The Suffolk Preservation Society is passionate about sustaining the beauty and distinctive character of Suffolk, its landscape, its towns and its villages – for now and for future generations.

We fight through the planning system to protect our built and natural heritage and to see that new development is sustainable, proportionate, well designed and respectful to Suffolk’s vernacular.

What we do

  • We use our professionally qualified planning expertise and resources to play a proactive role in the development of Suffolk.
  • We encourage debate and interest in the subject of sustainable development that does not set the county in aspic but keeps Suffolk both growing AND beautiful.
  • We monitor planning applications, especially the larger ones, to focus on those where planning law or policy allows us to seek mitigation of adverse impacts or raise valid objections.
  • We make written representations on such applications based on current case law, policy and appeal decisions. And where appeals are held we seek to vigorously promote the protection of the special qualities of heritage and landscape using statute and adopted national and local planning policy
  • We always promote high standards in design.
  • We defend the ‘significance’ of heritage assets.
  • We support neighbourhood planning.
  • We advise on planning law and offer training to the decision makers involved, and we act as a centre for providing and procuring advice and information on planning.
  • We act as a critical friend to the Local Authorities and look to them to provide well-staffed and qualified planning and heritage services
  • We work closely with the Suffolk amenity groups like the Ipswich Society, Bury Society, Beccles Society, Dedham Vale Society and the Alde & Ore Society, to name but a few.

What we don’t do

  • We are a small charity and cannot fight every application (these days when a planning application is made we only have 21 days in which to make a representation), so we concentrate our scarce resources on major and controversial cases that have significant implications for the special qualities of Suffolk.
  • We do not ordinarily fight applications that are sustainable and do not impact on the special qualities of our heritage and landscape, however unwelcome they may be to the nearby residents. But we may subsequently seek improvements to the design.
  • We do not fund Judicial Reviews.

Our business model

We are a charity that uses the income from gifts, legacies and the membership who underpin our mandate to fund the planning professionals who authoritatively challenge planning applications and improve planning outcomes.