Good design of new buildings & skillful renovation of old ones improves Spen Valley. It also sets an example and helps encourage more people to do the same. Spen Valley Civic Society scrutinizes planning applications and objects to badly designed developments, or ones using poor quality materials. Cheap, poor quality materials will deteriorate quickly, creating problems for residents. Shabby buildings have a detrimental effect on their neighbours' properties.
For example, Spen Valley Civic Society objected to an application to build a supermarket at Gomersal. One reason was traffic problems; the other was poor design. The building was a rectangular metal box close to the Red House, a Grade I Listed building, and Gomersal's Conservation Area.