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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 034 - Revitalising a village centre

034 - Tarporley

Many people in the UK perceive the village typology, with moderate densities and scale, mixed use and easy access to countryside to represent the potential for the highest quality of life. Often however this is a romanticised view, as competition from neighbouring towns and their inevitable supermarkets force traditional facilities and amenities to close down in villages leaving few opportunities to interact and meet your neighbours.

Tarporley in Cheshire grew up along the A49, the main route  through the county to London, and developed a rich tapestry of facilities in a linear form along its high street. Like many similar villages and small towns, its bypass in the late 1980s improved travel times and road safety, and in doing so removed passing trade, making many of its businesses unviable heralding a significant decline in the quality and number of amenities in the village.

From the 1990s on, Vale Royal Council took the brave move of permitting new development in the village, often in the face of public objection. New golf facilities and a number of new housing projects of an appropriate scale, character and quality were approved. One developer, Bell Meadow Pulford Ltd, have successfully redeveloped the fading commercial centre in this conservation area.

The range and diversity of styles, and the quality of materials and detailing, have created an environment that is both authentic and carefully considered across the 82 homes and seven commercial premises. A mix of housing opportunities ranging from two bed duplex apartments over retail units to five bed roomed detached homes has helped sustain village life and increase the local population.

The success of revitalising the village centre has helped sustain original facilities such as independent clothes shops, butchers and bakers, and attract new facilities such as coffee shops and restaurants making Tarporley a destination village and one of the most desirable locations to live in Cheshire.

Other Information

  • Location: Vale Royal
  • Project Team: Vale Royal District council, M R Jessop. Developer - Bell Meadow Ltd
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Integrated Design 

New development in Tarporley has helped to sustain independent retailers and attract new investment to the village.

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