeological Potential.
- Proposals which demonstrate that mid-range views are maintained by proposed built form, height and scale relating to the surrounding existing built form are more likely to be acceptable.
- Development should protect and enhance pockets of green space and continue the green verges along streets by maintaining the line of boundaries.
- Development should maintain the development line with dwellings set back from the road at a regular distance.
- Proposed development in proximity to heritage assets and Conservation Areas shall preserve and respect the setting.
- Developments should preserve existing trees where possible and shall include street tree planting and tree planting in front and back gardens.
- Developments should preserve front gardens along Coulsdon Road and residential streets and provide boundary treatments typically found in the area.
- Proposals should employ a sympathetic materials palette in proximity to the historic urban centre of Caterham-on-the-Hill.
- New development should seek to conserve and, if possible, enhance the distinctive character of Caterham. This would include shop fronts in the historic core of the village; the size, shape, colour, style of lettering and materials should be sympathetic to the building and the area and should consider the relationship between neighbouring buildings. Timber shopfronts, painted timber fascias and limited illumination of signage are considered to be more sympathetic to the historic character and appearance of the area.
- New residential development in the area, which takes a considered and appropriate approach to design, in a contemporary style, is more sympathetic to the historic fabric and landscape of the village than poorly executed historically referenced designs. Therefore, new builds which employ the imitation of historic architectural styles, using cheaper modern materials and a lack of consideration to proportion and massing of local historic buildings, should be considered less appropriate in these instances.
- While Caterham’s historic Core and High Street may not meet the criteria for designation as a conservation area, some LPAs identify such areas as Area of Special Local Character. This could be an appropriate measure to manage change in an area which has been recognised as locally important.