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«Iwerne Minster from the north east (Tower Hill) To protect, maintain and enhance the village environment, its surroundings and the quality of life ...»

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Another key feature in the village are the wooden finger posts pointing the way to the many community facilities and public footpaths within the village. The natural material again is in keeping with the rural character, especially in the historic core of the village.

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Based on the information and analysis in the previous sections Iwerne Minster can be clearly divided into three main character areas – The historic village core, the Clayesmore School complex (west of A350) and the more modern edge of settlement residential developments.

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Historic Village Core Settlement Pattern The historic core of the village is tight grain and is interspersed by public and private open spaces with a mixture of detached properties, pairs of cottages and terraces with grouping being prevalent. Trees are a significant feature.

Building Form The building types are a mixture of residential dwellings both private and social together with boarding houses and other educational facilities, community halls and commercial outlets. Building height, scale and densities are again mixed and range from single storey converted outbuildings to three storey dwellings.

Because of its geography, underlying geology and historical development there are a variety of building styles and materials in the historic village core. These range from a small number of greenstone properties to properties with knapped flint as well as cob, brick and rubble with timber detailing all reflecting their particular period of construction.

Roofs are predominantly tiled with decorative ridge tiles and finials being present on the later 19th century cottages. However, thatch also plays an important role with both the Dorset flush style and more decorative but less vernacular style block cut method being present.

Window design is varied reflecting the ages of construction although side hung timber casements appear to be the norm ranging from plain flush fitting windows with simple horizontal glazing bars to the more complicated glazing arrangements of the ‘estate’ cottages.

Porches and verandas are also common architectural elements with the lean to or pitched roof design being the norm. Dormers are prolific and generally pitched or hipped and chimney stacks are a key characteristic, which are without exception brick.

Rainwater goods are mostly painted black.

The height and materials of boundary walls also vary with brick, rendered cob and exposed flintwork all being evident. Depending on the height of the wall tiles or shaped bricks are the preferred cappings.

Highways The lanes in the historic core of the village have a distinctive rural nature with some being single carriage way and all are characterised by few pavements, grassed banks, high hedges and walls. Some houses front directly onto the highway especially along the sunken lanes. The narrowness of some of these lanes and lack of ‘off road parking’ results in congestion and hazard in some locations. Where there is off street parking drives are often gravel with brick sets that compliment the traditional materials of the dwellings. However, in some cases tarmac and concrete have been used, but fortunately this has weathered over time.

There are no street lights or road signs in the historic core of the village, but there are a number of overhead wires in Higher Street that are not particularly attractive.

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Clayesmore School Settlement Pattern Located in the buildings and grounds of what was once described as being “the most ambitious High Victorian mansion in the country”, the school now contains a mix of the historic and modern buildings to meet the needs of the establishment. The Manor House remains in its parkland setting albeit they are now playing fields and the remaining part of the complex is concentrated along the eastern boundary adjacent to the A350.

Building Form Now solely an educational establishment the Clayesmore School complex has a range of classrooms and boarding houses and includes an impressive sports hall and indoor swimming pool. The older buildings have been converted and the modern buildings have been built for a particular purpose, some more sympathetically than others. Brick and tile dominates the built form the scale of which is in keeping with the Listed Manor House and Stable Block with dormer detailing adding character. Many of the more modern buildings are hidden from public view behind the historic outbuildings and behind the high brick wall that runs along the main road. With appropriate landscaping many of the more modern additions sit well within the parkland setting, although the lighting on the all weather pitch can be seen from some considerable distance.

Highways Private roads around the site are predominately tarmac due the volume of traffic associated with the school.

Modern Developments Settlement Pattern The modern developments tend to be located on the edge of the village and are characterised by individual detached dwellings with a small number of semi detached and terraced properties. The road layouts, uniform building heights and low densities often result in these developments appearing self-contained.

Building Form All modern developments are residential, but there is a mix of private, social and age restricted tenures. Materials are dominated by brick with a mix of concrete and plain clay tiles for the roofs. Dormer windows are prevalent but detailing is limited with the exception of the more recent infill development schemes where timber and flint have been utilised. UPVC is the material of choice for windows and doors on the older properties although more traditional styles and materials have been used on the more recent developments. Where boundary walls are a feature these tend to be made of brick with the occasional flint inset. In the open plan estates shrubs and bushes are used to create division and improve privacy.

Highways Wide tarmac roads with footpaths and kerb edges give the more modern developments an urban character together with street name plates. Most developments have off road parking on private drives constructed of similar materials.

However, the Glebe is an exception where on street parking is a concern. Again the more modern infill developments have incorporated some more natural and traditional materials with Ash Grove being a good example.

