Picturesque Northamptonshire village fails to meet criteria for conservation status

Villagers in Piddington were hoping to be added to the list of Conservation Areas in the county.
Villagers in Piddington were hoping to be added to the list of Conservation Areas in the county.

A quaint Northamptonshire village has been refused to be added to a conservation area because it 'doesn't meet the criteria'.

The village of Piddington, in South Northamptonshire, was hoping to be added to the list of areas included, with historical sites including the remains of a large Roman Villa were first discovered in 1781 by workmen digging for limestone.

There is also evidence of Bronze and Iron Age settlements in the area, whilst the wider area is nationally known for its Roman Archaeology.

But South Northamptonshire Council believes that Piddington, although 'an attractive rural village', does not fulfil the criteria set out under legislation.

The council added: "Therefore, Piddington is not considered to be an area suitable for conservation area designation."

Councillor Roger Clarke, who sits on the council's planning policy and regeneration strategy committee, said: "I found very little of that history on show during a drive through, and if we are to maintain these standards then it’s right and proper that we don’t include every village."

Councillor Steven Hollowell added: "It’s remarkable that somewhere like Piddington that has such a rich history but it doesn’t remain in the architecture. It’s a shame so I agree with the recommendation."

And Councillor Robert Atkison, the ward member for the area, said: "I gave the parish the bad news. They could see in the assessment where we were coming from.

"They were a bit miffed, but accepted it. At one time it was a thriving industrial village with Hackleton as the smaller of the two. But when the businesses moved out it was a role reversal."

The start of 2016-2017 financial year marked the start of a second phase of work which commenced an assessment of the qualities of the district’s 38

settlements not benefiting from a conservation area.