One of the aims of the Essex Gardens Trust is to provide informed comment when designed landscapes come under threat of inappropriate development. This means commenting upon planning applications, some of which could potentially damage an historic landscape, or occasionally on proposals at a pre-application stage. The Trust’s role is to highlight the importance of the landscape and the implications of proposed development. The outcome may not always be positive but in other cases the Trust may have to be more pragmatic recognising that situations change and that development of some kind might be required in order to provide a viable future for a site. Here the Trust will suggest ways in which the impact might be mitigated.

The work by the Research Group is vital to this. The detailed inventories being prepared, district by district throughout the whole county, help to identify important historic sites. Many have importance at a local level and therefore may not be on the National Heritage list.

The Trust together with the The Gardens Trust tries to be proactive, engaging in the planning consultation process wherever possible. This could be commenting on local policies such as the new Local Development Frameworks or on Government policy.

The planning system has undergone major changes in the last few years and there are more changes ahead; the challenge for the Trust is to keep up-to-date and be aware of the implications for historic landscapes.

If you would like to bring the Trust’s attention to a planning application or wish to seek initial proactive advice please e-mail Conservation