Historic Towns Forum Newsletter

April 2014 Newsletter

April 2014 Newsletter

Director’s Message

The budget - guest blog by HTF executive member Steven Bee, Principal of Steven Bee Urban Counsel
There isn’t much to shout about, following the Chancellor’s latest tour d’horizon of the Country’s fortunes. Once again there was no response to, or even acknowledgement of, the campaign to correct the VAT anomaly that penalises those trying to make best use of our historic properties by keeping them in good repair and adapting to meet modern standards and requirements.  A modest contribution (£20m) to the repair of cathedrals was related to their role in commemorating the centenary of the First World War, so it is unlikely to be repeated.  Given that any works that might improve the backdrop to these events will have to have been commissioned already, this is likely to be a recasting of the existing budget held by English Heritage for such works.

The Government’s attempts to inject some urgency into the response to the housing crisis remain small scale, peripheral and dependent on the private development sector. The history of housing crises of the Twentieth Century showed that substantive changes were only achieved through major public investment in public housing.  It may be anathema to the present administration, but a 21st Century equivalent is likely to be the best, if not the only long term solution.  The 20 year-old plan to develop a new settlement at Ebbsfleet is now rebadged as a garden city – apparently the first since Welwyn in 1920 – but is unlikely to adopt the same principles of public land ownership on which the early movement, and early stages of the post-World War II new towns, were based.

Local Authority Members of the Forum will have lots of examples of historic settlements that were based on garden city principles from many periods. We should continue to promote the best of these as examples from which the next Government, whatever its complexion, might learn.

The Chancellor’s speech also drifted into the realm of planning regulation, for no obvious economic purpose.  Secretary of State Eric Pickles later suggested that this was to ensure that:  ‘hard working and hard saving people’ could invest in their properties without unreasonable cost.  The measures to broaden the scope of permitted development and stratify the consent regime will not make such activity cheaper.  They will however increase the propensity for development that could harm the value of neighbouring properties, owned by those hard working and hard saving people.  Sensitive and responsible development has no difficulty navigating the planning process; bad development is never good, however profitable.

Latest news

Farrell Review of architecture and the built environment

Sir Terry Farell’s independent review on the future of architecture and planning which was released yesterday after 12 months of consultation. The recommendations in the report, commissioned by Ed Vaizey, are split into five main categories: education, outreach and skills; design quality; cultural heritage; economic benefits; and built environment policy.
Read more

Further Government measures to cut regulation

Government ministers have announced a further set of measures to abolish or consolidate what it considers to be unnecessary or confusing regulations, including:

  • helping house builders by cutting 100 ‘overlapping or confusing standards applied by councils to new homes.’  Any remaining necessary standards will, so far as possible, be consolidated into the Building Regulations;
  • making it easier and cheaper for businesses to meet environmental obligations, reducing 100,000 pages of environmental guidance by over 80%; and
  • replacing a paper based recording system for waste with an electronic system.

Read more

Fast Tracking Planning Court?

There have been reports in the press about a Government proposal to fast track planning decisions for major infra structure projects as part of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill recently introduced before Parliament. The Bill does include provisions for the leave of the High Court to be required for any legal challenges to planning decisions for such projects.
Read more

Community Energy Funding

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced a new Community Energy Strategy to support local community energy projects. The strategy includes

  • a £10m Community Energy Fund to kick start community energy generating projects in England;
  • £1m Energy Saving Network fund;
  • A community energy saving competition £100,000 to communities to develop innovative approaches to saving energy and money; and
  • A ‘one stop shop’ information service for people interested in developing community energy projects.

Read more

Community Infrastructure Levy too high

A report by Savills says that Community Infrastructure Levy rates are set by councils too close to the margin of viability posing a threat to the increased supply of new housing.
Read more and also more

Welsh Government Guidance on Planning and Economic Development

The Welsh Government has published guidance on how local authorities should take economic development into consideration when preparing local development plans and taking planning decisions. The guidance is set out in Technical Advice note (TAN) 23.
Read more

Town and Village Green new trigger events

The new trigger events after which land proposed for development is protected from applications for registration as town or village greens have come into force. Details of the ‘events’ are contained in The Commons (Town and Village Green) (Trigger and Terminating Events) Order 2014. This extends the list of trigger events which already prevented applications being made where an application for planning permission had been made or a site had been identified for development in a draft development plan. The restriction now also applies to land which is subject to a draft local or neighbourhood development order or a request for deemed planning permission.
Read more  and also (and see below)

