Letter: Embrace changing times in Whitby

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We often hear the comment ‘Whitby is timeless’, but is it?

We live in a changing world and the rate of change is accelerating – Whitby is not immune.

Some years ago our borough council established a conservation area to protect the historic core of Whitby and to manage change in a sympathetic way.

Whitby Civic Society has established a conservation group to promote the objects of the conservation area and to encourage a better understanding and practice within the built environment of this area.

The civic society is not against change, per se, and some changes are welcome, but changes in the built environment of the conservation area – essentially the core of historic Whitby, do need careful consideration with particular empathy to what makes our lovely town so special nationally and internationally.

We wish to raise awareness as to what makes our town so special for residents and visitors alike.

We also wish to encourage best practice when altering/refurbishing and developing new properties within the conservation area.

There needs to be more awareness of the scope and purpose of the conservation area – not only amongst those who live/work/run businesses here but especially with our town and borough councillors and relevant council officials.

We are concerned some of Whitby’s historic qualities are being gradually eroded almost by stealth.

Initially, we intend to focus on shop fronts.

While there are many good examples, others cause concern in that they distract from the beauty of our lovely town.

There is no intention on our part to preach, but we will certainly look to encourage good and appropriate design including particular reference to materials and colour schemes – ie empathy with neighbouring properties and the overall street scene.

For example, what might be appropriate on say, Blackpool seafront, would not normally be suitable for Whitby.

We cannot do this alone and need your support.

We welcome feedback and comments from all sectors and from visitors.

Please take time to consider. You can contact us through our usual channels per our website at whitbycivicsociety.org.uk.

You may even wish to join the society and help in this campaign for a better Whitby.

Barry Atkinson,

vice president and

past chairman,

Whitby Civic Society