April 2011

Historic Towns Forum Newsletter
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Director's View

This has been an exceptionally busy month for HTF – and an exceptionally good one for partnership working. Parliamentary and networking events with CADW and BEFS have led to the forging of stronger partnerships, with forthcoming joint events and future working encouraging outcomes; meetings with VisitEngland and attendance at their LEP event at Anglesey Abbey reinforcing the link between the Heritage and Tourism sectors; and HTF events on Localism and LEPs in Newcastle and London bringing us a new audience, healthy debate within our existing membership, and incredible support from partnership organisations. We may all be struck by funding cuts but they don’t seem to have dampened anyone’s enthusiasm – if anything the appetite for joint working and support among our new and existing membership seems stronger than ever – and while this may be a necessary byproduct of the cuts themselves it says a lot for the sector that we are just getting on with it. Read more

April 2011

Budget response
National Planning Casework Unit
Neighbourhood Planning: 5 key actions
Civic Societies and Localism
The Big Society and Localism
Neighbourhood Development Plan Pilots
Planning permission for major building demolition
Regional Growth Fund
Design Council CABE
Newcastle's Strategic Conservation Area Management Programme
New technology for old buildings
Job Vacancy: THI Officer
HTF Events
Upcoming consultations
Previous HTF responses
New Members

Budget response

At the budget announcement, George Osborne re-emphasised the government’s plans to open up planning, including a new presumption in favour of sustainable development. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles added that DCLG will oversee a broader programme of planning reforms, aimed at making the system less bureaucratic and stimulating business growth. Read more


Civic Societies and Localism Report

According to new report, Civic Societies and Localism, published jointly by Civic Voice and Ipsos Mori, Localism could be a major success story in local communities if it is able to ‘tap into people’s passion’ for their areas, but only if it is ‘fair for everyone and [will] back communities with the support they will need’.

The document summarises a discussion between civic societies and the Minister of State for Decentralisation, Greg Clark MP, while addressing key opportunities and concerns arising from the Localism Bill.

The Big Society and Localism – Rhetoric or Reality? - Dave Chetwin writes

The big society and localism are broad themes overarching the Coalition Government’s programme. Whilst the terms are open to interpretation, key elements include encouraging volunteering, community participation and shifting decision making from national and regional levels to local and neighbourhood levels. Read more

Neighbourhood Planning:
five key actions

The Localism Bill sets out the framework and key principles for a system of neighbourhood planning in England. Access the Planning Advisory Service's advice note on the preparatory work that local planning authorities can undertake in response to this fundamental reform and read the five key actions that will give your planning authority a head start.

Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) Pilots announced

A mix of 17 cities, urban and rural areas will be testing the new neighbourhood planning rights being introduced in the Localism Bill. Local people will for the first time be able to decide the types of development given automatic planning permission through a Neighbourhood Development Order. Read more

Design review and enabling work continues at the Design Council CABE

On 1 April the Design Council launched a national consultation on the future of National Design Review, Local Design Review, and related design support.

CABE staff, who have now transferred to the Design Council, continue their important enabling work, supporting local communities to help deliver and shape places and spaces, and providing a design review service. A CABE section is currently being installed on the Design Council CABE website, meanwhile the team can be contacted at cabe@designcouncil.org.uk

Planning permission for major building demolition

Welsh Streets, LverpoolSAVE Britain’s Heritage has secured a landmark judgment against the Secretary of State for CLG which will introduce new controls over demolitions of buildings and structures under UK planning law. Read more

Civic Voice Planning Panel

The panel of volunteers, chaired by HTF executive committee member Dave Chetwyn, supports civic society staff and helps to identify and debate contentious issues and strengthen debate within the civic movement. Read more

Upcoming consultations

Previous HTF responses

Reviews and new publications

Featured HTF Corporate Member: Freedom Digital Networks

A new network technology for old buildings

fdn logoBypassing the need for any major work to walls or flooring, FDN’s new technology overcomes typical problems found in historic buildings to enable installation of Broadband, CCTV, VoIP telephony, IPTV, data access, and more

Featured Local Authority Member: Newcastle City Council

Newcastle City Council’s Strategic Conservation Area Management Program
Black Gate, NewcastleThe management of change in Newcastle’s conservation areas has been guided by the council’s Strategic Conservation Area Management Program. More details
Newcastle city council logo

Job Vacancy: Townscape Heritage Initiative (Temp)

Temporary Contract: Initially for 4 years with potential follow up contract to cover the five years of the Townscape Heritage Initiative. More details
Bradford MDC

HTF Events update 2011

The updated events list events is now available here.

National Planning Casework Unit (NPCU)

The Chief Planner at the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) wrote to local authorities on 10 March to confirm arrangements for handling planning casework, following the closure of the Regional Government Offices. The letter confirms the establishment of a new National Planning Casework Unit ... read more

Regional Growth Fund

Round two of bidding for the regional growth fund opened on 12 April 2011, with a closing date of 1 July 2011. Read more

Free advice to support neighbourhood planning

Communities are getting a supportive boost to help make their neighbourhood vision a reality through a new scheme offering free access to expert advice and guidance. Read more

Industrial Heritage at Risk research launched

English Heritage's Heritage at Risk reseach this year will focus on industrial heritage at risk such as textile mills, coal mines, canals, railways, warehouses, brick works, potteries, breweries, gas works, wind and watermills, ports, docks and harbours. Read more

Why Local Authorities need archaeologists

A paper written by The Archaeology Forum (TAF) marshalls arguments for resisting the cuts that currently threaten local services and outlines the public benefits to be gained from their retention. Read more

Buildings at Risk catalogue Take a Chance on Me to be launched

SAVE Britain's Heritage will publish its Buildings at Risk catalogue in June. SAVE commends the many Local Authority Conservation Officers who, despite coming under intense pressure as a result of local government cuts, took time to supply detailed information and photographs. Pre-order your copy

UWE Inter-professional Award given for scheme with Grade II* listed building

St Matthias Campus, Bristol UWEHTF was delighted to be included on judging panel for the UWE Interpro2 Competition. The shortlisted teams, made up of students from Construction Management, Construction Technology, Design, Finance, Marketing and Planning disciplines all considered carefully the juxtaposition of contemporary build with the Grade II* listed Victorian Gothic building on UWE's St Matthias campus. Read more

New Members

Anthony Fooks
Freedom Digital Networks Ltd
Hitchin Initiative
Home Portraits 4 U
Suka Group
Telford and Wrekin Council