Griff Rhys Jones denounces interpretation of national planning system

Griff Rhys Jones, the President of Civic Voice, has spoken out about the ambiguity of the National Planning Policy Framework. He made his comments while appearing on the BBC Daily Politics as part of a debate on the planning system with Conservative, John Howells MP. He said that the varying interpretations that can be given to wording in the Framework are making it much harder for local authorities to be able to refuse planning applications.
Read more

MPs challenge government on Portas Pilot spending

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has published a report which refers to the lack of information from the government on how much of the £2.3m allocated for the 27 Portas Pilots has been spent despite repeated requests for the information. The report also calls on the government to undertake a wholesale review of business rates and to consider whether retail taxes would be better linked to a company’s sales rather than the value of the property it occupies.
Read more

Historic Environment Scotland Bill and Strategy

The Scottish Government has published its first Historic Environment Strategy together with a Historic Environment Bill. The Strategy, entitled ‘Our Place in Time,’ sets out a ten year vision for Scotland’s historic environment. The Bill is the next step in establishing Historic Environment Scotland, the body which will replace Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).   
Read more

First World War Engagement Centres announced

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Heritage Lottery Fund are to support five new First World War Engagement Centres at the universities in Birmingham, Kent, Belfast, Hertfordshire and Nottingham. The centres will support community First World War research projects, connecting academic and public histories of the war as part of the commemoration of the war’s centenary which commences this year.
Read more

Heritage Blacksmiths’ training completed

The National heritage Ironwork Group has announced that the first ever training programme for blacksmiths working in the British heritage ironwork sector has been successfully completed. The programme was training was set up in response to the need for training and standards within the heritage ironwork sector, and was primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 
Read more

Government to maintain support for Green Belts

Planning Minister Nick boles has indicated that the Government will consider intervening to support local communities and councils which wish to protect the countryside and in particular green belts which are threatened. The message was given in a letter to the Planning Inspectorate chief executive, Sir Michael Pitt, following a recommendation by a planning inspector that Surrey District Council should undertake a review of its green belt boundaries. He said that ‘The NPPF makes clear that a Green Belt boundary may be altered only in exceptional circumstances and reiterates the importance and permanence of the Green Belt.’ He requested that his letter be circulated to all planning inspectors.
Read more

Revised planning practice in force

The Department for Communities and local government has issued revised planning practice guidance in response to the review by Lord Taylor in 2012. Among other things the guidance:

  • makes clear that councils need to consider strict tests for flood risks of new development;
  • re-affirms green belt protection, noting that unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the green belt and other harms to constitute very special circumstances; and
  • states that local plans can pass the test of soundness when local authorities have been unable to identify land for growth for years 11 to 15 of the plan period

Read more

HS2 review report issued

The new chairman of HS2 Ltd, David Higgins, Has published his review of the project including his thoughts on progress so far, its ongoing development and his plans for the future. He recommends that the programme for the northern section should be brought forward with the line from London to Crewe operational by 2027 and phase two completed by 2030 rather than 2033.
Read more

Garden City for Ebbsfleet

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that a 15,000 home garden city is to be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent. He made the initial announcement during an interview on the BBC Andrew Marr programme and confirmed it as part of the budget on 19th March. This is part of the Governments proposals to boost building of new homes announced in the budget.
Read more

Northstowe New Town

Plans for the next phase of Northstowe, a proposed new town of up to 10,000 in Cambridgeshire, have been published. Public consultation allowing local people to help determine how it will take shape began on 21 March. Around 3,500 new homes are proposed as well as town centre plans, and further development.
Read more

European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award winner led by HTF member

A UK-led cultural heritage tourism initiative has won a prestigious EU prize for its work in education and awareness-raising. The pioneering SHAPING 24 project links the iconic ‘Norwich 12’ buildings with 12 heritage sites in Ghent, Belgium, and was led by Norwich’s Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART) in conjunction with Ghent City Council.  The project has been announced as a winner of the 2014 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, by the European Commission and Europa Nostra.
SHAPING 24 is also up for the Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra - you can vote for HEART’s SHAPING 24 project here

Events and Seminars

Forthcoming Historic Towns Events

We have an exciting programme of events starting in 2014. In addition we will be introducing an events’ season ticket and further discounts on events for members who join again in 2014. Ask for details here

What events would you like us to put on?

