Can Literary Association be a Material Planning Consideration?

A current topic of interest with the Lauri Lee issue in Stroud.

Lets start with the NPPF definition of Heritage Asset

“A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2012

So yes if the LPA identify it.  And this identification include local listing but is not confined to it.

Clearly there are some landscapes identified with literature so strongly they ought to have some form of protection.  Take for example the Howgill Fells and their association with the Brontes. The problem is some authors draw a very broad brush, where for example does the landscape of ‘Lorna Doone’ begin and end, or Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, or the Thames Marshes of Great Expectations,or the downs that inspired Watership Down?

A poor guide is whether an author opposed development on a particular site.  That is confusing the personal and art.  If mentioned in the literature may be, but authors can be subject to the same whims and nimbyism of any neighbour and it can cloud their judgement. Of course if Wordsworth were alive and he had written a poem opposing a particular development that would be another matter entirely. Consider the song ‘men of Harlech’ made famous in Zulu, about a medieval battle lost to history, it represents a verbal history embodies in Victorian times in the song.  Yet that song alone makes it impossible to think that the enflade of the castle (yes it is in Wales but the point is the same) could be developed whatever its status as setting of a listed building/ancient monument.


2 thoughts on “Can Literary Association be a Material Planning Consideration?

  1. Very interesting, Andrew, as are many of your planning posts. I just wish you’d go back to school and learn how to spell, punctuate, construct sentences etc, etc – “litery” (sic) for example – as your posts are often difficult to follow!!!


  2. Growth in the number of new home registrations by developers each month is starting to show signs of slowing.

    Latest figures from the NHBC for April show growth rates slipping down into around 3-4%, compared with last years totals.

    A year ago the same monthly figures were soaring around 30% compared to 2012 as the industry started to shift out of the doldrums.

    But the latest figures suggest the rapid growth in new home registrations is subsiding to a more “sustainable” level. But this falls short of the growth hoped for by Government.

    In total 34,239 houses were registered for the rolling quarter February to April, just over a 3% increase on the same three-month period last year (33,111).

    Private home registrations during this period were up just 2% to 25,046, while public homes rose more sharply by 7% to 9,193.

    The month of April saw a 4% increase compared to last April’s totals to 11,912.

    Regionally the South East achieved the highest increase in registrations at 31%, followed by the West Midlands rose by 18%.

    The South West, Eastern and Yorkshire and Humber regions record lower registrations in the three months than they did in 2013.

    NHBC’s commercial director Richard Tamayo said: “Having seen very strong growth in 2013, it is comforting to see 2014 consolidate and even improve on last year’s high volumes.

    “As production ramps up across the country it is vital that we are able to provide the support and guidance to the industry that is needed at this time as builders strive to meet the growing demand for more new homes that the UK clearly needs.”

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