Updated 15 October 2018


15 October 2018

  • The minutes of the final ANTAS AGM are now available on the Events page.

14 October 2018

  • Yesterday's AGM approved the motion before it that the Association should be wound up (see the Events page).   In an eloquent contribution, John Davies of the Hitchin Society recounted the history of ANTAS.  Its original aim had been to present a united front to consultations by the Government, which it was hoped would take more notice of coordinated inputs by a group of 20 or so Civic Societies than of multiple responses from single societies.  However, successive changes in the Government machinery, starting with the abolition of County Structure Plans, followed by the short-lived establishment of Regional Assemblies and then the replacement of region-wide machinery by simply a duty imposed on individual Planning Authorities to "cooperate" on planning matters with neighbouring authorities, had overtaken those original aspirations, and the primary role of ANTAS now was to enable representatives of Civic Societies to meet together twice a year to exchange their experiences and hear a visiting speaker.

The meeting agreed that the website should continue in existence for two years as an archive.   A number of representatives felt they would like to continue to have the opportunity to contact their counterparts in other Societies if necessary.  That can be done now by consulting the Member Societies page but the possibility of making a contact list available to former ANTAS member society representatives was left open.

12 October 2018

  • The Events page now includes the Final Accounts for the AGM and the Report from the Oxford Civic Society.

9 October 2018

  • The Accounts to October 2018 are now available on the Events page

26 September 2018

  • Eight Society reports received by the deadline are now available on the Events page.

23 September 2018

  • IMPORTANT: If you would like to volunteer for the ANTAS Management Committee, please advise Tony Grice at  It is not an onerous role, and adequate numbers on the committee could make all the difference between ANTAS being wound up and continuing to thrive.

  • Please submit your Society reports by the deadline of Tuesday 25 September so that they can be circulated to all participants and included in the discussion under Item "Society Reports".

21 September 2018

  • Most of the remaining documents for the AGM on 13 October are now available on the Events page.  The reports from Societies will be posted later as and when they are available.

2 May 2018

  • Following the discussion of the future of ANTAS at the Spring meeting, all Societies now please see the letter from the Chairman and a possible motion for the winding up of ANTAS, on the section of the Events page for the AGM on 13 October 2018.

29 April 2018

  • Following the Spring meeting on 21 April, we are grateful to Penelope Tollitt for making her presentation available to us.  See the Events page.

20 April 2018

  • Some new documents and references have been received.  See the revised agenda and new documents listed on the Events page.

14 March 2018

  • The Spring meeting, deferred from 3 March due to the inclement weather, will now take place on Saturday 21 April.  The guest speaker will be Penelope Tollitt from Wycombe District Council.

  • Papers for this meeting are now available on the Events page.   Society Reports are now required to be sent to the Hon. Secretary, Lesley Clarke, by 13 April.  (Thanks to the Societies for Aylesbury, Bishops Stortford, Hertford, High Wycombe, Hitcham & Taplow, Marlow, Oxford, Potters  Bar, Welwyn Garden City and Wendover, whose reports have been received by the Hon. Secretary.)  Orders for lunch, and any special dietary requirements, are needed by 18 April.

30 September 2017

  • An excellent number of 14 reports have been received for next week's meeting.  See the Events page

26 July 2017

  • The dates have been announced for both meetings in 2018.  Further details are on the Events page.

28 March 2017

  • The 2017 AGM will be held on 7 October at Aylesbury.  The guest speaker will be Joan Humble, Chairman of Civic Voice.  Further details are on the Events page.

19 March 2017

  • The documents for the Spring 2017 meeting are now available on the Events page.  Society reports are being posted as they become available.  (As of 24 March, we have Amersham, Aylesbury, Buntingford, Chesham, Chiltern Soc, Cookham, High Wycombe, Hitcham & Taplow, Hitchin, Marlow, Oxford and Welwyn Garden City.)

8 December 2016

  • Peter Diplock has unfortunately had to resign from the post of Patron of our Association.  The post is now vacant.

  • The Spring 2017 meeting will be held on 25 March at Aylesbury.

  • The draft minutes of the 2016 AGM are now available on the Events page.  Following the first meeting of the Management Committee after the AGM, our new Chairman is Tony Grice of the Welwyn Garden City Society

7 October 2016

  • The agenda, accounts and society reports for the 2016 AGM are now available on the Events page.

8 September 2016

  • Please see a further message from the Hon. Secretary on the Events page including a proposal for a change to the constitution.

16 August 2016

  • The 2016 AGM will be held on 8 October at in the Town Council Chamber, Aylesbury.  The speaker will be Colin Davis on the recent publication Street Design for All.  The calling notice, with further information about the talk, is now on the Events page.

