CPRE Herefordshire's Planning Local Area Network (PLAN)
CPRE Herefordshire’s dedicated group of planning watchdog volunteers continues to keep an eye on and, where necessary, respond to planning applications at the local level. The team works hard in the face of serious threats to the landscape, such as the spreading swathe of polytunnels across parts of the Wye Valley AONB.
We recognise that the countryside evolves – we simply wish to retain the character of Herefordshire’s landscape and promote sustainable development rather than wholesale damaging development.
Recommendations by CPRE to improve design, size access and impact on a locality can help to mitigate potential damage and ensure satisfactory outcomes for all parties.
How We Work
Whilst major issues are dealt with at branch level, such as polytunnels, housing development, wind farms etc., it is equally important to cover, on a regular basis, the steady stream of initiatives that, in the worst of cases, could blight a local settlement or landscape.
To this end, our volunteers scrutinise planning applications on a weekly basis and do their best to identify those applications that appear questionable or contrary to the local plan. In Herefordshire this is currently the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) , soon to be replaced by the Local Development Framework (LDF).
Volunteers then work carefully to compare these applications with the UDP. Site visits are sometimes necessary to review the application and its impact. Should the application prove to be either contrary to the plan or harmful to the landscape, branch volunteers follow up with a letter to the planning office.
Each team member works from home, staying in touch with fellow volunteers via telephone and email. We have a minimum of two team meetings per year and receive support from the branch committee, which receives a planning report at the monthly meeting.
Join The Team
We have vacancies on the P.L.A.N. team. We would also welcome volunteers to assist the team – to help in scrutinising applications or other support tasks.