The Civic Voice Historic Cathedral Cities Alliance addressed the Worcester Society Annual Lecture

The Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns (ACTS) is an group of some 30 civic societies under the of Civic Voice umbrella located in of some of the most important Cathedral Cities in England including York, Canterbury, Hereford, Peterborough, Worcester, Rochester, Lincoln, Winchester, Chester, Norwich, St Albans, Ripon, Exeter, Litchfield, Wells and others

The common concern of these civic societies is that our historic towns and cathedral cities are in effect National Heritage Assets, but their unique qualities are under threat from the current planning regime which applies the same growth policies to these places as it does to our major towns and cities. The consequence of this “one size fits all” approach is that the very qualities that make these places attractive in which to live and work are being undermined.

Professor Jan Pahl CBE Chair of The Canterbury Society and John Walker a member of the ACTS committee were invited to address the Worcester Society Annual Mayors Lecture on progress that the Alliance had made since its inauguration at the Civic Voice Convention in 2015. With the help of a survey of over 40 civic societies carried out via Civic Voice the Alliance were able to identify some common issues throughout the country including:

  • Pressure for growth impacting on the historic environment.
  • Lack of provision of infrastructure
  • Design and quality of new buildings
  • Lack of affordable housing.
  • Neglect of historic environment.
  • Building on green field sites.
  • Traffic congestion
  • Poor Air Quality
  • Lack of conservation area enforcement in local authorities.

The ACTS Committee are currently working on a draft report which will be presented at the Civic Voice Convention and AGM in October 2017 and sent to the DCLG Select Committee for consideration as part of their ongoing review of the NPPF.

If you want to learn more about The Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns please click here.