Sutton Poyntz Conservation Area

The compact settlement of Sutton Poyntz lies in the Jordan Valley at the foot of chalk hills north east of Weymouth. A Village Survey was carried out in 1999 by the Sutton Poyntz Society which identifies the features of interest. An attractive natural setting is provided by the stream and its pond, which is a central feature of the settlement and by the Ridgeway in the background. The buildings, which include a mill, old millhouse, farmhouses and outbuildings and stone rubble cottages with thatch or slate roofs, are predominantly rural in character.

The Sutton Poyntz Conservation Area was extended in 1979 to include the historic core of Preston around St Andrews Church, linking the linear north to south settlement of Sutton Poyntz with the east to west settlement of Preston. Both areas are characterised by the use of local rubble stone and slate, thatch and clay tile roofs with small two storey C19th century cottages predominating. The narrow roads, in some cases unpaved and all without footpaths are a special feature of Sutton Poyntz. In places the open countryside extends as far as the roadside providing exceptional views of the hills which helps retain the rural character and setting of the area. Immediately behind the southern part of Sutton Road the remnants of Puddledock Farm provide an important visual break between Sutton Poyntz and the 20th Century development of Preston. This gap is an important visual element in establishing the setting and character of Sutton Poyntz, particularly when viewed from Puddledock Lane.

One of the main characteristics of Sutton Poyntz is its "back lanes" – Puddledock, White Horse, Mission Hall, Plaisters and Silver Street. The semi-rural nature of these has suffered from unsympathetic development in the past. The effects of modern development on the lanes is principally as a consequence of the requirements of vehicular access and the need for sightlines, rather than just the design of buildings. The adoption of enhanced schemes with support and active involvement of the community may help to resolve these problems.

Plaisters Lane Extension

The fields around Sutton Poyntz, particularly to the north, provide a setting for the conservation area. The surrounding footpaths also provide important views into and across the area. Views out of the settlement are also important, including looking eastwards towards George III and the White Horse.

The boundaries follow hedgerows and topographical features, but as a consequence a significant number of post 1950 dwellings and estates have been included in the area. Most of these buildings do not make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. The architectural quality, design and age of buildings in Plaisters Lane is variable, but it is the character and appearance of the lane that also needs protecting from further erosion of its rural qualities by the introduction of vehicular accesses and sightlines or the removal of trees and hedgerows.

There are, however, several houses designed in the vernacular cottage style by Mr Wamsley-Lewis (co-founder of the Weymouth Civic Society) in Plaisters Lane that date from the 1920s and 1930s. These cottages provided a strong architectural link with the centre of Sutton Poyntz where several of his other buildings are to be found. The majority survive unchanged and contain many features purpose designed by the architect. These buildings make a significant contribution to the appearance and character of the area.