1 - Introduction

DRAFT VERSION - last revised 20 May 2021. The full Character Assessment (of which this page forms part) is also available in PDF form. The sections of the character assessment are:
  1. Introduction (this section) 
  2. The Parish of Great Gransden 
  3. The Village of Great Gransden 
  4. Cherished views of Great Gransden and the surrounding countryside 
  5. Directory of listed buildings 
  6. Social Hubs 
Please give us some feedback! Email your comments to gg.2020vision@gransdens.org.

This Character Assessment has been produced by the Steering Group preparing the Great Gransden Neighbourhood Plan, based on their identification and analysis of the local character.

The Assessment is intended to provide the context of how the village has developed, and to summarise the designs and layouts of developments in the village. This analysis will be the basis of a Design Guide to provide guidance to:
  • Residents and owners of existing properties who want to extend or change the use of a building or land;
  • Local Planning Authority considering planning applications;
  • Great Gransden Parish Council Planning Committee;
  • Great Gransden Parish Community Plan committee; and,
  • Prospective builders and developers.
Great Gransden is an attractive historic village, set in a rolling agricultural landscape. There are many heritage buildings - in total there are 60 listed buildings in the Parish, concentrated mainly in the conservation area in the centre of the village. There are many established trees and green spaces around the village, reflecting the surrounding countryside. Gransden Woods, situated about 1km from the village, is a SSSI.

There has been significant housing development since the 1940s. These have generally been infill sites or adjacent to the development boundary of the village, and the village retains a rural character. Developments have been sympathetic to the surroundings and are mainly in the form of Closes such that there is limited frontage to the streets. This Character Assessment reviews the housing stock and setting of the Parish and provides summaries of the main features of the Conservation Area and housing developments through the decades.

Future development and evolution of the village is inevitable and even desirable, but the residents of Great Gransden value their environment and wish to maintain and protect this for future residents. This assessment is intended to ensure that the special character is recognised and respected so that it can be protected and enhanced when new development takes place. It will provide guidelines that must be followed before any development can be considered. These are proposed in the Design Guide.

Great Gransden Village is within the Great Gransden Parish. In the Huntingdon District Local Plan, which was made on 15 May 2019, Great Gransden was designated as a Small Settlement identified by Policy LP/9.
Small Settlements

HDC Local Plan 4.100 There are many settlements across Huntingdonshire that have limited or no services or facilities available. Such settlements are identified as Small Settlements. Small Settlements are less sustainable than settlements in the Spatial Planning Area settlements and Key Service Centres due to the need to travel to access services and facilities elsewhere on a regular basis. As such the Local Plan makes no allocations for development in Small Settlements. However, the strategy does set out a role for a limited amount of sustainable development in contributing to the social and economic sustainability of Small Settlements and in supporting a thriving rural economy. Given the variation in size and availability of services and facilities between Small Settlements it is recognised that varying levels of development could sustainably be accommodated depending on nature of the individual Small Settlement.

Relevant Planning policies in relation to development in Great Gransden are as follows:
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (2019)
  • Huntingdonshire's Local Plan to 2036: LP5 LP12 LP13 LP15 LP36
Supplementary Planning Documents:
  • Huntingdonshire Design Guide 2017.