We are now planning the rest of future programmes. What events would you like us to cover? Some ideas so far include Coastal Communities, revisiting the LEP issues, transport infrastructure and further events on accommodating growth. And where would you like us to hold them? We’ve had several requests for events in the north of England, later in the year. Places we are considering are Scarborough, Liverpool and Manchester. Let us know what you think!

Poundbury April 03 2014
Heritage Tourism, Ruralism, Communications and Business in a Broadband Age
England Tourism Week

The Historic Towns Forum in conjunction with ASHTAV will be holding its second National Tourism Conference during England Tourism week on April 3 2014. This will focus on rural heritage and tourism issues and how Broadband provision affects this, among other topical issues such as communications, transport infrastructure and economic growth in rural historic settlements. The event will be VisitEngland supported and will include tours around Poundbury, the often controversial and fascinating housing development instigated by HTF Patron, HRH Prince Charles.  With the recent government announcement that a further £250m is to be allocated to provide superfast broadband to the U.K.’s hardest to reach rural areas this event will be especially relevant to those working with business in rural areas.
Register here or book online  

London May 01 2014
Annual Heritage Legislation Update

On May 01 we will be holding our annual heritage legislation update at HTF partners’ office Bircham Dyson Bell, 50 Broadway, London, on 24 February 2014. With so much still changing in both the planning and heritage sectors, this event, hosted by legal advisors to English Heritage, is not to be missed.
Register here  or book online

Historic Built Environment Seminars Oxford 2014 – June 3 – FREE EVENT
The New Towns Agenda – Masterplanning for new towns, garden cities and urban extensions in the historic environment – theory, practice and examples

The Historic Towns Forum, the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, and Kellogg College are pleased to announce the inaugural series of Historic Built Environment Seminars. Beginning in 2014, these seminars will address current and contentious topics within the historic built environment, fostering academic dialogue, professional practice, and providing an arena in which the public, private, civic and academic sectors can engage in heated and healthy debate about all aspects of the topic in hand. The seminar series will be accompanied by published proceedings each following year.

The first of these took place on 25 February, and was a full house, and a resounding success, featuring David Lock, of David Lock Associates (and ex- Milton Keynes Development Corporation Chief Planner) on New Towns and Masterplanning.

Seminars begin with wine and nibbles at 7pm, followed by the seminar and discussion at 7.30pm. The event will finish at 9pm. The remaining seminars are as follows:

3 June Steven Bee, Steven Bee Urban Counsel, on Urban extensions and ‘Poundbury-Lite’
14 October Peter Larkham, Birmingham City University, on Conserving the post-Second World War reconstruction: a contentious idea
These are free events. Register here or register online
Please do join us!
Read more

Neighbourhood Planning – how to do it with heritage 13 August, Oxford, tbc
Annual Heritage Legislation Update

With so much gathering pace in the Neighbourhood Planning world, there are still few plans that are based around heritage. HTF Chair, Dave Chetwyn, who is also Planning Advisor to Locality, and author of the DCLG-approved Neighbourhood Planning Roadmap, will facilitate a practical workshop using relevant local case studies to show how to base a Neighbourhood Plan around significant local heritage.
Register here

Partner Events

Cheltenham Racecourse – 12 May
TMI Hot topic

This year's 'Hot Topic' conference is on 12th May at Cheltenham Racecourse, immediately prior to the VisitEngland Awards taking place that night.  Booking is now open, with Early Bird rates available until 5pm on Thursday 24 April, at www.tmi-events.org.uk

There will be a strong DIGITAL theme, picking up solutions for destinations following the recent State Aid guidance from DCMS, along with examples from destinations across the UK and Europe.  Speakers confirmed to date include:

  • Mathieu Hoeberigs - 'Tourism - all or nothing' - a personal perspective from the European mainland
  • William Bakker or Rodney Payne, THINK Social Media - Social Media solutions for the tourism industry
  • Val Hawkins, Mid Wales Tourism
  • Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall - 'Visit Cornwall digital marketing approach'
  • Jude Leitch, Northumberland Tourism - an update
  • Stuart Devlin, e-Strategy - Content at the Core
  • Mark Owen, South West Coast Path - Digital Add-ons
  • PLUS more being confirmed by the day

HTF members will be offered the same discount as TMI members.
Book here

National Civic Day

The fourth National Civic day will be held on 21st June. The Day is organised by Civic Voice, which is the national charity for the civic movement in England. It is an opportunity for town and parish councils, community groups and businesses to showcase what is of value in their local area. Civic Voice is organising three events for any interested parties to learn more about the Day and how to participate; in Bristol on 29th March, Wakefield on 5th April and London on 17th April.