Iwerne Minster Village Design Statement


As highlighted in the survey conducted for the Village Plan, published in 2006, and reinforced in the consultation for the VDS the residents of the village are anxious that Iwerne Minster should retain its character defined predominately by the historic core, that building standards are kept high and that all future development should be sympathetic to the architectural character of the village and its unique setting. The surrounding countryside provides a landscape framework and context for the setting of the village and any future development should be sensitive to this.

The VDS defines a series of guidelines that indicate a range of constraints and considerations that will be applicable to new development in the different character areas of the village as summarised in Section 7.



All new development adjoining or close to the rural edges of the village should be planned and designed to create a sensitive transition between village and countryside to maintain the setting of the village in the rural landscape and its sensitive edges.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iii), (iv), (viii), 1.23, 1.24, 1.32)

Applies to all Character Areas


Development should not adversely affect important views of the countryside from the village, views of the village from the surrounding countryside or important views within the village (see Map 4).

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iii), (v)) Applies to all Character Areas



All development proposals should consider the value of trees, hedges and open spaces in the settlement and the contribution they make to the character of the village. Protected trees and key open spaces have been identified on Map 7.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iii), 1.23, 1.24, 1.39 1.40)

Applies to all Character Areas


Open spaces should not be encroached upon if this would diminish the relationship of the built environment, visually, with the surrounding countryside or if it leads to the loss of the special spatial characteristics of a locality. This is particularly important within the historic core of the village where internal views and those to and from the surrounding countryside are an intrinsic part of the character of the village.

Furthermore, all gardens and formal and informal open spaces are important and make a significant contribution to the special characteristics and appearance of the area.

Iwerne Minster Village Design Statement Trees often soften street scenes, provide visual nodes and contribute to the visual amenities of the locality often providing a setting for buildings or groups of buildings.

They should wherever possible be retained and opportunities identified for additional planting, reinforcing their contribution to the character and appearance of the village.

Hedgerows provide a strong sense of enclosure and reinforce the rural nature of the village and they should wherever possible be retained and new hedges created where appropriate.



All alterations or new development should compliment the character and appearance of the host building or surrounding developments in terms of type, height, form, scale and density.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iv), 1.23, 1.24, 2.10, 2.11)

Applies all Character Areas


The potential for future development within the village settlement boundary is limited.

Whilst modern designs are acceptable they must be in keeping with village’s overall character and add to the quality of the surrounding areas. Proposals for characterless, suburban style executive homes in unsuitable, unsympathetic forms or materials are unlikely to be in keeping with the village character.

Future development on the Clayesmore School site west of A350 should recognise the difference between the original buildings, those built in the 1970s to meet temporary educational needs and the more recent modern additions. New buildings should aim to reinforce the more historic forms and appearance of the school and be sited to protect the landscape setting.


All alterations or new development should respect the qualities and materials of the host building or surrounding developments as identified in each Character Area. (Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iv), 1.23, 1.24, 2.11) Applies to all Character Areas


All new development should respect the road frontage in a manner appropriate to the locality.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), 1.23, 1.24, 2.11) Applies to all Character Areas


All historic buildings, including listed and non listed buildings and heritage features such as the war memorial, pump, “war office”, gates, walls, hedge lines, ponds, wells, stream, milestones and fingerposts should be protected as well as their settings.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), 1.23, 1.24, 2.11)

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The sunken lanes, as identified on Map 10, should to be protected from harmful development. Any new access that would result in the detrimental loss of trees and hedges or have a negative impact on the enclosed nature of the lanes should be resisted.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), 1.23, 1.24) Applies to the historic village core only


Sunken lanes are particularly sensitive to the creation of new vehicular accesses as highway requirements can result in the lowering of the banks and the clearing of trees and hedges to improve visibility.


Garages and outbuildings should be in keeping with the style of the property.

Off road parking and driveways should be sympathetic to the surroundings using shingle, brick and set finishes where appropriate to maintain the rural character of the village and should not have a negative impact on the street scene.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (vi), 1.23, 1.24)

Applies to all Character Areas


Utilities and street furniture that urbanises the village should be avoided.

Ideally, all power and telephone lines and other services should be underground wherever possible. Street furniture and signage should be in keeping with the locality. (Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), 1.23, 1.24) Applies to all Character Areas


To maintain the character of the rural roads further guidance on design, quality and materials can be found in the Rural Roads Protocol produced by Dorset County Council (www.dorsetforyou.com/ruralroads).

IM11 LIGHTING External and security lighting should be sited so as not to cause light pollution or inconvenience to neighbours or pedestrians.

(Supplements Policies 1.7, 1.8 (ii), (iii), 1.23, 1.24) Applies to all Character Areas

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9.0 CONCLUSIONS Iwerne Minster, like so many Dorset Villages, has a very long history founded on agriculture and water. Its slow development over hundreds of years has given rise to a tranquillity that people now need as a haven from the frenetic nature of modern life.

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