Planning Forum

The Civic Society’s Planning Forum is a formal consultee of Cheltenham Borough Council’s Planning Committee and is able to offer comments on all planning applications. The Forum is a sub-committee of the Society’s Trustees 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 both new build and alterations to existing buildings – particularly those of architectural significance.

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.

Recent Planning Forum Minutes

January 2024 Minutes

February 2024 Minutes

March 2024 Minutes



For previous minutes, please see Planning Forum Minutes under Archives in the menus at the bottom of this page.

Terms of reference


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 formal consultee of the Council Planning Committee.

Schemes selected for consideration will generally be those that are deemed likely to have a significant impact on the town and/or generate public interest and/or of architectural interest. The selection process will be at the sole discretion of the Forum.

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 noting that the Forum has no predetermined preference for any particular architectural style.


The Planning Forum is a sub-committee of the Trustees of Cheltenham Civic Society.

The Forum is independent of the Trustees to the extent that it is not required to take a particular view on any scheme or type of scheme.

The Forum is also a formal consultee to the Planning Committee of Cheltenham Borough Council.


There shall be at least four and no more than ten members. At least one member shall be a member of the Trustees and shall be responsible for representing the Planning Forum at meetings of the Trustees as necessary.

The Forum shall normally include at least one member with a professional architectural qualification. In addition, a member with a planning and/or landscape architecture qualification will be sought.

Tenure of individual members is reviewed every three years.  Only in exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Civic Society Trustees should members serve more than two consecutive terms.

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

Members are invited to join the Planning Forum by the chair of the Planning Forum and are invited to attend as observers of meetings in the first instance.


Meetings will normally take place every month, with a minimum of 8 meetings annually. Meetings of the Planning Forum are spaced to be able to submit its comments in sufficient time to the appropriate published schedule of the Council Planning Committees.

Before each meeting the details of the schemes to be considered – click here to see our selection guidelines – will be circulated to Planning Forum members and to the Trustees to enable the opportunity to offer comments before the meeting.

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 comments made on individual schemes will be circulated to the Council, the Trustees and made available to the public on this website.