14 April 2016 (updated 30 May)

  • The first meeting of 2016 was held at Chesham on Saturday 11 June.  Full details are on the Events page. 

18 October 2015

  • The 2015 AGM was held on Saturday 17 October in the Market Hall Amersham.  The speaker was the former MP, Laura Sandys, whose father founded the Civic Trust in 1957.  Further details, now including a recording of Laura Sandys' inspirational talk, are now on the Events page.

16 April 2015

  • The Spring 2015 meeting was held in Potters Bar on 25 April.  Further details are on the Events page.

2 December 2014

  • The 2014 AGM was held on 29 November in Berkhamsted where Gillian Wain spoke on "The Power of Social Media in the Civic Movement".  Further details are on the Events page.

12 February 2014

  • The Spring 2014 meeting was held in the Town Council Chamber, 5 Church Street, Aylesbury on 12 April.  The speaker was Freddie Gick, the new chairman of Civic Voice, who spoke about the changes in Civic Voice and what it would offer in the future.

6 September 2013

  • The 2013 AGM was held at Beaconsfield on 19 October.  The speaker was Peter Lerner on ‘Townscape and urban design – art and common sense?'  

18 August 2013

  • A report on the Workshop, "Making ANTAS work for your Society", held at the Radlett meeting is now available online - see the Events page

12 April 2013

  • The Spring 2013 meeting was held on 13 April at the Vision Hall, Christchurch, Radlett.  Documents are available on the Events page.

8 November 2012

  • At the 2012 AGM on 2 November at St Ippolyts, the constitutional amendment providing for one-year chairmanships was carried, and Jon Green of the Welwyn Planning Group and Keith Robinson of the Aylesbury Society were elected as Chairman  and Vice-Chairman respectively.  The visiting speaker was Steve Graham of Civic Voice.  Further details, including the Society reports, are on the Events page.

21 June 2012

  • The full minutes and Society Reports from the Spring meeting in St Albans are now available on the Events page.  Already included was Peter Lerner's presentation on how Societies can work with their Planning Authority on the implementation of the Localism Bill and the NPPF.  The special topic under item 10 was the current threat to our town centres with the decline of retailing, as addressed by the Mary Portas Review and the Government's response.

24 March 2012

  • The papers for the Spring 2012 meeting in St Albans on Saturday 21 April are now available on the Events page.

15 January 2012

  • We have great pleasure in welcoming the Cookham Society as a member of ANTAS.    Visit their lively website now.  It contains impressive detail about what the Society would like to see in the Cookham Plan, and the Society boasts an amazing 1,600 members.

21 October 2011

  • We have been advised that, unfortunately, Dr John Howells is unable to attend our AGM for family reasons.  Instead, Tony Burton, Director of Civic Voice, who has been much involved in high level discussions on the Localism Bill and the National Planning Policy Framework, has agreed to extend his presentation and to lead a debate on the matters of concern. The Committee thinks that Societies will still find this part of the meeting both interesting and informative.

20 October 2011

  • The papers for the 2011 AGM are available on the Events page.  These also now include Society reports received by 20 October.

27 September 2011

  • The Hon. Sec. has issued an email advising that all members of ANTAS Societies will be welcome at the AGM at Marlow at which the main topic for debate will be the draft National Planning Policy Framework, where there will be an opportunity to question Dr John Howells, MP for Henley and PPS to Greg Clarke (Minister for Decentralisation and Localism), and Tony Burton (Director of Civic Voice).

  • Members struggling to get a perspective on the draft NPPF may find it helpful to read a summary and recommendations by officers of Wycombe District Council, and also the response to consultation of the London Green Belt Council (even though protection of the Green Belt, as opposed to green space, is one of the stronger provisions of the framework).

1 August 2011

  • Following the discussion at Buntingford in April, we have received a DEFRA report on an anaerobic digestion project which members may find helpful.

15 May 2011

  • The 2011 AGM will be held on 22 October in Marlow.  There will be authoritative speakers on Localism.  Full detail will be provided on the Events page when available.

15 April 2011

  • The reports from Societies received before the meeting are now available on the the Events page.

20 March 2011

  • The documents for the meeting at Buntingford on 16 April are now available on the Events page.  Note that there is a change to the format of the meeting whereby each member society is invited to introduce a topic for discussion by the meeting. This arrangement is intended to supplement society reports.

31 October 2010

  • The documents for the 2010 AGM on Saturday 30th October at Chesham Town Hall are available on the Events page.  These now include the Society reports received before the meeting and Mike Appleyard's PowerPoint presentation.

13 August 2010

  • The minutes of the meeting at Potters Bar on 8 May 2010 are now available.

23 April 2010

  • The documents for the 8 May meeting at Potters Bar are now available on the Events page.

