Design and Heritage

Let’s treasure what we have and shape what’s to come, says Annie Hopper, June Bell and Marion Cranmer.

TO QUOTE (with some additions), Historic England, “Our heritage is all that has been passed to us by previous generations. It is all around us. It is in the places we shop, the roads we use, our places of worship, our schools, the places we go to for our sport and social life, in the ground beneath our feet, in the shape of the landscape and in the placing and arrangement of our fields, hamlets, villages and town.”

How can the needs of the present and future be met without destroying the best of the past? We believe that it is vital to protect and enhance the conservation areas of Sissinghurst, Wilsley and Cranbrook, and the heritage buildings in our parish, from the great, such as the iconic windmill, to the small, including some of the tiny cottages and agricultural buildings. We need to preserve the public spaces that we share and enjoy, the views that we treasure and the darkness of our skies which are ever threatened by artificial lighting.

Whatever is added to our parish must help it to thrive and be a better place to live, work and visit. We must demand the best building, at appropriate densities, in the most suitable places, using materials that are in harmony with the area. The new needs to fit with the old, not by being the same, but by being sensitive to what already exists. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some fantastically well-designed new buildings and open areas, worthy of being valued in the future?

Our health and the health of the world will benefit from energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly measures. We, and the generations to come, deserve the highest standards of eco-design, construction and environmental enhancement.

We have all been left as custodians of a wealth of unique historic assets which gives this parish its distinct character and makes it a very special place, so when the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan is published, please read and comment on the Design and Heritage chapter.


What do you Think? Have Your Say!

Consultation on the neighbourhood development plan runs from mid-October for eight weeks.

All your comments will be taken into account and will help to inform the final version. Your voice matters and can make a difference!

• View and respond at
• Email at
• Or see hard copies and leave your comments at the Parish Office, The Old Fire Station, Stone Street, Cranbrook TN17 3HF.