Stephen Williams MP, the Minister for Communities will be the headline speaker at the Localism Alliance event in Bristol on 29th March. He will speak on the role of community rights and the increased powers available to communities to protect their local assets. Further Localism Alliance meetings will be held in Wakefield on 5th April and London on 17th April. The Alliance has been formed by Civic Voice, CAMRA, National Association of Local Councils, The Theatres Trust and Supporters Direct to raise awareness of the opportunities available to local communities to protect their alliance.
Read more

London 01 April
National Planning Summit

The inaugural National Planning Summit will be held on 1st April at the ILEC Conference Centre in London. The summit is intended to address the latest, most pertinent issues facing the planning system today.
Read more

Winchester 26-27 April
The University of Winchester Archaeology and Memory

Winchester is one of the most thoroughly excavated cities in Britain, and its excavations among the most fully recorded. Areas for discussion at this conference will include memory and identity, myth, legend and history, power, space, place, architecture and fabric, communications, landscape, art, literature and piety, charity and devotion. The main aim is to demonstrate the material past with modern memory and the implications therein for Winchester’s people, landscape, topography and history. The conference is designed to be accessible to everyone with an interest in Winchester’s past.
For more information
To book

Edinburgh 5-7 June
IHBC Annual School

The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC) annual school will be held in Edinburgh in June 2014. Professor Jukka Jokhileto will speak on the theme of ‘the philosophy and conservation theory, exploring the relationship with culture and science.’
Read more

London 24 June 2014 - RTPI Planning Convention 2014
Meeting the challenge: how will planners shape the future?

Book your place now for The Planning Convention 2014 and be inspired as they celebrate the RTPI's centenary and 100 years of professional planning. Taking place on Tuesday 24th June in Central Hall Westminster, London, the Planning Convention 2014 will ask what are the big challenges on the horizon that will shape the next 50 years? 

They will address major issues including how to deliver quality as well as quantity in housing, how we build healthier communities and how to overcome the real constraints upon economic growth, such as infrastructure and market failure. Expert practitioners will discuss what these challenges will mean for the quality of life for communities in different parts of the UK.

With a packed and flexible programme, and outstanding opportunities for networking and debate, these critical topics will feature across workshop and plenary sessions with speakers of national and international renown. Join the convention debate about how to make planning fit for purpose in shaping the future of our communities.
Book your place now!

York 11-13 July 2014 
Centre for Conservation Studies and ICOMOS conference

The Centre for Conservation Studies and ICOMOS-UK conference for 2014, titled ‘Engaging Conservation’ will be held in York on 11th-13th July. Proposals for conference papers have been invited on all aspects of engaging conservation - with communities, participation, skills and capacity.
Read more

Funding

Funding for coastal towns

The Treasury and the Department for communities and Local government have announced a multi million pound package to create jobs and apprenticeships in coastal towns across the country, including areas affected by the recent flooding. Over 50 projects have been awarded a share of £27.7m funding. Bidding for the next round of the Coastal Communities Fund is also now open. This will provide £64m to support projects across the country over the next three years.
Read more  and also

New Affordable Homes programme

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has begun inviting housing associations, councils and developers to bid for a share £1.7bn for new affordable housing outside London. The funding will be available for schemes over the years 2015 to 2018. The formal bid round closes on 30th April 2014 but a part of the funding will be retained for possible future bids.
Read more

Wales Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration funding

The Welsh Government has announced a further allocation of £100m for the Vibrant and Viable Places fund. Each of the eleven local authorities invited to submit bids will receive up to £15m. The funding will be used for various regeneration projects – helping to create jobs, tackle poverty, increase housing supply and improve community facilities.
Read more

HLF £5m funding for natural heritage

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded nearly £5m for two natural heritage projects: the U.K. wide “Saving our Magnificent Meadows” and “The Great Healthy Living Landscape” in South West England.
Read more