22 March 2010

4 March 2010

  • The first meeting of 2010 will be hosted by the Potters Bar Society.  See the Events page

18 January 2010

24 November 2009

18 November 2009

25 October 2009

  • The PowerPoint presentations given at the AGM on 24 October in Marlow are now available online.  See the Events page.

22 October 2009

  • The agenda for the AGM on 24 October in Marlow has been revised, due to the fact that a speaker from the Homes and Communities Agency cannot attend.   See the Events page.

19 October 2009

  • Our former Chairman, and current Chairman of the Civic Trust South-East, Tony Fooks, attended the national Civic Society Initiative meeting at Blackpool on 16 October.  He will report on it at Marlow.  Meanwhile, ANTAS members may like to visit the Civic Society Initiative website and take a look at their report, "Own the future", containing 5 key issues on which comments are requested by 20 November.

11 October 2009

  • Papers for the AGM on 24 October at Marlow are now available on the Events page.

13 August 2009

28 July 2009

  • ANTAS has submitted a response to the Department for Communities and Local Government on the proposed new Planning Policy Statement PPS4 "Planning for Prosperous Economies", which supersedes the previous versions of both PPS4 and PPS6.

11 June 2009

  • ANTAS has submitted an objection to the proposal in the Luton and South Bedfordshire proposed Core Strategy which would develop an area east of Luton with 5,500 houses (which was the subject of the talk by Kevin Fitzgerald of the CPRE at our 10 April meeting), even though that Authority has no jurisdiction over most of the area, which lies in North Hertfordshire.

10 April 2009

  • Papers for the meeting on 25 April at Panshanger Golf Club, Welwyn Garden City, are now available on the Events page, together with  Reports from the Societies.

17 February 2009

  • The minutes of the 2008 AGM are now available on the Events page.

23 January 2009

2 October 2008

  • The Association's response to the Government's consultation document on "Changes to PPS6  - Planning for Town Centres" is now available on-line.

25 September 2008

  • Papers for the AGM on 18 October in Hertford are now available on the Events page.

4 August 2008

20 May 2008

  • The minutes of the Spring 2008 meeting are now available on the Events page.

17 March 2008

  • Papers for the Spring 2008 meeting are now available on the Events page. 

25 January 2008

  • Our new members, the Berkhamsted Citizens Association, are now added to the ANTAS website.  Go to the Member Societies page to access the BCA website.

4 January 2008

  • The Winter Newsletter is now available online on our Recent Newsletters page.

  • Congratulations to the Wendover Society who now have a most attractive and informative website.

13 December 2007

  • The minutes of the 2007 AGM are now available on the Events page.

13 October 2007

  • The Spring 2008 meeting will be held in the first half of April in Aylesbury.  Details later.

26 September/3 October 2007

  • The papers for the 2007 AGM at High Wycombe are now available on the Events page.

28 June 2007

27 June 2007

  • Click to see the Association's response to the Government consultation on Permitted Rights for microgeneration.

7 June 2007

  • The minutes of the 21 April meeting are now available on the Events page.  The 2007 AGM will be held on 13 October at High Wycombe.

  • Click to see the Association's response to the White Paper, "Heritage Protection for the 21st Century".

15 April 2007

  • The papers for the first meeting of 2007 on 21 April at Potters Bar are now available on the Events page. 

18 December 2006

  • The Winter Newsletter is now available online on our Recent Newsletters page, including an account of Penelope Tollitt's talk on Climate Change and a fascinating piece by John Davies on the early years of the Civic Societies movement.

1 December 2006

  • The first meeting of 2007 will be held in the Tilbury Hall, Potters Bar, on Saturday 21st April.  More details will follow later.

5 November 2006

  • At the 2006 AGM, the highlights included the election of Diana Wethered as a Vice-President, and the talk on Climate Change by Penelope Tollitt of Wycombe District Council, who deputised at very short notice on the indisposition of our planned speaker.  (The climate change reading list is now available on the Events page.)  All the officers and members of the Committee were re-elected.

4 October 2006

  • The papers for the 2006 AGM on 4 November at Buckingham are now available on the Events page. 

25 July 2006

  • The Summer Newsletter is now available online on our Recent Newsletters page - a vintage issue, with articles on the proposed expansion of Luton Airport, the work of CPRE, the EiP into the East of England Plan, and members' thoughts on the "night-time economy" and the London Green Belt. 

1 July 2006

  • The minutes of the Wendover meeting are now available on line.

  • This year's AGM will be held on 4 November in Tanlaw Mill at the University of Buckingham.  Details later on the Events page.

6 June 2006

5 May 2006

  • Following the Wendover meeting, we have pleasure in welcoming the Oxford Civic Society to membership of ANTAS.

