The Clare Society


The Society was founded in 1987 to fight against the proposal to build several hundred houses in the Stour Valley on the outskirts of Clare.  Thankfully this proposal was rejected.  Now, as then, we want Clare to evolve year on year with a reasonable number of market and affordable houses which can be absorbed, not overload the Town’s infrastructure or traffic problems, and which maintains the attractive nature of Clare.


Clare: Church Street

The Clare Society is a voluntary organisation, not an elected body, acting very much as a “watchdog”.  We are not a “preservation only” Society which believes in mothballing Clare with the status quo so that it becomes a dull retirement dormitory.  Clare needs a steady influx of young families and children to maintain a broad and dynamic community, which supports our schools, our shops, Clare Castle Country Park and the many activities that Clare provides.

Our Aims and Objectives:

1.  To stimulate public interest in Clare and its environs.
2.  To protect Clare and its people from inappropriate developments.
3.  To seek to influence developers and planning authorities to achieve high standards in siting, design and layout of developments.
4.  To preserve the unique character of Clare by acting as a watchdog in planning applications for new buildings and alterations to existing buildings.
5.  To act as a voice on the quality of life on such matters as parking, noise, traffic, footpaths, sewerage etc, so that speaking as a Society our representations to the various authorities carry greater weight than individuals.
6.  To work in co-operation with our Town Council, the Borough Council and the County Council and to urge action from them in matters within their respective responsibilities when we feel such action is necessary.

In essence, we are a pro-active watchdog seeking to ensure that as Clare evolves it retains its character as an Historic Market town and adds to the quality of life in our Community.  As a statutory consultee, we receive from SEBC all planning applications involving Clare and are asked to respond with our comments.  Over the years we have had considerable success in influencing the design of new houses, the alterations to existing houses and where new housing is to be sited.


Clare: town sign in Nethergate Street

The Clare Society have the opportunity to influence decisions on how Clare evolves, which is particularly important with a government determined to ease the planning laws and build a large volume of new houses.  We have currently over 100 Members and are very keen to welcome new Members, particularly from the younger generations, so that we can respond to the planners from as wide a cross section of the Community as possible.  It may be easier for retired people to commit themselves than it is for younger people still working.

The workload of the Clare Society is done by our Chair, Treasurer and Secretary in consultation with our Committee.  For only £4 per person per annum, all Members will be advised of all current and future key planning developments in Clare as they occur. We encourage all Members to send in their comments on any aspects they feel are appropriate.  We hold an AGM once a year and hope that as many Members as possible will attend.  We are keen to have as broad a base as possible so that we can continue to have a useful influence on the evolution of the Historic Market Town of Clare which we all love.

If you would like to join us, please contact:

  • Chairman John Collecott         T: 01787 278992     E: johncollecott(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)
  • Treasurer Chris Beenham         T: 01787 278441     E: chris(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)
  • Secretary Ian Pritchard Witts   T: 01787 277128     E: Dpwitts(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)