Chairman's Report for 2016/17 below
Chairman's Report for 2014/15 below.
Article below from the Chairman about the changes to the local planning rules
Today, we have come to expect rapid changes in our environment – houses and flats appearing and shops closing and reopening at an alarming rate.
All of these changes are subject to the planning process which in our area can be followed at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Government’s Localism policy states that communities have the right to be heard on local issues affecting their homes and shopping areas. Retford Civic Society aims to look at all local planning and represents the opinion of members in discussions with planners and developers.
Retford Civic Society is a member of the national organisation, Civic Voice, whose Annual Convention recently took place in Liverpool, with four representatives attending from Retford.
Griff Rhys Jones, the National President, spoke passionately about the need for more ‘joined up thinking in planning’ and the importance of the opinions of local groups and communities. He said’ We agree with the Government that getting the economy moving is essential, but the myriad of proposals coming forward are clearly not the answer. They are creating scepticism and uncertainty, not confidence.’
Civic Voice has recently submitted a consultation response urging the Government to cancel any thoughts it has to allow developers to change buildings on our high streets from retail to residential use without requiring planning permission.
The proposal introduced in the consultation document ‘Greater Flexibility for Change of Use’, means developers could, for example, convert a shop unit to residential use without the local community having an opportunity to voice their concerns. The civic movement is not against development, but if this proposal is adopted it is likely to hasten the demise of the High Street as the higher rents and site values for residential development encourage landlords to seek a change of use even if retail uses remain viable. Not only that, but such unregulated permissions have the potential to create mongrel high streets – neither one thing nor the other. Surely this is not what the Government want to see – communities losing the right to be heard on issues affecting their local high street.
Our planning regulationsand the infrastructure we enjoy did not just happen, it evolved over time from the chaos of Victorian town squalor. We may at times find the system frustrating but it has worked and we now enjoy in Retford a well ordered life style with an effective infrastructure
Neighbourhood planning is at the heart of the agenda on Localism, giving communities power to contain or make changes to the places where they live.
The Civic Society wants to ensure the civic movement has a strong local presence that ensures that Retford is attractive, distinctive and economically viable. Everyone should have the right to live somewhere they can be proud of.