The latest at the Suffolk Preservation Society

Suffolk heritage charity: “mass house building scars our county”

The leading local charity charged with protecting and enhancing the county’s unique heritage buildings and landscapes celebrated its achievements over the last 12 months, but also heard how the wave of poorly-designed developments threaten the county’s unique beauty and identity.

The Suffolk Preservation Society hosted its 2017 Annual General Meeting last Friday (19 June) at the Guildhall, in Lavenham.

Attendees heard from Lord Marlesford, the Society’s President who, whilst “acknowledging the difficulties in trying to accommodate so many more homes in predominantly rural areas, I feel that the quality of their design to be vital – not only for those living in them but for what they brought to the character and appearance of Suffolk. Bad design is a false economy.”

Lord Marlesford also thanked the Society’s chairman, Andrew Fane, for this support saying how lucky they were to have his services, assisted by Fiona Cairns, the Director and her team.

Fiona outlined the achievements of the Society over the last year, which included the impressive fact that where the Society commented on ‘heritage’ planning proposals, it was successful in positively influencing the outcome in more than three quarters of them.

“The Society certainly continues to punch above its weight - both in its delivery of comment in heritage planning and in supporting other organisations engaged to do the same ensuring that developments in Suffolk are good places to live, and not eyesores.”

“Over the last 12 months we have hosted informative workshops in heritage training for parish and town councillors and organised excellent lecture events in historic homes for Members’ interest.”

The Suffolk Preservation Society also ran the first-ever and very successful #SuffolkBeauty competition which was extremely well supported, showing the breadth of local people’s interest in what makes the county so special.

The Society is also further ramping up the support it gives to local amenity and community groups concerned about inappropriate planning via its professional Board of Trustees within the charity. They and the Society’s professional planners help, via the planning system, to encourage developers and councils to build the right buildings in the right places and ensure they are built well.

Fiona concluded “it’s been a full and active year for the Society and it is preparing professionally for the challenges of the future in protecting the special qualities of the County in a sustainable way.”