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3.  Building Form and Layout


A major distinguishing feature of Repton is the mix of buildings, ranging from the 8th Century through to modern times.  Repton has a high concentration of Listed Buildings and this has been recognised through the Conservation Area.  This was originally defined in July 1969 and extended in February 1982.  The latest assessment was carried out in January 2013 with extensions in Monsom Lane / Milton Road and changes in the Pinfold Lane areas.  Residents feel this has had a major influence in retaining the character of these parts of the village.

Areas of the village built before the Second World War have a mixture of a few larger distinctive older individual houses interspersed with runs of small to medium sized, generally older, homes and terraces.  A major feature of the village is the strong building line and the closeness of buildings.  Where houses stand back from the pavement, most have walls or hedges, which keep the building line intact.

The principal building materials in the village are red brick, blue clay tiles, slates and sandstone, with some rendered, timber framed and thatched buildings.  Later 19th Century bricks tend to be of a smooth finish and have a uniform colour but earlier bricks have a coarser texture and a degree of colour variation.  The buildings have a varied skyline with chimneys, use stone and some decorative brickwork mainly round windows and to the eaves, and have a three dimensional effect brought about by recessed doors and windows.  Detailing in brick work tends to be of a similar colour and weight to the main brick areas.  Some houses still retain their original windows.  These features have been carried through to the newer, smaller buildings in the area.  These details form a common thread in the village but each part has its own very different and distinctive environment.

The centre of the village is the Cross, of medieval origins, and its surroundings where there are a significant number of medieval and post medieval buildings.  Nearby, St Wystan’s Church is a prominent landmark and the building is well documented, including the 8th Century Crypt, one of the most important pieces of Anglo Saxon architecture surviving in England.  Around here there are buildings from the 8th Century to modern times including the old Priory that dates from the 12th and 13th Centuries, but 18th and 19th Century buildings now dominate the scene.  The ancient buildings are mainly of stone but Prior Overton’s Tower, part of School House, (circa 1437) is one the earliest decorative brickwork buildings in England.  There are a number of cottages in the village, dating from the late 16th and  17th Centuries, on Burton Road, the High Street, near the Square and the end of Main Street (Wood End).  ‘Tudor Lodge’ on the High Street is an obvious example of a timber framed dwelling of the period.

Tudor Lodge - Repton

There are many Georgian buildings spread through the village, mainly of brick with some being rendered like St Wystans, 30 High Street.  These buildings range from the imposing, as shown by the  ‘The Grange’ on Main Street near the Square, to a number of cottages on High Street, three late Georgian examples of which retain widows with decorative iron glazing bars.  Some buildings are three storey and, whilst not dominating the surrounding area, they set a solid framework for other buildings to link to.  The United Reformed Church, with its tall round arched windows is another distinctive structure at this end of the village.  A further region where there are a significant number of buildings from this era is around The Cross.  These include the Post Office, the Repton School Art Gallery at 1 High Street and the now defunct Natwest Bank at 3 and 5, The Cross.

The village has numerous sizeable Victorian and early 20th Century dwellings, including one house designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and several by other respected Arts and Crafts architects, very unusual for a settlement of this size.  A significant number of these are very large buildings which were erected to accommodate the expansion of the school, are generally set in the Cross end of the village and include Pears Hall, The Old Mitre, Brook House  and many others.  Over the last one hundred years in-fill has taken place in streets such as The Pastures and Mitre Drive but these areas can still be characterised as having open spaces and mature trees, giving a pleasant aspect.  Unfortunately the newer building has not always been carried out in sympathy with the surroundings.

There are Victorian terraces on Pinfold Lane and Milton Road.  These terraces show distinctive decorative features that enhance the buildings.  The two terraces in Pinfold Lane were built at different times, but have a continuity that adds to the attractiveness of the area.

Milton Road - Repton

In the early post-war period the housing estate at Springfield Road, part of Askew Grove and the Crescent, were developed as local authority housing.  The Springfield Road houses are in brick, whilst Askew Grove and the Crescent were mainly in Cedar wood and included some dormer-bungalows.  The brick buildings tend to be of standard design with small decorative differences, whereas the cedar houses are of more interest, forming a distinctive feature of the village, however this area has been progressively re-developed with more modern houses.

In the 60/70’s, a number of small and medium developments for private sale took place.  These are basically linear developments, set back from the road, with single garages.  There are a few basic designs, with each house having detail differences, reflecting the style of the period rather than local characteristics.  Bricks are standard light colours and there is a tendency to larger windows and flues instead of chimneys.

In the last two decades several new school boarding houses have been built.  These do not imitate the surrounding buildings, but relate to them using modern materials.  Recent housing has tended to be large, 4/5 bedroomed houses, with double garages in enclosed inward looking estates, one or two having gated entrances.  The buildings feature highly decorative brickwork and smaller windows, but are to national designs rather than reflecting the local character.  Only a couple of terraces of smaller homes were built in this period.  These terraces complement their immediate areas due to the use of sympathetic materials and detail with the front doors facing the street and the way that they are aligned with and close to the edge of the street.  A good example exists in Well Lane.  Some affordable housing has recently been built at Longlands to meet a growing problem of housing developments not meeting local needs.

In 1990, the old Council Depot in Main Street was redeveloped as a high-technology industrial business, demonstrating how industry can be successfully incorporated into a rural village setting.  The changes in the farming industry have left a number of farms and buildings redundant.  Often these have been converted into small groups of individual housing.  Many shops have closed and the buildings reverted to homes.