Local Authority support to deliver services

A new fund has been launched which is intended to help local authorities transform their services through the use of new delivery models such as mutuals and voluntary organisations. Delivering Differently is a joint programme between the Cabinet Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives that will use a £1m fund to support ten local authorities to develop and implement new models for delivering some of their services. Expressions of interest were to be submitted by 10th February and the successful applicants have now been announced.
Read more

New measures to help communities hit by flooding

David Cameron has announced a package of measures to help home owners, businesses and farmers affected by flooding. The measures include:

  • a £5000 repair and renew grant for homes and businesses;
  • businesses to get 100% business rate relief for 3 months; and
  • a total commitment of £750m from the major banks to provide financial support to business and individual customers

     Read more

£250m to boost superfast broadband

The government has announced that a further £250m is to be allocated to provide superfast broadband to the U.K.’s hardest to reach rural areas. Those interested in this agenda should attend our Rural Broadband Event in Poundbury on 03 April - book
Read more

Consultations

Strategic Planning Policy Statement – Northern Ireland – 29 April

Read more and see consultation here

National Heritage Protection Plan – 02 May

English Heritage commenced formal consultation on the preparation of the new National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP) in March. The new plan will run from the end of 2015, when the current plan comes to an end, to the end of 2020. A meeting of the NHPP Advisory Board was held in February to offer initial advice to EH prior to preparation of the formal consultation document.
Read more and see survey here

Publications and Toolkits
Planning Practice Guidance published online

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched the final ‘alpha’ version of the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) online. This is accompanied by a list of previous planning practice guidance documents that are superseded by the guidance.
Read more

Loss of local authority conservation staffing

A new report by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage, shows a continued decline in local authority conservation staffing with a reduction in 4% in 2012, part of a ‘devastating 33% cut since 2006’.
Read more

In answer to the skills’ gap crisis in Local Authorities regarding the continued dearth and increasing cuts in Archaeological, Conservation and Heritage Officers, the HTF is held a free strategy event to determine what our part of the sector needs to do to address this issue. This was informed by recent IHBC and ALGAO research.  Speakers included ALGAO, IHBC, RTPI, English Heritage and others. Presentations and digest from the event are now available here.

VAT on housing renovation and repair

An independent research report by Experian suggests that a reduction of VAT on housing renovation and repair from 20% to 5% could boost the UK economy by more than £15billion from 2015 to 2020. It could also create more than 95,000 jobs and save 240,000 tonnes of CO2 from thousands of homes. The report is backed by more than 60 charities, trade associations, business groups and financial institutions that are united in calling on all three main political parties to commit to the reduction in their 2015 election manifestos. Read more

Poorly designed public spaces affect public health

A new report published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), ‘City Health Check – How Design Can Save Lives and Money’, shows a clear link between land use and public health in English cities. The report compares three major health issues: diabetes, obesity in children, and physical activity in the nine most populated English cities. It shows that the healthiest cities have almost half the housing densities and a fifth more green space than the least healthy. It also claims that nearly £1bn a year could be saved if people could be encouraged to walk more hours per week.
Read more

Shop vacancy rates lowest for four years

The Local Data Company, which monitors more than 2000 town and shopping centres and retail parks, has published its latest report on shop occupancy. It shows that average vacancy rates have fallen below 14% for the first time in four years, although there are big regional variations. The report also shows the increasing impact and dominance of large shopping centres and retail parks.
Read more

Airports Commission publishes interim report

The Airport Commission’s independent review of airport capacity and connectivity in the UK concludes that there is a need for one net additional runway in the south east to be operational by 2030.
Read more

TCPA - New Towns Act 2015?

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has published a document showing how a new generation of garden cities could be developed as part of the solution to the need for new housing. The document is intended to encourage the political parties to commit to a programme of new garden cities in the run up to the general election in 2015.
Read more

Guidance to commons registration authorities

The Department for Environment, Food & rural Affairs has published guidance on registering town and village greens following changes made in 2013 under the Growth and Infrastructure Act.
Read more

New British Standard for building conservation

The new standard for building conservation, BS 7913: Guide to the conservation of historic buildings, has been launched by BSI.
Read more

English Heritage Searchable database of heritage planning

A searchable database of heritage planning and court cases has been produced by English Heritage to help access court cases to give involved parties the ability to challenge opinions from planning inspectors.
Access it here

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a Member? Special events’ discounts and other benefits are available for members.

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We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. If you would like to enjoy the benefits such as discounts to our topical events and the chance to network with our Local Authority, Corporate, Private and Individual members, as well as with Agencies, Civic Societies, Community Groups and Sponsors, please visit this link to our website to join.

