Your article in last week’s Chad by Nick Frame with quotes from Councillor Wetton, raises important and fundamental questions about the quality of the built environment we would wish to live in.
The subject was the retrospective planning application for the alteration to the façade of Market Warsop Post Office which after much discussion in Committee and previously refused in 2010 was eventually allowed.
The most depressing aspect of this is the apparent lack of support for our Conservation Officer from a number of members of the Planning Committee.
After 25 years as a town centre shopkeeper, I personally need no reminders about the economics of staying in business, however, there are wider issues at stake.
Mansfield and its satellites have a wealth of stone fronted properties which give the district great character. Although much has been lost in the last few decades, it is vital to conserve what remains and legislation is in place which should ensure that this happens.
The guidelines for developments within our Conservation Areas are designed to prevent the destruction of traditional frontages with plastic and aluminium blots on the townscape. There are many examples within the district now, where this necessary policy has had spectacularly good results. Shop fronts have been sympathetically restored retaining original features with no loss of window display potential.
Far from our Conservation Officer, “not doing his job properly” (your quote of Councillor Wetton), Mark Wilkinson was doing his job to the best of his ability within the constraints of the planning system. The inappropriate use of materials was brought to the attention of the applicant in 2010 and Mark was very much in order to recommend the refusal of the latest retrospective application when the Conservation Guidelines were blatantly ignored.
What do YOU think about our planning system and conservation areas? Email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org