|Conservation Area Advisory Committee|
Two extracts from the Society's newsletters.
Members of the Civic Society, the Johnson Society, Lichfield Chamber of Trade and Commerce, the South Staffs Archaeological Society and the R.I.B.A have been deeply disappointed to learn that the Development Committee of the District Council is recommending to the Council that no action be taken upon the proposal that a Conservation Area Advisory Committee be established in Lichfield.
After an encouraging initial response to this proposal, including the support of Member of Parliament John Heddle, there had been good reason to expect that the 1977 Department of the Environment Circular advising local authorities of the advantages of setting up such committees would have convinced the District Council of the benefits to be gained.
If at their meeting on 15th July the District Council accepts the recommendations of its Development Committee then an opportunity to establish a consultative body of a type which over 250 other councils have found to be so valuable in considering Conservation Area developments will have been lost.
In the words of the DoE Circular: "The work of these advisory committees need not be confined to questions arising on applications for planning permission or listed building consent. They could also play a useful part in the general care and maintenance of conservation areas in making positive proposals for their enhancement."
At the meeting of the Lichfield District Council held on 15th July members of the Society in attendance as public witnesses of the proceedings heard the proposal that a "Conservation Area Advisory Committee" be established rejected without discussion or debate. The Development Committee had recommended that no action be taken and no action was taken - even by those present who, as members of the City Council, had previously expressed their support for the idea.
Our sorrow at the refusal to enhance the consultative process and to create an informed an responsible forum, wherein those with a legitimate interest in the development of the conservation area could assist the Council, will sharpen our vigilance.