Local Character Area 06a: Whyteleafe Centre
This area covers properties in Station Road, St Luke’s Road and Godstone Road as far as the roundabout. The urban centre of Whyteleafe (around The Square and south along Godstone Road) has fewer remaining buildings that reflect its Victorian and Edwardian origins, than the town centres of Caterham-on-the-Hill and Caterham Valley. These historic buildings provide reference to local individuality and vernacular, historic interest and visual appeal. In tree-lined Station Road there are still Victorian and Edwardian villas that retain original architectural details typical of the period. The sloping ground adds interest to the street scene, providing views to the spire of St Thomas’ Church. This 1960s church forms a landmark and contributes architectural variety to the area. Views downhill are towards the open backdrop of the wooded hillsides on the opposite side of the valley. St Luke’s Road contains early, circa 1866, flint and brick buildings consisting of the former butchers, blacksmiths and wheelwrights. Together with the Whyteleafe Tavern and its flint outbuildings they still provide a reference to the Victorian period of development of the village.
- New development in Whyteleafe urban centre needs to preserve the present open views and glimpses between buildings to the hillsides and wooded skyline beyond. For example, views should be retained where they frame historic buildings such as those on St Luke’s Road.
- Older, historic buildings of architectural merit shall be conserved and enhanced and provide references to inspire new design.
- Proposals for new developments should maintain the layout of buildings stepped up the slopes, integrating into the hillsides.
- Proposed developments should maintain the rhythm in the urban centres through consistency in rooflines, varied, narrow plot frontages and continued diversity of built form.
- Developments should maintain front gardens with in keeping boundary treatments along residential streets.
- Proposed developments set above road level that include characteristic sloping vegetated front gardens or banks are more likely to be acceptable.
- Developments should maintain and enhance the wooded valley sides and green corridors along railways.
- Developments along streets parallel to the valley, should ensure views over or between the rooflines from adjacent streets are maintained.
- Design proposals for developments in urban areas should maintain or enhance green verges and green infrastructure lining the streets;.
- Developments should maintain a buffer of separation between the urban centres to prevent the loss of localised identity