The Civic Society tries to reflect the interests of residents and visitors who enjoy a town which is safe, clean and attractive.

What is planned today is likely to affect the Town for decades to come.  It should therefore take account of long term trends towards renewable energy sources and fuel efficient transport; increased walking and cycling; an older population; more constraints on the use of private cars; erosion of traditional shopping patterns, and more houses in the surrounding area.  Increased population density leads to increased demands on the infrastructure.

As a Society, we are conscientiously apolitical, welcome consensus and regret party point-scoring at the expense of constructive involvement.

The Planning Group reviews large projects, longer term plans, and smaller applications where sensitive areas are concerned, such as flood risk, conservation etc.  From time to time we consult with members of the Civic Society and others, prepare discussion papers, and carry on a constructive dialogue with Council Officials, Members of Council, and other organisations. 

The Group also meets regularly, one a month, to consider current planning applications in the town area which have been submitted to the Royal Borough’s planning department.  A dozen or so are examined in detail each month, including site visits by Planning Group members, and where there seems reason to comment, either for or against an application, a short letter containing those comments is sent to the Council.