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Abbotswood Residents Association -
Central Crescent (ARA-CC)
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ARA-CC Area

Conservation Area Documentation

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The ARA-CC and the Abbotswood Conservation Area:

Abbotswood was declared a Conservation Area by Guildford Borough Council (GBC) in October 2011. It became the 40th Conservation Area in Guildford but the first to be formed at the initiative of residents. The Character Appraisal and Management Plan had been drafted over the previous two years jointly by a Steering Group of residents drawn from the three RAs in Abbotswood and GBC's Conservation Department.

Planning permission for the first house in Abbotswood was granted in 1912 so 2012 is our centenary year. The houses in the Conservation Area are for, historical reasons, covered by three RAs (ARA - Central Crescent, ARA Ltd and ARA - NW Spur & Abbotswood Close). Of these, the ARA- Central Crescent is the newest association, being formed in 2005; it represents the majority of houses in the Conservation Area, consisting of some 45 member households.

GBC’s Residential Design Guide and the Landscape Character Assessment both ascribe to Abbotswood certain characteristics which give the area its unique ambience. This character is more fully set out in the Conservation Area documentation and may be summarised as:

- a distinct, quiet and peaceful area and a no-through-road

          - a leafy area with grass verges, edged with limestone, and many trees, both mature and   new and sometimes under-planted with shrubs and bulbs

          - having gardens of an appropriate size, bordered by hedges, and with sizeable gaps between the houses

          - a residential area of detached family homes (varying in size, some being bungalows, enabling families of different sizes and incomes to live in this sustainable community), including attractive examples of Arts & Crafts houses, together with modern houses of good quality, built using traditional materials.

The majority of the dwellings in the ARA-CC area were designed by a single architect A. Claude Burlingham and built immediately before and after the First World War. Michael Drakeford's book gives a full account of the history of the area (see opposite).

ARA-CC seeks to act both proactively and reactively:

          -  Proactively, in that we

- seek to maintain and further strengthen the local sense of community.

- assist the police and local government through running the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme and in passing on key messages to residents.

- cultivate good relationships with our MP, our councillors, and with the wider Guildford community, for example the Guildford Society, EGRA, other RAs etc

         -  Reactively, in reviewing and responding to planning applications and government initiatives on planning.