23 March 2006

  • The initial papers for the Wendover meeting are now available on line.  See the Events page.

12 January 2006

5 January 2006

  • The Winter 2005 Newsletter is now available to be viewed on line on our Recent Newsletters  page.  The leading article is a piece by our Vice Chairman, John Davies, entitled "Public Consultation - is anyone listening".  We are all constantly being consulted these days about planning issues, but do the views expressed ever have the slightest effect in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister?

12 December 2005

  • The first meeting of 2006 will be held on 22 April in the Memorial Hall, Wendover.  Further details will be posted on the Events page closer to the date.

10 November 2005

9 November 2005

  • Click here to see the current (November) Civic Trust Newsletter, which contains pieces about the evening economy, a reference to the latest DfT manual on street design, the problem of cars taking over front gardens, and a survey seeking your views on the Green Belt.

4 November 2005

15 October 2005

  • At the 2005 AGM, Peter Diplock was elected the new President, Tony Fooks (High Wycombe Society) is the new Chairman, and Alastair Maclean (Potters Bar Society) is the new Hon. Treasurer.  David Peevers (Buckingham Society) was elected to the Committee.  Peter Bembridge spoke about the work of the Civic Trust and fielded a wide range of challenging but constructive questions.

2 October 2005

  • The Civic Trust sent their comments (to which ANTAS contributed) on the ODPM's controversial paper "Planning for Housing Provision" on 15 September.  Click here to see the paper via the Civic Trust's website.

25 September 2005

  • The papers for the 2005 AGM have now been issued - see Events.

1 June 2005

  • The 2005 AGM will be held at St Ippolyts, south of Hitchin, on Saturday 15 October (and not as previously announced) - see Events.

12 April 2005

10 April 2005

  • We have now heard that Peter Bembridge, Director of Operations at the Civic Trust, is no longer able to address the Amersham meeting, due to a recent operation.  The agenda therefore now reverts to the "original" agenda, and not the "modified" one.

26 March 2005

  • Papers for the Amersham meeting have now been posted on the Events page.

  • We have received a piece from Eva Lipman (Hitcham and Taplow Preservation Society) about the current consultation on the South-East Plan.  (You can see this on our MessageBoard in the "ANTAS General" forum.)  She points out that the "options" in there for housebuilding all far exceed what is "actually needed for the indigenous population", and she urges all members to respond by the deadline of 15 April (and they have to be posted).

18 December 2004

  • The first meeting of 2005 will take place on 16 April 2005 in Amersham - see Events.

25 November 2004

  • The reports given by Societies at the Harpenden meeting are now available to be read on line - see Events.

22 October 2004

  • The "Recent Press Notices" page (see above) is now up to date - note the number of Planning Policy Statements that have been issued over the past 2 months, replacing the old-style Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs), and several developments to encourage cycling.

27 September 2004

  • The papers for this meeting are now available online - see Events.

4 September 2004

  • The AGM on 23 October will take a new form.  See Events.

  • The St Alban's Civic Society have raised a concern about the legal liability of a Society's trustees when the Society opposes a planning application.  See the Hon Sec's note.

3 August 2004

  • There was recent press coverage of the provision in the new PPS7 which encourages innovative architecture in the countryside.  See our ODPM News page.

25 June 2004

  • The Summer 2004 newsletter, in an excellent new colour format, is now uploaded.

26 May 2004

  • Bernard Meldrum has sent us some thoughts about parking on grass verges.  There are some interesting facts here about the law.  If anyone has thoughts to add, how about trying out our Message Board?

27 April 2004

24 April 2004

  • Congratulations to the Potters Bar Society which now has its own website run by webmaster Dave Beecham - see our Member Societies page.

  • Our home page now includes links to both Civic Trust regional associations affecting our area.

20-23 April 2004

  • Society reports for the 24 April meeting in Beaconsfield have been received so far from the Bishops Stortford Society, the High Wycombe Society, the Hitcham & Taplow Preservation Society, the Buckingham Society (part), the Beaconsfield Society, the Hitchin Society and the Marlow Society (posted on this web site on 5 May).

  • For the new agenda item on "cross-cutting" issues, John Davies has produced a résumé of correspondence between ANTAS Executive Members on how ANTAS responds to Government consultation exercises, and whether the Government ever listens to what consultees say.  Jenny Horrocks of the Bishops Stortford Society has referred us to sections from that Society's Annual Report which deal with (a) Stansted and (b) the new strategic planning system.  Tony Fooks of the High Wycombe Society will report on the consultations by Wycombe District Council on the new Local Development Framework.

