Planning Appraisal Group

Some of the most important and influential work of the Trust is in its appraisal of planning applications. The Trust makes carefully considered comments on planning applications, taking into account the City’s Planning Policies, the context of the proposal and the effect on its surroundings. To review Planning Applications, the Trust has four Panels, each with a lay chairman, an architect (normally retired) and two further lay members. The Panels operate using written guidelines and a check list.

One of the Panels meets each week to consider the Planning Applications within the wards of Winchester City, and the Panel may also make site visits. The full list of planning applications and the decisions made by the Planning Department are on the Winchester City Council's website.

The Panels see between 40 and 60 applications per month, the majority of which are for shop signs, small extensions, conservatories and the like, on which it makes no comment. Where the Panels think improvements could be made to the scheme, or it might possibly have a detrimental effect on neighbouring properties, they suggest what might be done to improve it - again, these are usually small relatively uncontroversial proposals. They comment in more detail on the applications that they feel would have an effect, good or bad, on the immediate area or Winchester as a whole. It is a sad reflection on the standard of design that very few schemes deserve unqualified praise, and consequently most of the applications listed are those to which we have made an objection. The Chairman of the Planning Appraisal Group, Mary Tiles, reports the Panels’ comments, including any formal objections, to the City Council, and on a monthly basis to the Trust’s Council of Trustees. The three most recent monthly reports produced by the Panels can be read here.