The Primary School moved to modern buildings and the original building has returned to the ownership of Repton School, which has modified and extended it to form the attractive Art Department.  This is an example of a distinctive regeneration of an obsolete building.   The development of the Brook House boarding house into apartments has made only minor changes to the part of the building facing the High Street and has been sympathetically extended to the rear, whilst retaining the open aspect between the house and the brook.

Repton School now accepts girl students and a number of buildings have been modified to cater for their needs as well as the provision of Abbey, Field and Garden House boarding facilities. Repton School has continued a process of refurbishment of its existing facilities.  The old squash courts on Burton Road have been converted into Art Gallery.   A striking new Science Block has been built (2013) on the escarpment between Willington Road and Tanners Lane but is not to everyone’s taste.

The Dales a facility for the elderly next to Fishers Close, has been closed with the Oakland Village facility in Swadlincote supposedly providing this facility.  However it is difficult to access from Repton, with no direct transport links, meaning any residents from Repton are unable to maintain links with the Repton community.  The future of the Dales site is presently undefined even though there is a need for local provision for the elderly citizens of Repton.

As mentioned earlier, a total of 148 houses (a significant increase in the households in the parish) have been approved on the southern boundary of Repton, away from the centre of the village. The first development, built by a Housing Association, comprises a total of 33 dwelling of which 24 are classified as affordable housing.  The other 115 dwellings have no affordable housing and are not suitable for elderly residents.  They are all built in a general form with no recognition of the character of Repton and its housing.

To sum up, the character of the village comes from the diversity of its buildings from all ages, yet they complement one another and form a harmonious environment but new housing developments do not recognise the character of Repton.


High Street - Repton


Milton has a number of prominent listed buildings that are often Georgian.  These are interspersed with smaller dwellings that add to the character of the area.

Predominantly, the buildings in Milton follow a distinct building line, either being built directly to the rear of the pavement or having sandstone walls and hedges which keep the building line intact.  The older cottages are primarily brick, some a mixture of brick and rubble stone.   Modern textured render has been added to some. Early thatch roof coverings have been replaced with slate or plain clay tiles.  Other buildings are mainly plain brick, with simple embellishments such as corbelled eaves courses, some with dentilled or sawtooth detailing.   There are gaps and open spaces, and a few houses/cottages with side gardens  - all making the character of the settlement.  Sadly, some of the stonewalls and hedges have been replaced with brick walls, fences and gates, shutting off the properties from the rest of the street and reducing the open character of the hamlet.

Bramcote Lodge (not a listed building) dominates the hamlet at the northern end of the settlement envelope.   It is rendered and painted, as are Kirby Holt and the Hollies.   At this end of Milton there is a modern cul-de-sac, developed in the 1980s, that is of contemporary design.  In this part of Main Street the terraced cottages that front directly onto the pavement, with long rear gardens, add greatly to the character of Milton.  They have decorative brickwork around casement windows and to the eaves, and a varied ridgeline with chimneys.

Most of the farms in the hamlet have been developed into residential buildings, generally in keeping with the older buildings architecturally.  All the farmhouses have sash windows to the ground and first floors, with casement windows in the attics.   Brook Farm also incorporates the conversion of the dovecote, originally one of the few in Derbyshire.  Common Farm, in the centre of the hamlet, is a working farm and has adjacent orchards enclosed with stonewalls.

At the southern end of the hamlet envelope, 4 pairs of Canadian-style, semi-detached wooden houses were built just after World War II, as temporary cottages for estate workers.   Two of these were replaced, in the 1990s, by three large, brick built detached houses, which detract from the visual integrity of the hamlet.

Overall, there are about 30 new brick-built houses in the hamlet, however not all enhance the character of the area.  Some cottages have been demolished and others were either knocked into an adjoining cottage or incorporated into new buildings. The older distinctive buildings provide useful references for new designs of houses or in the restoration/extension of existing buildings.

Common Farm is no longer a working farm and the land divided between other local farms.

Planning permission has been granted for conversion of the now redundant outbuildings for residential housing. The adjacent Orchard does not form part of this development and should be retained as an open green space.


Main Street - Milton

Building Guidelines

New developments and alterations in the Conservation Area should reflect and enhance those elements that contribute to its character.

The development confines of Repton (as set out in the SDDC’s Local Plan) should be retained and respected.

New developments and alterations should respect and enhance the character and form of their immediate environment and surroundings.

Large or tall buildings must be in balance with the surrounding area and not unduly dominate the nearby buildings.

Development should reflect existing buildings alignment and aspect. 

Proposals for frontage and boundary features should be incorporated at the planning approval stage.

Distinctive boundaries such as stonewalls are to be retained when new development takes place, in order to maintain the character of the area.

Developments should not be inward looking and separate from the rest of the community.  The use of gates at the entrance of a development should be discouraged.

Details of the buildings (materials, eaves, external doors porches, windows etc.) should complement those that create the distinctive character of the local area.

Developments should incorporate the three dimensional effect of recessed doors and windows.

Brick detailing should be in balance with the surrounding buildings and area.

Care needs to be taken that the character of an older building is not spoilt by the use of inappropriate materials when replacing windows and doors.

Any new industrial developments should be sympathetic to the nature of the area.

New developments should not exacerbate on street parking difficulties.

Existing buildings that add to the character of the area should be retained even when a change of use is required.

Local traders and small businesses should be encouraged, whilst minimising any adverse impact on the character of the community.  Consequently, disused farm buildings should be used for businesses, rather than converted to residential use, where practical.

Developments should take into account the requirement for affordable housing and housing for the elderly to meet local needs, including those of families and retired villagers.


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