19 April 2004

  • Members are reminded that the Civic Trust South-East AGM takes place at 17 Carlton House Terrace at 1.30pm on Thursday 27th May.  The speaker will be Nigel Burton, the newly appointed chairman of the Trustees.  Please let the Civic Trust have your nominations for office bearers as soon as possible, putting  "CTSE" in the subject line.  Your attention is drawn to the fact that the CTSE now 

25 March 2004

  • The papers for the meeting at the Fitzwilliam Centre, Beaconsfield, on 24 April are now available on line from the Events page.  Please note that the Executive has now decided that anyone who is a member of a Society that is a member society of ANTAS is welcome to attend, but you should keep your Hon. Sec. (or whoever in your society deals with ANTAS matters) informed and, so that we have some idea of numbers, you should email ANTAS too.

8 January 2004

  • Michael Hammerson of the Civic Trust has emailed ANTAS asking for your experience of the role of historic buildings and conservation areas, in preparation for their appearance before the ODPM Select Committee on 26 January.  Please click to see Mr Hammerson's email and the Civic Trust's earlier written evidence, and then e-mail your input direct to him with a copy to ANTAS.

16 December 2003

14 December 2003

  • The minutes of the 2003 AGM at Radlett on 11 October are now available on line.  The first meeting of 2004 will be held on 24 April at Beaconsfield.

3 November 2003

13 October 2003

  • Both this year's newsletters are now available on the Recent Newsletters page in Adobe Acrobat format.  Many thanks to Merrin for doing this conversion - the result is very good.

  • A Press Notice has been issued today by the ODPM referring to consultation drafts of PPS11 (Regional Plans) and PPS12 (Local Development Frameworks).  Click here to see the ODPM web page from which it ought to be possible to download these, together with the earlier draft PPS7 on the Countryside and the proposed changes to PPG3 (under "Planning for Housing statement").  (3 November - The links to PDF versions of these documents now work.)

12 October 2003

  • Now that the Radlett meeting is over, we have a page of follow-up information containing various links and other information relating the the matters discussed - see our Events page.  If you have further thoughts to add, please visit our new message board and use the "reply" or "new topic" button to post a message.  Don't be frightened - you can't post messages by accident and you don't even need to register unless you want to be able to correct (or even delete) your message after you've posted it!

8 October 2003

  • The Autumn 2003 Newsletter is now out - congratulations to Merrin on another beautifully produced booklet containing, on this occasion, a lot of information on the work of our two regional associations - CTSE and EE-ACTS.  And welcome to our two new members, the Bishops Stortford Society and the Harpenden Society.

7 October 2003

  • We have heard of two events of interest to ANTAS members taking place on Thursday 9 October 2003:

Prompted by the latest Civic Trust e-mail newsletter, Carolyn Cumming has noted from the Building For Life website that the Cambridge/Stansted/Harlow M11 Regional Seminar is at the Swallow Churchgate Hotel, Old Harlow, from 9.15 to 3.30.

Anne Hanford of the Hitcham and Taplow Society advises us that the National Trust's presentation of its proposals to build almost 200 houses on the Cliveden Estate will take place 11am to 8pm Thursday 9 October in the Orangery, Cliveden Estate while the Cliveden Campaign's presentation of the reasons for its objections will be held at the same time in the Tote Room, Cliveden House Hotel.  There is more information about this campaign on our Message Board.

26 September 2003

  • We have now heard that CPRE speaker for our meeting at Radlett on 11 October will be Nicholas Schoon, their Director of Communications. 

22 September 2003

  • Following the demise of our old messageboard, there is now a new one, which does not bug you with pop-up advertisements!  Please try it out - particularly to post any comments or papers that give a foretaste of what you may want to discuss at our meeting in Radlett on 11 October.  If you have any document you want to refer to, email it to me and I will add a message linking to it.

18 September 2003

  • The papers for our meeting in Radlett are now available on the Events page.

17 September 2003

  • A problem has arisen with our MessageBoard.  We intend to put new arrangements in place as soon as possible.

15 September 2003

  • The Government has issued the first of its new style Planning Policy Statements, PPS7 "Sustainable Development in Rural Areas", to replace PPG7, for consultation.  See our ODPM and DfT Press Notices page. The press notice also points out that "emerging Government policy, as stated in the form of draft policy statements, can be regarded as a material consideration in planning cases, depending on the context and circumstances"

22 August 2003

  • The decision on the Bicester asylum seekers accommodation centre has received much publicity.  However, the inquiry was not held under the Town and Country Planning Act, and the decision is under DOE Circular 18/84 relating to crown land.  For full details including the decision letter, see the Home Office website,

30 July 2003

  • The ODPM website has been reorganised so far as PPGs are concerned.  Click here to go to a page which lists all the PPGs and offers downloadable versions of all of them, and also associated documents.  Alternatively, go to the ODPM home page, then go to Planning, and then to "Planning Policy" (not "Planning Guidance").

