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.
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.
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.
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
Sub Committee - May 2017
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 April meeting, 10 of
the previously 'live' applications in the Malvern urban
area have been approved by the Malvern Hills District
Council and two refused, all by Council officers under
'delegated powers'. There were 32 'brought forward'
applications and 8 new ones, all of which we reviewed.
We noted the withdrawal of the development application
for the Gold Hill Rest Home.
Hotel - We noted the application for change of use
of this hotel to private residence. Retention of this
prominent Graham Road building in its present form would
be welcome and we hope that the transformation period
will be brief to an approved future use and
site development - Review of the Montrose Hotel
application prompted an informal debate about slow
progress on some other major planning applications for
existing Malvern buildings. It is worrying to us that
some developers appear to have little or no sense of
urgency of 'getting on' with the job, particularly where
clear approval has been given for work and the buildings
concerned appear to be subject to progressive decay.
While there may be good logistic or financial reasons
for inactivity, there remains a suspicion that the
developers might have ulterior motives.
case in point is the applications for a site in Ranelagh
Road which has Grade II listed former religious
group of red brick buildings in Ranelagh Road Malvern
Link have been unused for about ten years. Formerly
occupied by a convent of nuns, the Gothic style chapel
was built about 1893. Several other buildings were later
added or altered to house the secluded community. The
buildings and site are subject to three associated Grade
II listings. The listings describe the Chapel and
Cloister, the Convent of the Holy Name itself and St
Saviour's Guest House (also known latterly as Salvation
House).The chapel is said to be highly significant for
its internal features, the Lady Chapel screen and
gallery, decorative wagon roof and two original stained
II listing bestows a responsibility on the owner to not
make any change or development to a building, so that it
can be reused, without express approval of the planning
authority. Quite often, the cost of such work to an
historic building can far exceed the cost of demolition
and new build.
irresponsible as it may appear to be, a developer can
often get away with letting cherished Grade II buildings
fall into such a state of decay, or indeed to just fall
down, that re-use or renovation is completely
impracticable and new build becomes an unfettered
option. This could be an ulterior motive in sites like
that in Ranelagh Road. An unhappy situation so far as
the Planning Sub Committee is concerned, particularly
since there appear to be several other developments in
Malvern where progressively decaying listed buildings
have long awaited approved development work.
of Planning Sub-Committee