TENBURY needs a watchdog to promote and oversee the protection of the town’s heritage.

The call has come from Tony Penn, who represents Tenbury on Malvern Hills District Council, where he is a designated heritage champion.

He makes the plea as a national celebration of English heritage that runs until Sunday, September 20 gets underway.

“Malvern Civic Society can be congratulated on their efforts,” said Mr Penn, who now wants a similar group to be set up again in Tenbury.

“They’ve produced a colourful leaflet listing over twenty churches, buildings and gardens with descriptive notes that can be visited and where you will be welcome, as long as you book!”

Mr Penn has contacted Alan Eachus, one of the group involved in the formation of a Civic Society in Tenbury 20 years ago.

“This was set up to protest about a proposed biomass plant on the Bromyard Road trading estate,” added Mr Penn.

“Subsequently it developed into a responsible society with 40 members with an interest in maintaining the heritage of the town and having regular meetings.

“Interest declined over a period of years and the society eventually closed its doors through lack of support. However, I wonder if now is not the time to set up some sort of organisation to keep an eye on what is happening to our lovely town in the orchard.

“We are currently faced with a relaxation of planning rules and regulations particularly those affecting the High Street. I hope there will still be constraints in conservation areas but it will be important to monitor the situation.

“Tenbury is now the subject of a massive £6 million spend on measures to prevent flooding.”

Mr Penn said that this raises questions in trying to find a solution that does not damage the town’s character and heritage. Tenbury’s heritage buildings include the Pump Rooms, Round Market and Regal Cinema.