17 July 2003

  • The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has launched a major consultation on the system for protecting the historic environment, to lead in due course to consultation by ODPM on the replacement of PPG15 and PPG16 by a new Planning Policy Statement PPS15.  

11 July 2003

  • Mike Fox, a member of the Chiltern Society Rights of Way Group, has posted a message seeking reports about bridleways that off-roaders are trying to have designated as Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS).

9 July 2003

  • The Government's latest plans for trunk roads have been announced, and also a discussion paper, "Managing our Roads".  Both can be accessed from our "Recent ODPM and DfT Press Notices" page.  (The discussion paper is well hidden on the DfT site!)

5 July 2003

  • The minutes of the April 12 meeting are now available on the Events page.

  • We have now received Carolyn Cumming's report on the AGM of the Civic Trust South-East on 10 June. 

21 June 2003

  • Click to see Merrin's recent photograph of personalities at a recent meeting with the Civic Trust South-East and East of England committees.

10 May 2003

  • The Beaconsfield Society now have a website - with a very professional appearance using software and hosting from OneAndOne.  Go and take a look.

3 May 2003

  • There is now a facility on the websites of both the ODPM and the DfT to have an e-mail sent to you whenever a Press Notice in a selected topic is issued. (Go to our ODPM/DfT news page.) 

29 April 2003

  • The Select Committee Report on Sustainable Communities in the South-East has been published and may be browsed or downloaded on the Parliamentary website.

22 April 2003

  • The minutes of the April 12 meeting will be posted when they are available.  Meanwhile, there was an interesting exchange on the vexed question of Regional Government. Click to view the current edition of "Civic Society Magazine" (the organ of the East and West Midlands civic societies groupings) which has a full and helpful update on the current situation by Graham Reddie (PDF document, 141KB, A5 8 pages, view on screen or print on 8 sheets of A4).

18 March 2003

  • There is now a guide available to encourage nervous members to use our messageboard. 

  • Congratulations to the Radlett Society whose website you can now visit from our Member Societies page.

14 March 2003

  • Papers for the meeting on 12 April in Chesham are now available on-line - go to Events.

25 February 2003

  • West of Stevenage - 5000 houses in the Green Belt?  Click here to see John Davies' update, and also an urgent request for a volunteer with transport (traffic and roads) expertise.

13 February 2003

  • Carolyn Cumming has just provided us with a report on the Civic Trust South-East's meeting on 5 February (dealing with the proposed increase in CT registration fees and affordable housing, and briefly mentioning the new CTSE Newsheet).

8 February 2003

  • The minutes of the 2002 AGM have now been posted.  (Go to the Events page.)

5 February 2003

  • The major Government announcement on housing, including growth points in the south-east, new measures on affordable land and brownfield remediation, and further funding for parks and open spaces, is fully documented on the ODPM website. (Go to our ODPM Press Notices page and follow the links.)

26 January 2003

  • Members may be interested to see the reply received by the High Wycombe Society from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister defending the proposed changes to the planning system (Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Frameworks etc - see 18 July below).

30 December 2002

  • The Hon. Sec has now submitted the ANTAS response to the planning enforcement consultation document following receipt of views from Marlow and Amersham as well as those below.

17 December 2002

27 November 2002

  • The Hon. Secretary, Andrew Sangster, has now submitted the formal ANTAS response to the Government's consultation paper on Airports in the South-East. It draws on the submissions of the Hitchin and Hertford Societies.

  • The text of the Autumn 2002 Newsletter is now available on the recent newsletters page.

3 November 2002

2 November 2002

  • The Hon. Sec., Andrew Sangster, has e-mailed all ANTAS contacts inviting them to submit their draft responses to the Government's consultation document on the Planning Enforcement System, to form the basis of the Association's own submission.

21 October 2002

  • The Association's AGM took place in Marlow on 19 October. You can see a preliminary account of some of the matters dealt with, including arrangements for submitting the text of your Society's oral report to the note-taker and the webmaster, by going to our Events page. 

2 October 2002

  • We now have a Message Board! Please read more about it and then take a look at the board. Post a message telling us what you think of it and any ideas you may have for how it should be used! And start using it for matters of interest to all of us in the civic society movement in the ANTAS area and beyond!

20 September 2002

  • All the papers for the 2002 AGM on 19 October at Marlow, including directions to the venue, are now available on-line - see the Events page.

9 August 2002

  • Geoff and Jude Dyson of the St Albans Society have invited comments on their proposal that there could be a united front amongst ANTAS members on housing development in the Green Belt. See the Issues page, and then e-mail them and us with your views!

