The Civic Society Planning and Development sub-committee meets monthly or less depending on the number of applications in the pipeline. The remit is to comment, positively or negatively, on more significant applications and to encourage good design in harmony with the surrounding buildings.

In the furtherance of the objects of the Civic Society’s constitution the Society bases its judgements of planning applications (online planning applications link) on the following guidelines:

1. Judgements will be primarily aesthetic and not social or political.

2. The Society has a duty of care for the listed buildings in its area of responsibility. It will therefore:

a) Oppose any demolition or major alteration to a listed building.

b) Support and actively promote the restoration of any listed building which has fallen or is falling into disrepair.

c) Ensure that any alteration to a listed building is in keeping with the original.

d) Ensure that any feature added to a listed building, which is not defined as original, is readily identifiable as an addition.

e) Oppose any development which affects the setting of a listed building, to its
detriment. For further details on ‘setting’ consult NPPF 2012 and its accompanying planning practice guide on historic environment.

3. The Society has a duty of care for the Conservation Areas within its area of responsibility. It will therefore:

a) Oppose any development within the Conservation Areas, which by virtue of its scale, height or massiveness is not in keeping with other buildings in the area.

b) Oppose the demolition of buildings which form part of the setting of listed building in the vicinity.

c) Oppose any development which is not of a suitable quality for its location. Quality may refer to architectural style or the materials used for construction.

d) Oppose any development which will have a marked environmental impact on the Conservation Areas. This may cover aspects such as the removal of green spaces and the marked increase in the number of vehicles without adequate parking.

e) Encourage initiatives to maintain and enhance the town’s natural environment and its unique character.

4. The Society will oppose any development which will detract from the natural beauty of the coastline and the Tweed Estuary since these together with the Town’s special history are considered as Berwick’s most important assets.

The Civic Society is represented on CAAG and thus has a voice in the protection of the town’s three Conservation Areas.