Planning Forum

The Civic Society is an official consultee of Cheltenham Borough Council and is able to offer comments on all planning applications. The Planning Forum is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee and meets monthly to examine relevant applications and submit its formal comments to the Council.

The Planning Forum is keen to ensure that all applications are of an appropriate standard, and this applies to alterations to existing buildings – particularly those of architectural significance – and also new build.

Innovative design of new buildings is encouraged, as it is our belief that the rich architectural heritage of Cheltenham is best set off by high quality new buildings of varied designs rather than pale imitations of the existing Regency architecture.

Minutes of previous meetings with the Forum's comments can be seen here.

To read these comments in context it is helpful to see the documents submitted to the Council and these can be found at the Cheltenham Council website.


Planning Forum Terms of Reference


The Planning Forum is a sub-committee of the Executive Committee (Trustees) of the Cheltenham Civic Society.

There shall be at least four and no more than eight members.

At least one member shall be a member of the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for representing the interests of the Planning Forum at meetings of the Executive Committee as necessary.

At least one member should have an architectural qualification.

Tenure of individual members is reviewed every three years. There is no maximum length of time for an individual to serve as a member.

Meetings will normally take place every month, with a minimum of 8 meetings annually.

Any member of the Executive Committee or member of the Society may attend a meeting as an observer, subject to the prior agreement of the chair.


The purpose of the Forum is to offer comments to the Borough Council on planning applications submitted to them, in fulfilment of the Civic Society’s role as a consultee of the Council.

Schemes selected for consideration will generally be those that are likely to have a significant impact on the town and/or generate public interest.

Schemes will be assessed against the criteria (a) that they maintain or enhance the special architectural qualities of Cheltenham and its environment and/or (b) in the case of new developments or additions to existing ones, that they constitute good design.

The Forum has no predetermined preference for any particular architectural style.

Every effort will be made to submit comments so that the Council has plenty of time to consider them before the applications are determined.

The Forum may from time to time arrange meetings with developers of major schemes at pre-application stage to seek to influence the design of important developments.

The Forum is independent of the Executive Committee to the extent that it is not obliged to be mandated to take a particular view on any scheme or type of scheme by the Executive Committee.

Before each meeting the details of the schemes to be considered will be circulated to the Executive Committee, who will have the opportunity to offer their comments before the meeting.

The comments made on individual schemes will be circulated not only to the Council, but also to the  Executive Committee, and made available on the website.