24 July 2002

  • New policy guidance (PPG17) on open spaces and playing fields has been issued, and a good practice guide has been promised.  The requirement to consult Sport England now applies to playing fields as small as 0.2ha. See the ODPM Press Notices page.

23 July 2002

  • The Government has launched a major consultation exercise on air transport in the UK including airport policies. There are six separate consultation documents relating to different areas of the UK, all on a new series of web pages. Deadline for comments is 30 November 2002.

18 July 2002

30 June 2002

June 2002

The DTLR has been split into two offices, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Department for Transport (DfT). The new responsibilities are set out in a Press Notice that is "updated to 10 June 2002". Each office now has its own website. The former DTLR website states that it "is no longer being maintained" but that "generic information" is being retained on the site indefinitely. The ODPM home page includes links to areas of the website on Planning, Local Government, and The Regions which appear to be based on old DTLR material. The ODPM home page states (rather defensively!), " This is a new web site for the ODPM and is under development. News releases, speeches and other material will be added over time." A  page "Website changes" suggests that our links to the DTLR site, including PPGs etc, should still work.

10 May 2002

  • The White Paper "Revitalising the English Regions" is available to be read on line on the DTLR website, and to be downloaded. The Press Notice was issued in the Cabinet Office series which is why we missed it earlier!

  • the Spring 2002 ANTAS Newsletter is now available to be read on-line - see the Recent Newsletters page.

7 May 2002

  • The Civic Trust has now announced its new Green Pennant Award, a new award administered by the Green Flag Steering Group to celebrate high quality voluntary and community-led green spaces. Further details are available from contact points on the Civic Trust's Green Pennant web page.

  • The Civic Trust have also drawn our attention to the Urban Design Alliance's "PlaceCheck" system for assessing the qualities of a place, "showing what improvements are needed and focusing people on working together to achieve them." ANTAS members will be familiar with this kind of process which is used, for example, in the preparation of village design statements, but it is of much more general application. UDAL has produced a detailed leaflet, and more details are available from the PlaceCheck website. 

20 April 2002

  • Anthony del Tufo has provided us with a copy of the Amersham Society's comments on the Planning Green Paper for our Issues Page, now reorganised.

14 April 2002

  • Following the meeting on 13 April in St Albans (see Events), documents "e-Business - a Prompt for Regional Amenity Associations" and "Getting On-Line - the Basics", have been placed on a new Downloads page.

4 April 2002

  • We are pleased to welcome the Amersham Society as the latest of our members to have a link to their web page on our Member Societies page, alongside the Aylesbury, Chesham, High Wycombe, Hitchin and Wendover Societies (and, of course, the Chiltern Society with whom we enjoy reciprocal membership).

March 2002

  • The arrangements for the Civic Trust (South-East) AGM on 17 April, to which all registered societies in the area are invited to send a representative, have now been announced. Graham Steaggles of English Heritage will speak about "The importance of historic areas." Click here for details.

  • The Civic Trust has now placed its response to the Planning Green Paper on its web site.  (Click here to go to the CT's rich and informative "Consultation Responses" page.) This is a perceptive and thorough analysis of a complex and patchy Green Paper. Note that there are significant differences between the Civic Trust's position and the position taken by ANTAS on the role of the County "layer" in the planning system

20 April 2002

  • An entry for the Green Paper on our Issues page for now includes a link to the Amersham Society's response.

10 March 2002

  • The papers for the 13 April meeting in St Albans are now posted - see the Events page.

24 January 2002

  • The Association's response to the Government's Planning Green Paper was recently submitted. Click here to view it on line.

22 January 2002

  • The April meeting of ANTAS will now take place in St Albans and the official minutes of the 2001 AGM are now available to be read on-line - see Events

2 January 2002

  • The Wendover Society has become the second member society that we are now hosting on the ANTAS web site. (We have been hosting the Aylesbury Society's forward timetable since November.) Take a look via our Member Societies page.

13 December 2001

  • The Department of Culture, Media and Sport issued a statement, "The Historic Environment: A Force for Our Future", on which the Civic Trust has commented. The report is well hidden on the DCMS site - click here to get to the web page which offers the choice of PDF, MS Word or text versions.

12-19 December 2001

  • The long-awaited Green Paper on the Planning system was issued on 12 December. Click here to see the DTLR's Press Notice, which leads you to a page on DTLR's web site where you can download it one chapter at a time. To save you the trouble, we have assembled it into a single HTML document which you can print off easily (256KB, 40 pages depending on your browser setup): click here. (An Acrobat version - 68pp, 349KB - has now been placed on the DTLR web site.)

