We routinely examine the planning applications published each week across the province and the online ePIC system makes it easier for the public to view plans and consultation responses. Given the pressure placed on the Society’s limited resources, we appreciate threats to the built heritage being brought to our attention.
Our letters to planners set out the architectural and/or historic merits of the building affected and cite the local plan and other policy and guidance documents (material considerations)where relevant. The most important of these is generally Planning Policy Statement 6 : Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage.
The Society also appears at planning appeals when important conservation issues are at stake. It is not just listed buildings that merit this attention: the Society’s campaigns often highlight the importance of the integrity of conservation areas and suggest ways of strengthening legislation to reduce losses in the future. We engage with the media on both positive and negative issues, keeping the importance of the built heritage as a vital springboard for community cohesion and regeneration in the spotlight.
On a number of occasions the Society has been forced to judicially review a number of damaging decisions through the High Court in the absence of Third Party Right of Appeal. This is a very onerous, resource–intensive onerous process and we continue to lobby the DoE Minister for this important measure to be introduced to ensure that a level playing field is created for developers and objectors.