The Town Centre conservation area was designated on 17 March 1987 and extends from near the junction of High Street with the Old Green Crossing road junction in the north to the junction of Commercial Street and Hill Street in the south.
Download a plan of the the Town Centre conservation area (pdf)
In the area around Newport there is considerable evidence of human activity dating from pre-historic times (circa 2000 BC) and increasing throughout the Iron Age and during the period of the Roman occupation.
The town of Newport itself began to develop along the west bank of the tidal River Usk during the Middle Ages.
Very little visible evidence of this period of development survives with the notable exception of Newport Castle, which is a scheduled ancient monument (SAM) and a grade ll* listed building.
Most of the buildings in this area today date from the Victorian and Edwardian periods when the growth of Newport was at its height.
The medieval origin of the city core is reflected in many of the place names such Skinner Street, Austin Friars, Westgate Square and Corn Street.
Most of the Town Centre conservation area is also designated as an Archaeologically Sensitive Area which means there is a strict planning requirement for most development to be subject to a professional assessment of the likely archaeological impact of the proposed work.
Above ground much of the character and appearance of the conservation area derives from the architecture of the impressive three and four storey commercial buildings.
Above the shop fronts there is a weath of architectural detail that in many cases remains substantially unaltered. The large number of listed buildings bears testament to the exceptional quality of much of the surviving Victorian and early 20th century architecture.
Newport City Council wishes to promote good quality design in all development in the Town Centre Conservation Area.
Alterations to shop fronts and the erection of signs and advertisements can cause visually significant changes and The Town Centre Shop front Guide (pdf) provides helpful advice on signs and advertisements as well as guidance on the design of modern and traditional shop fronts situated within the conservation area.
The council is also anxious to improve the overall quality of the streetscape by providing a consistent approach to the treatment of the public realm, for example road and pavement finishes and street ‘furniture’ such as, benches, bollards and public information signs.
Contact Newport City Council and ask for the conservation officer.