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a Member? Special events’ discounts and other benefits are available for members.

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February 2014 Newsletter

February 2014 Newsletter

Director’s Message

A belated Happy New Year to you all!

We have an exciting year programme of events planned for the first half of this year (see below) and would like your input on what you’d like to see us cover from June onwards, both in terms of topic and location. Among the events planned is a free members’ Skills’ Summit on 18 Feb (see below) focusing on the continuing and increasing gap in Local Authorities of Conservation, Heritage, and Archaeological Officers. This will be your chance, as members, to tell us what you need us to do to help fill that gap.

I do hope you have not been badly affected by all the recent flooding (and what is also to come!) My normal ride to work along the Thames canal path has been flooded so badly I’ve resorted to catching the bus. Which has been an eye opener in terms of traffic overflow and hold-ups outside the city. It’s been heartening though to see the local bus stops at the Park & Ride and is well-used by commuters and shoppers deciding not to bring their cars into the centre. (I was also surprised to see how badly maintained some of the roads are – it’s like a mini-workout every morning, it’s so bumpy!) On the subject of Park & Ride, traffic control/flow/growth in historic settlements continues to be an issue of great concern - and we are pleased to be able to advise an MA student from Bath who is researching this topic. Is it time for another event/more guidance on this topic? With further growth being an issue of the day, what are we going to do about the corresponding traffic? Do let us know your thoughts!

And finally, please do join us for our inaugural Historic Environment Seminar at Kellogg College on 25 February – this free event runs from 7 – 9pm and includes drinks and nibbles. David Lock, ex Chief Planner, Milton Keynes Development Corporation, will be speaking on New Towns and Masterplanning – a relevant topic and one that is here to stay – so do come and join in the professional debate!

Latest news

Technology Solutions to boost high streets

Science Minister David Willetts has announced a new £8m initiative designed to re-invigorate UK high streets. The initiative, a funding competition, will be run by the Technology Strategy Board and is seeking innovative technology solutions to boost high streets by exploring new approaches to retail/services, logistics and travel and traffic.Read more

Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 – Garden Cities

The second Wolfson Economics Prize will be awarded to the entrant who offers the best answer to the question ‘How would you deliver a new Garden City which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?’  The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2014.

This follows much recent comment in the national press, including a piece on the Telegraph on our Annual Conference, where we had Miles Gibson, the PM’s then-Housing Advisor and now Wolfson Prize Director, on the case for further Garden Cities to help address the need for housing. Read more

Lake District 2016 World Heritage Nomination

The Lake District has been chosen as the UK’s World Heritage nomination for 2016. Nominations are subject to an 18 month process of scrutiny by UNESCO and its advisors. The final decision is expected to be made in July 2015. Read more

Half of councils with green belt land preparing to develop it

Research carried out by the National Trust has shown that half of the councils in England which have green belt land are preparing to allocate some of it for development while brownfield sites remain undeveloped. This follows evidence from CPRE that the number of houses planned for green belt sites has doubled since last year to 150,000. While consulting in the NPPF in 2011, ministers and the Prime Minister stated that they were committed to protecting the green belt. Read more

Scotland’s Future and the historic environment

In December the Scottish Government published its white paper on the future of Scotland. The paper sets out the suggested gains of independence for Scotland and the Governments vision and priorities for action if they are the first government of an independent Scotland. Built Environment Forum Scotland has issued a summary of the potential implications of the paper for the historic environment sector. Read more

Importance of local lists

A planning inspector has referred to the importance of local lists of buildings of architectural and historic interest in his decision to dismiss an appeal against refusal of planning consent for construction of a new dwelling in Peterborough. In his decision statement the inspector said ‘Whilst I accept that the heritage value of a building on a local list is not as great as a statutory listed building and it does not have the same degree of protection, the fact that number 95 is of local importance adds weight to my findings. It also forms part of the balanced judgement I am required to make in accordance with paragraph 135 of the National Planning Policy Framework’.Read more

Supreme Court rejects HS2 appeals

The Supreme Court has rejected the final outstanding appeals by objectors to the HS2 high speed rail link claiming that the decision making process had been unlawful. The decision marks the end of the judicial reviews into HS2 two years after opponents launched legal action.Read more

