Breckland Council’s Cabinet have agreed to approve and adopt plans for Swaffham’s High Street Heritage Action Zone.

The two documents are the Swaffham Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan and the Swaffham Public Realm Masterplan. The documents have been drafted as part of the Swaffham High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme and have recently been out to public consultation.

The government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme, which is being delivered by Historic England, will unlock the potential of high streets across England, fuelling economic, social and cultural recovery and breathe new life into it for future generations. Historic England is working in partnership with Breckland Council to implement this programme in Swaffham. The programme was awarded £380,000 from Historic England and is being match-funded by Breckland Council at £123,000.

The Conservation Area Appraisal has been prepared by Purcell Architecture. The Swaffham Conservation Area covers the historic town centre and the roads radiating away from it, as well as the churchyard and green spaces to the east, and was last appraised in 1974. This new appraisal made recommendations for some changes to the boundary of the area to account for changes to the town since then. After comments made by the public as part of the consultation process, the boundary area has been amended to include the gardens to the east of The Manor House in the south-west of the area.

Now the Conservation Area Appraisal has been approved by Cabinet, the next step is to notify the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as well as Historic England, so it can be used to guide planning policy.

The Public Realm Masterplan has been prepared by design consultancy Urban Symbiotics. It aims to set out a vision for Swaffham’s future as a 21st-century market town that incorporates its rich heritage. The plan was shaped by a number of engagement events, including one-on-one and group discussions with stakeholders, community group sessions, youth groups, a drop-in session, a school visit as well as a stall at the Swaffham Christmas market.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has responded with their views during the public consultation, or came along to take part in one of the engagement events. The focus of the plan has been improved and refined to reflect your views, to make this truly a vision for Swaffham for everyone.”

Find out more about, and view the Swaffham High Streets Heritage Action Zone documents approved at the meeting on

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.