Monday, July 14: Hidtoric walls add to Topsham character and should be 'protected by law'

PUBLISHED: 13:30 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:17 10 June 2010

TOPSHAM councillor Rob Newby has called for the local government to revise guidelines which are resulting in the destruction of the town's historic walls. Councillor Newby is urging Exeter City Council to stop giving permits to residents which allow them

TOPSHAM councillor Rob Newby has called for the local government to revise guidelines which are resulting in the destruction of the town's historic walls.Councillor Newby is urging Exeter City Council to stop giving permits to residents which allow them to knock down walls of great significance in the community.He said: "Any historic amenity wall in Topsham should be protected - it can ruin its historical value."The Topsham Society is backing the councillor in his fight to restrict development within Topsham, if it is a threat to the ancient stone walls, under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Regulations.They have sent a letter to the Head of Planning at the council urging him to take action.The chairman Geoff Wilkinson, wrote: "There are many walls in Topsham that contribute to the heritage and character of the town, and which should be preserved."I am writing on behalf of the Topsham Society to give strong support for this application and to ask you to implement this as soon as possible."The Head of Planning, Richard Short, is now considering carrying out a conservation area appraisal of Topsham.The council may also need approval from the Secretary of State for Planning before the granting of an Article 4.He said: "We have received a number of representations and need to consider them."The loss of walls to make room for driveways is a common issue - it erodes the character of parts of the city."The granting of an Article 4 will not put the boundary walls under protection from English Heritage as a listed building but people would have to apply for planning permission to knock the wall down.Currently there is no need to apply for permission from the local council.Ann Pulman, a Topsham resident, said: "We used to think these walls were listed - that is what we have always believed.

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