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PUBLISHED: 13:38 27 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 07 July 2010

Wells residents will be asked what they think of the special character of the town's conservation area.

A blueprint document aimed at preserving and enhancing the special character of the conservation area is being drawn up and residents are being asked their opinions.

Wells residents will be asked what they think of the special character of the town's conservation area.

A blueprint document aimed at preserving and enhancing the special character of the conservation area is being drawn up and residents are being asked their opinions.

The document, part of the conservation area character appraisals and management plans, seeks to define the special interest of the conservation area and identify the issues which threaten the area's special qualities.

The appraisal includes a summary and assessment of the area's special interest including location and setting, historic development and archaeology, architectural and townscape character, quality of buildings and green spaces.

Although the document highlights much that is good about Wells and lists its key characteristics, it also looks at a number of important key issues which could have an adverse effect on the town and its environment.

The key characteristics highlighted include the setting of the conservation area bordering the outstanding natural landscape of the creek and marshes, the quayside and yards, the unusually high retention of historic shop fronts along Staithe Street and the High Street, the separate character of the Buttlands tree-lined square, and the great diversity of types of buildings, dates and architectural styles throughout the residential areas and the extensive network of alleyways, yards and high boundary walls.

The document also seeks to tackle a range of key issues and these include unsympathetic alterations to listed buildings, lack of co-ordination and maintenance of the public areas, lack of traffic management and car parking, sitting of design and new development, inappropriate 20th century infill, deterioration of upper floors above shops on Staithe Street and need for a survey to update the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

There is to be a six week public consultation period in May and June and this will include a public exhibition, and distribution of information leaflets to all households in the Wells Conservation Area.

Following on from the public consultation it is anticipated that an amended document will be brought to the Committee for final adoption in the autumn of this year.

What do you think about the best and worst aspects of Wells. Write or e-mail us at the Times or through the website fakenham24.co.uk. Send your views to Julia Carter at julia.carter@archant.co.uk

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