Committee, Planning Regime

The Planning Committee

The Planning Committee of the Wimbledon Society is made up of volunteer members of the Society and meets monthly (usually the first Monday of the month) in order to discuss issues relating to planning in Wimbledon, West Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park and Raynes Park.

The Planning Committee also undertakes to review new planning applications in our area of interest and to make comments to the Council’s planners when the Society feels that an application has not adhered to the Council’s own planning policies, and/or could damage the appearance of the built environment when viewed from the public realm.

Members of the public are encouraged to join the Society in order to give us a louder voice in planning matters and to help us achieve our planning objectives.

Any member of the Society wishing to join the Planning Committee should contact the Chairman. 

The Planning Regime

There were various Planning Acts prior to the second World War (e.g. in 1919 and 1932) but they were largely ineffective and, broadly speaking property owners, whether commercial or private were at liberty to make their own decisions on the construction of new buildings and the alteration of existing ones. Clearly this laissez-faire free market approach, while it may have suited some property owners could and did lead to some pretty egregious decisions made without any framework reflecting overall environmental considerations.

The Planning Regime as we know it today derives from the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. From that legislation enacted by the Attlee Government stemmed a radical new approach encompassing, among other things, the establishment of Green Belts, Location of Industry and ‘Betterment‘.

There have subsequently been new Town Acts and a National Parks and Access to Countryside Act.

The changes enacted were therefore dramatic and like many of the measurers brought in by the 1945 Labour Government evoked considerable controversy. However, on the whole the Act has contributed to the benefit of most town dwellers and enabled the Planning Authorities to preserve some that is best in our localities while facilitating necessary change.

The Planning Structure became long winded, complicated and difficult to understand. The current Coalition Government has now put into effect from the 27 March 2012 a new regime. The original proposal created great opposition from a wide variety of bodies including the National Trust and most Civic Societies. The Wimbledon Society participated in the consultation and the result was the final version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).