DOWNTON SOCIETY AWARD

Below are the more formal details of the award. Really what we are trying to do is to recognise people in the village who have put some thought and effort into their extension or the upgrading of their property. It costs more to put in wooden windows or doors rather than UPVC or use reclaimed brick as opposed to a cheaper brick from a builders merchant but appropriate materials and design contribute so much to our homes and the village we live in. If we don’t make the effort we will lose it. Also traditional methods and materials are often more efficient and look better.

If you want to nominate yourselves, others or need more information just get in touch.
Thanks
Nigel

BACKGROUND

A range of new pressures are making an impact on Downton and its immediate environment. These result partially from its status as a Local Service Hub. There is particular concern over the Conservation Area from increased traffic, new buildings and householder improvements. But Downton is more than just the conservation area, and the character of the whole village, the wider community and the environment in which it stands, is also important.

AIM

To highlight the importance of retaining the character of Downton village, the Parish and its rural setting, by offering an award to households/businesses who have done most to retain or enhance the quality and appearance of their property.

CRITERIA

There will an Award in each of two categories : The award in each category will consider the exterior of the property, to the property boundary, and the interior where applicable for listed buildings. See Annex A for full details.

Contemporary designs will be considered regardless of status of the property (e.g. for a listed building or in the conservation area) if it is considered that it will enhance the property and the streetscape.

PROCESS

Nominations may be made by anyone to the Downton Society committee and should be received no later than six weeks before the AGM. Nominations must be supported by a written application and include evidence i.e. before and after photographs and plans. A short list will be produced for award panel consideration. Panel members will look at all properties in their context and view shortlisted sites. The award panel will consist of the Downton Society committee supported by co-opted persons such as an architect or surveyor to provide additional professional perspective. Applicants must understand that judgement may be subjective but that it will be guided by accepted conservation and design principles. The Awards will be announced at the Downton Society AGM which is held in the Spring. Each Award will be worth £150. The form of the award will be a matter of discussion between the Downton Society committee and property owners of the winning submission. For further information contact: Nigel Walker on 01725 512808 or n.walker301@btinternet.com

ANNEX A

DETAILED CRITERIA

The criteria are by no means exhaustive and this list is provided only as a guide. It must be accepted that this is a subjective process, not constrained by the need to tick boxes, and that while others may have different views, the award is designed to raise awareness and encourage thoughtful design. The only mandate will be that any changes to a property will comply with, and be approved through, current planning and building regulations*

Essential references are: Downton Conservation Area Appraisal & Management Plan.
Downton Village Design Statement.
Downton Neighbourhood Plan
* Compliance with current regulations. While there are “permitted developments” almost all work on a property requires permission and this is particularly so for buildings in a conservation area and more so for listed buildings. In addition there are a range of building and other relevant regulations. Householders must seek advice before and if necessary obtain planning permission before commencing any work. Failure to do so could require the re-instatement of the original. For more details see Wiltshire Council Planning Guidance (Householders guide to planning)

An award may be considered for work undertaken on any structure be it old or new, a complete new build, extension or alterations.

The award panel will consider:

Use of materials appropriate to the age, status (e.g. listed, conservation area etc), design and location of the property. Examples: Materials may be: wood (as opposed to plastic) for windows, doors etc; iron or other metals for such things as down-pipes; brick, stone, structural timber, clay tiles or slate or other structural material. Use of appropriate mortars (such as those lime based) Use of appropriate renders, paints, stains (e.g. lime based).

Attention to design appropriate to the age, status, function and location of the property and any listing. Examples: Retention of windows and fittings such as sash or casemate windows with appropriate glazing and bars, Doors reflecting the age and period of the building. Soffits and barge boards and other features reflecting the age and character of the building.

Retention or re-instatement of architectural features such as: stained glass, door furniture, lighting, fireplaces, stairs, panelling, structural timber.

Appropriate to the location, age and status (e.g. listing) of the property the use of sympathetic modern and approved materials that do not detract from the building and streetscape. These might include: Plastic (UPVC) in a form that does not detract (e.g. appropriate glazing) in an appropriate building Modem building material that fits well with the existing. The use of modern technology such as solar tiles (solar panels designed to look like roof tiles).

Design which is in keeping, and which enhances but does not detract from the existing building and surroundings.

Avoidance of pastiche: that is artificially introducing design or a build technique inappropriate to the age of the building and the character of the surrounding area e.g. faux classical .

The overall design and character of business premises including signage, inscriptions, notices etc which are of quality and appropriate to the building and streetscape.

Quality of workmanship.