The Green Paper seems pretty revolutionary, proposing the abolition of County Structure and Local Plans, and their replacement by ill-defined Local Development Frameworks, supplemented by specific action plans in areas that Local Authorities think they are needed. And that's just the start of it. It will take us all some weeks to digest the proposals. The Civic Trust is collecting Member Societies' views, but to see their views on the aims of the Green Paper, issued before it was published, visit the Civic Trust web site and look under "News". Legislation will be needed, so it will be some considerable time before the changes foreshadowed in the Green Paper will come into force.

Three major companion consultation papers on Planning Obligations, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, and new Parliamentary Procedures for Major Infrastructure Projects, appeared on the DTLR web site (click here) in the following days. On future major infrastructure projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5, the Government proposes to transfer the determination of the principle of the project from the Planning Inquiry to a prior decision by Parliament.

27 November 2001

  • Lord Falconer made a speech to the Retail Consortium announcing the publication of the new Compulsory Purchase Procedure Manual. A consultation paper is promised on improved procedures to speed up compulsory purchase.

20 November 2001

"Mr Speaker, I should touch on three further points. ...

"Thirdly, I am well aware of the length of time that was taken by the process of the public inquiry into Terminal 5. In saying that, I mean no criticism of the Inspector; but there must be an issue as to whether such lengthy inquiries are appropriate. Accordingly, I announced on 20 July that we were considering a package of measures to streamline the handling of major infrastructure projects in the planning system. This included a commitment to publish up-to-date statements of Government policy before major infrastructure projects are considered in the planning system, to help reduce inquiry time spent on debating the policy, the introduction of new arrangements to give Parliament the opportunity to approve projects in principle, and improved public inquiry procedures. We shall be publishing further details for consultation in the next two months."

This has now been issued (see above, 12 December 2001).

2 November 2001

  • On the Issues page, there is a request for anybody with experience of multi-modal studies, particularly the Thames Valley Multi-Modal study, to get in touch.

28 October 2001

  • There is now a report of the 2001 AGM which you can access from the Events page. 

21 October 2001

17 October 2001

11 September 2001

  • The Government and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment have issued their joint guide on Housing Design, available on-line - see our Recent DTLR Press Notices page.

13 August 2001

  • West of Stevenage: John Davies has e-mailed ANTAS representatives drawing their attention to a fresh planning application for this development as follows:

A major planning application has just been lodged with North Herts District Council and Stevenage Borough Council by developers wanting to build 5,000 houses on the Green Belt west of the A1(M) at Stevenage.  This is of course
completely contrary to the provisions of PPG3 and by any standards would have a highly negative environmental impact.  It is also completely at variance with the current Local Plan.

The more objections that are made to this the better - the closing date for objections to NHDC is 21 September.  More information is available on the CASE website which includes a form for the electronic submission of an objection to NHDC.  The Planning Application itself may be seen at

If you can help by making an objection, either individually or as a society, that would be greatly appreciated.  Both CASE and the Hitchin Society will of course be making full and detailed objections to this wretched scheme!

Many thanks.

There is a fuller account of the situation in the Autumn 2001 ANTAS Newsletter. 

14 July 2001

  • The Civic Trust has a new logo (below), which forms part of a new visual identity for the Trust reflecting its commitment to good design. Societies considering new leaflets or headed paper should consider incorporating it. It is available from the Trust in digital form or as a bromide and on their website - see under About The Civic Trust/Corporate Identity. Societies should continue to use the words "registered with" in conjunction with the logo.

    • (11 October) There are now versions (colour and black and white) on the Civic Trust web site which include the words "registered with" at the top. They are in eps format and if you rename them with ".eps" extensions, they will import into Word 2000 or MS Publisher.

  • John Davies, one of our Vice-Chairmen, draws our attention to Community Strategies. The Local Government Act 2000 requires local authorities to develop Community Strategies for the economic, social and environmental well-being of their area, and to contribute towards sustainable development. Government Guidance calls for local authorities to develop such strategies in partnership with local communities, and to work with public, private, business and voluntary bodies. More information is on the DTLR website. See also our Issues and Pleas for Help page, which has featured this for a month or so, but without awaking a response!

Civic societies would seem to be well placed to support this work based on their knowledge and concern for the built environment, and the key input they can make on the "new urban agenda" and quality of life issues in towns and cities. John Davies has proposed in a letter to member societies that they should exchange news and views on how best to participate in this work at the next ANTAS meeting, to be held on 20 October 2001.


25 June 2001

  • The Hitchin Society has now joined the select group of ANTAS member societies with its own web site, containing details of local issues and forthcoming society events (including buildings to be open to the public on 8-9 September for the national Heritage Open Days). Go to our Member Societies page to follow the link.

1 June 2001

30 April 2001