Heritage Advisory Team blog: Changes to applications under the Scheme of Management

Claire Pudney's picture

Over the last year, we’ve carried out a review of the Heritage Advisory Team processes for determining householder applications under the Scheme of Management and leases. During the review, we spoke to people throughout Letchworth, from residents and local community groups to architects to get their thoughts.

Below are some of the key questions that I have been asked by the people that visit the Heritage Advisory Centre about the householder applications process under the Scheme of Management:

  • Why do we have a Scheme of Management in Letchworth?

The Scheme of Management was introduced to preserve the appearance and character of Letchworth’s unique environment as the world’s first Garden City, and to ensure houses are in harmony with its original design and character. The Heritage Advisory Team can offer guidance and support to ensure these principles of the garden city are managed and maintained.

This type of scheme is not unique to Letchworth, with places such as Hampstead Garden Suburb and Bournville Village also having similar systems in place to preserve the heritage of the town and of garden cities as a whole

  • Why was the process reviewed?

We conducted a review of the process to see how we could improve when helping people applying to alter their homes. We spoke to a wide range of people who put forward suggestions and ideas. The process as such has been amended to try in some cases to reduce the time for decisions to be made.

  • A fee of £180 will now be charged for retrospective applications. Why have charges been introduced?

One of the biggest challenges is dealing with retrospective applications, where people apply for permission after the work is done. This is not only very time consuming, but also impacts on those who go through the correct channels, by causing unfair delays to their applications. It also places people at risk of legal action or problems when they come to sell their property.

  • How will Homes of Special Interest be affected?

Homes of Special Interest will be affected in the same ways as other properties. We will also be creating additional information for these homes to help with any applications they make, such as the architect who designed the property.

  • Where can I find out more about the Scheme of Management?

You can find out more on the Heritage Foundation website, but the best way to find out how we can help is to come to the Heritage Advisory Centre on Station Road and speak to us directly. We’re open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday with the team happy to help with any enquiries. If you’re not able to pop in at these times, you can always email us at home@letchworth.com or call 01462 476017.