Planning constraints make town unique

IN MY opinion, residents in Letchworth GC should not complain about double planning constraints in the town. Instead, they should be grateful there is a system in place to protect the specialness of the world s first garden city. In most towns there is

IN MY opinion, residents in Letchworth GC should not complain about 'double planning' constraints in the town.

Instead, they should be grateful there is a system in place to protect the specialness of the world's first garden city.

In most towns there is only a requirement to submit planning applications to the planning authority, usually the district council, but a scheme of management gives Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation (LGCHF) the power to scrutinise, approve or reject applications.

This week the Heritage Foundation has revised its Design Guidance, which sets out standards residents must adhere to when making alterations to their homes.


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I don't doubt it's a pain in the neck to have to please two separate bodies in order to make alterations to a home you own, but it is the reason Letchworth GC has remained so beautiful.

Founded by Ebenezer Howard in 1903, Letchworth GC still lives up to Howard's ideals - it combines the advantages of cities and countryside while eliminating their disadvantages. Industry is kept separate from residential areas and trees and open spaces prevail everywhere.

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While surrounding towns become more and more developed, Letchworth GC remains green and distinctive.

Inappropriate or insensitive alterations or developments to homes in the garden city will not only destroy the character and environment of the town, but will no doubt adversely affect house prices in the area.

Residents who want to make alterations to their homes should take advantage of the free advice the Heritage Foundation offers, including site visits prior to the submission of planning applications. This could save time and money.

But at the end of the day, those residents who still don't like the idea of 'double planning' should perhaps move to a soulless urban sprawl, where they can live in a concrete jungle with the advantage of having to adhere to fewer planning constraints.

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