Sessay Conservation Area
Sunday April 18, 2021

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Sessay Conservation AreaThe purpose of a Conservation Area is to acknowledge special historic places and to cherish the local distinctiveness of areas that are valued by communities. Whilst nationally significant historic buildings and archaeology can be protected by ‘Listing’ or ‘Scheduling’, Conservation Areas are local designations covering areas of townscape or landscape quality. In looking at Conservation Areas, views, vistas and other aspects of historical context, character and appearance are considered, in addition to historic fabric.

In September 2014 Sessay and Hutton Sessay Parish Council published our ‘Community Plan’, one of the tasks being to “Review the case for Conservation Area status to protect the history, character and natural appearance of Sessay”. 

The centrepiece for the Sessay Conservation Area is St Cuthbert’s Church (Grade II*) by eminent Victorian Architect William Butterfield who also designed the neighbouring school and several estate cottages. Close by lies a lost medieval manor and village. Butterfield’s composition of church and school is set within a surviving medieval landscape of ridge and furrow fields consisting of 3 farmsteads. Sessay’s historic buildings, landscape, woodland fringes, ponds and associated wildlife all combine to create a unique and well-rooted place of special character.   

Public consultation on a proposed Sessay Conservation Area ran from the end of April until June 2017. A presentation and public meeting were held on the evening of the 23rd May alongside an exhibition, this was followed by a drop in Q&A event involving parish councillors on the 28th May. 31 public consultation forms were returned with the majority of residents supporting designation. The consultation included two boundary extensions where most of the conservation areas residents live.

At its meeting on the 17th July, Sessay Parish Council resolved to ask Hambleton District Council to precede, Hambleton then formally designated Sessay as its 54th Conservation Area on 12th December 2017.

When making a decision on an application for development in a Conservation Area, the law advises local planning authorities that: “special attention shall be paid to the desirability

of preserving and enhancing the character or appearance of that area”. Buildings within a Conservation Area are subject to tighter planning controls than those outside such an area. As a result, many works to houses will require the benefit of planning permission; however, there are still works which are considered 'permitted development'. 

The special character and appearance of Sessay along with a map showing the boundary of our Conservation Area can be found in the ‘Sessay Conservation Area Appraisal’, a free copy can be downloaded here: 

Those wishing to find out more can refer to a book from the Sessay Archive Project, called 'Essays from Sessay' which details the long and fascinating story of our village.