Pickles on local plans

During a session of the Communities and Local Government select committee the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that local plans with realistic housing targets were more likely to be signed off, and that he did not anticipate many of the plans currently submitted being rejected.  He also referred to the increased use of ‘landbanks’ and to the recent report by Savills suggesting that landbanks were being used at a faster rate than at any time since 2007.Read more

Pre application discussion guidance

New guidance advocating closer and earlier working between developers and local authorities during pre application discussions has been published by the British Property Federation, the Local Government Association and the Home Builders Federation. The report, titled ‘Planning Positively through Partnership’ includes several case studies illustrating how closer working between developers, local authorities and communities can be effective.Read more

Key Cities Manifesto for Growth

The Key Cities group, which is made up of 22 cities with populations of between 250,000 and 500,000 people, has published a Manifesto for Growth, calling for less emphasis on boosting high streets and more help in creating non-retail jobs. The group says that too many businesses have moved out of central locations leaving city centres more reliant on retail. Read more

Events and Seminars

Forthcoming Historic Towns Events

We have an exciting programme of events starting in 2014. In addition we will be introducing an events’ season ticket and further discounts on events for members who join again in 2014. Ask for details here

London 18 February 2014 – FREE EVENT

Local Authority Skills’ Summit Invitation Event

In answer to the skills’ gap crisis in Local Authorities regarding the continued dearth and increasing cuts in Archaeological, Conservation and Heritage Officers, the HTF is holding a free strategy event to determine what our part of the sector needs to do to address this issue. This will be informed by recent IHBC and ALGAO research.  Speakers include ALGAO, IHBC, RTPI, English Heritage and others. This will be at HTF partner’s office, Bircham Dyson Bell, 50 Broadway, London, on 18 February 2014, from 11.30-4, with lunch. Places will be limited so register now!

Historic Built Environment Seminars Oxford 2014 – February 25 – FREE EVENT

The New Towns Agenda – Masterplanning for new towns, garden cities and urban extensions in the historic environment – theory, practice and examples

The Historic Towns Forum, the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, and Kellogg College are pleased to announce the inaugural series of Historic Built Environment Seminars. Beginning in 2014, these seminars will address current and contentious topics within the historic built environment, fostering academic dialogue, professional practice, and providing an arena in which the public, private, civic and academic sectors can engage in heated and healthy debate about all aspects of the topic in hand. The seminar series will be accompanied by published proceedings each following year.

The first of these is on 25 February, and will feature David Lock, of David Lock Associates (and ex- Milton Keynes Development Corporation Chief Planner) on New Towns and Masterplanning. The event will begin with wine and nibbles at 7pm, followed by the seminar and discussion at 7.30pm. The event will finish at 9pm. The other seminars are as follows:

  • 3 June Steven Bee, Steven Bee Urban Counsel, on Urban extensions and ‘Poundbury-Lite’
  • 14 October Peter Larkham, Birmingham City University, on Conserving the post-Second World War reconstruction: a contentious idea
  • These are free events. Register here Please do join us!
    Read more

    London March 13 2014 – Note change of date from February 24

    Accommodating growth in historic towns – what can we learn from past models and future thinking?

    Response to our Milton Keynes Conference on the New Towns Agenda was so positive that we are revisiting the topic with a focus on how what we can learn from Masterplanning and social planning of the past in our historic towns and cities – are we taking those lessons forward into the planning of today and the future, or are we continuing to reinvent the wheel? This event will be held at HTF partners’ office Bircham Dyson Bell , 50 Broadway, London, on 13 March 2014. Register here

    Poundbury April 03 2014

    Heritage Tourism, Ruralism, Communications and Business in a Broadband Age
    England Tourism Week

    The Historic Towns Forum in conjunction with ASHTAV will be holding its second National Tourism Conference during England Tourism week on April 3 2014. This will focus on rural heritage and tourism issues and how Broadband provision affects this, among other topical issues such as communications, transport infrastructure and economic growth in rural historic settlements. The event will be VisitEngland supported and will include tours around Poundbury, the often controversial and fascinating housing development instigated by HTF Patron, HRH Prince Charles. It is rumoured we may have some important guests! Register here

    London May 01 2014

    Annual Heritage Legislation Update

    On May 01 we will be holding our annual heritage legislation update at HTF partners’ office Bircham Dyson Bell , 50 Broadway, London, on 24 February 2014. With so much still changing in both the planning and heritage sectors, this event, hosted by legal advisors to English Heritage, is not to be missed. Register here

    Other HTF events
    What events would you like us to put on?
    We are now planning the rest of yearly programme. What events would you like us to cover? Some ideas so far include Coastal Communities, revisiting the LEP issues, transport infrastructure and further events on accommodating growth. And where would you like us to hold them? We’ve had several requests for events in the north of England, later in the year. Places we are considering are Scarborough, Liverpool and Manchester. Let us know what you think!

