Council overhauls heritage policies

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district council are transforming the way planning decisions are made for historic homes.

It comes in the wake of calls from home owners and surveyors for radical changes to be made. It has taken more than two years for some decisions to be made, leaving home owners unable to make their heritage properties habitable. Even minor alterations were being delayed.

The district council, which includes a number of historic ‘Constable Country’ villages, said it took the complaints very seriously and would be transforming the way planning was delivered. It has already taken steps to make its planning officers more accessible.

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Local councillor and heritage homeowner Dawn Kendall (pictured above by her home in Nayland courtesy of East Anglian Daily Times) seems to suggest that the problem stems from planning rules being too open to interpretation by different conservation officers.

The story casts in sharp focus the balancing act that planning and conservation departments must continually make between protecting the built heritage and enabling people to improve their homes.

Clearly the council believes that it has got that balance wrong. Whether it now overcompensates the other way remains to be seen.

Read More: East Anglian Daily Times

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