The Library, Great Malvern, ©Malvern Civic Society/Kevin Brewer


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The Work of the Planning Sub Committee


The Society's Planning Sub Committee (PSC) tries to encourage good planning design for all developments in the Malvern area. It meets on the last Wednesday in each month at the Great Malvern Hotel and reviews new planning applications made to Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC). We appraise the details of a selected few that have a particular significance because they are in a conservation area, relate to listed buildings or tree preservation orders or because they are likely to excite widespread community concern. 


PSC members assess applications for good design principles and compliance with local and national planning policies. A high proportion of applications are accepted without comment, as might be expected since they have already been vetted by the planning authority. We always try to involve experts in the Society who have professional expertise in this area. 


Occasionally, the PSC objects to an application. In such cases, the committee submits a comment (known as a"representation") to the council planning department recommending refusal. We have a good relationship with councillors and officers and our opinion is usually taken seriously. 


Our discussions are not confined to planning applications. We are concerned with anything which affects the town. I am grateful for the diligence of committee members and for the constructive debate we have had. It is a team effort. New members interested in discussing local planning matters will be always welcome. Please contact me by phone or by email


Planning Sub Committee - April 2017 


The Malvern Civic Society (MCS) Planning Sub Committee (PSC) meetings routinely review all live applications in the Malvern urban area; these include those brought forward from previous meetings. Since our March meeting, ten of the 'live' applications Malvern have been approved by the Malvern Hills District Council. There were 30 'brought forward' applications and 11 new ones, all to review. 


In our April PSC meeting, members agreed that none of the applications on the agenda warranted either a new or an updated representation to the planning authority, based on currently available documentation. However, we agreed that some applications on the agenda appeared not to supply sufficient evidence to warrant clear approval of proposals. 


Examples of this general issue area: 


a) Malvern Splash and alterations to boundary wall & railings - PSC are concerned about ambiguous details and seemingly no recognition that the entrance concerned doubles as an entrance to Priory Park and the 'Route to the Hills'. 


b) Malvern College, new double doors in office at Music School - insufficient evidence was supplied to inform the about the precise location of the proposed doors. 


c) Parkfield, Victoria Road, retrospective application - A major part of this application involves landscaping and PSC opinion is that the documentation of the ground levels for which retrospective approval is now sought is, at best, ill defined and hence any attempt at comparison with original levels can be only nugatory.


PCS members agreed that this general issue could be taken up for discussion with the planning authority. 


We discussed the recently published notification of the withdrawal of an application for extending the Gold Hill Rest Home in Avenue Road. The Applicant had withdrawn the proposals after the Conservation Officer's report did not support the plans. The PSC had also not supported the Application and were reassured that our reasons for a refusal were much in line with those in the Conservation Officer's report. In precise terms, the Conservation Officer summarised the rationale for refusal as: 


"The proposed elevational design does not echo or complement the original building, nor does it relate to any of the surrounding buildings. It is considered that the extension, which would be within the setting and views of the listed building on the opposite corner of the road junction, would be detrimental to the setting of the grade II listed dwelling. In addition the scale and massing, design and materials would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the conservation area. Overall it is considered that the proposal would not comply with national or local heritage policy and cannot therefore be supported.


Graham Myatt.

Chair of Planning Sub-Committee



Malvern's Council House, once the home of one of the Doctors who promoted Malvern's Water Cure in the 19th Century, ©Malvern Civic Society/Kevin Brewer



Previous reports from the Planning Sub Committee:


March 2017


February 2017