    Partner Events

    Birmingham 28 Feb - 01 March

    Civic Society leadership course

    The Civic Society is holding a civic leadership course, open to anyone involved in a civic society, to help develop skills and capabilities of individuals who will help lead and support civic groups over the next few years. The weekend course will be held in Birmingham from Friday 28th February to 1st March. Read more

    21-22 March Milton Keynes

    New Towns Heritage Festival, Bradwell Abbey

    This free event is a joint project between the University of Hertfordshire, the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and Milton Keynes Council, sponsored by the AHRC. The event hopes to celebrate the New Towns of the United Kingdom and act as a catalyst for future joint working and sharing of best practice. For more information and to register

    London 01 April

    National Planning Summit

    The inaugural National Planning Summit will be held on 1st April at the ILEC Conference Centre in London. The summit is intended to address the latest, most pertinent issues facing the planning system today Read more

    Winchester 26-27 April

    The University of Winchester Archaeology and Memory

    Winchester is one of the most thoroughly excavated cities in Britain, and its excavations among the most fully recorded. Areas for discussion at this conference will include memory and identity, myth, legend and history, power, space, place, architecture and fabric, communications, landscape, art, literature and piety, charity and devotion. The main aim is to demonstrate the material past with modern memory and the implications therein for Winchester’s people, landscape, topography and history. The conference is designed to be accessible to everyone with an interest in Winchester’s past. For more information To book

    Edinburgh 5-7 June

    IHBC Annual School

    The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC) annual school will be held in Edinburgh in June 2014. Professor Jukka Jokhileto will speak on the theme of ‘the philosophy and conservation theory, exploring the relationship with culture and science’. Read more

    York  11-13 July 2014

    Centre for Conservation Studies and ICOMOS conference,

    The Centre for Conservation Studies and ICOMOS-UK conference for 2014, titled ‘Engaging Conservation’ will be held in York on 11th-13th July. Proposals for conference papers have been invited on all aspects of engaging conservation - with communities, participation, skills and capacity. Read more

    Funding

    £2bn awarded to councils for new homes

    Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has published details of the latest New Homes Bonus payments made to English councils in recognition of their contribution to building homes. Councils have been rewarded for delivering 550,000 newly built homes and conversions and bringing 93,000 empty homes back into use. The councils are free to spend the money in any way they choose to benefit their local communities. Read more

    HLF funding for Built Environment Fund Scotland through Arts & Business HLF bid

    Built Environment Forum Scotland has been awarded part of a £452,200 grant under the HLF Catalyst Heritage programme to deliver fund raising and capacity building skills. The grant will be used to provide Scotland’s heritage sector with the tools, training and support needed to develop capacity and confidence in generating income from private sources and to improve organisational resilience. Read more

    HLF funding for SAVE Britain’s Heritage

    The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £10,000 to SAVE Britain’s Heritage to develop a corporate fund raising programme. SAVE Britain’s Heritage is an advocate of the historic environment and campaigns to prevent the neglect or loss of all kinds of historic buildings from palaces to humble cottages. Read more

    HLF funding for the Heritage Alliance

    The Heritage Alliance has been awarded £500,000 under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Catalyst Umbrella programme to deliver Giving to Heritage, its major project to boost fund raising skills. The Heritage Alliance, the largest coalition of heritage interests in England, will launch the fund raising initiative in April 2014 to support local community groups across the UK. Read more

    £78m funding for sustainable transport

    Local authorities in England have been invited to bid for funding totalling £78m which has been allocated to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Guidance on the operation of the fund has been issues by the DoT and is available on its web site. Individual applications may be for up to £1m for schemes which make it easier and more convenient for people to make their journey from door to door by public transport, cycling or walking. Read more

    Consultations

    English Heritage New Model - deadline 07 February 2014

    The Department for Culture Media and Sport has issued its consultation document on the proposed future model for English Heritage. It is proposed that English Heritage will be established as a charity with responsibility for care of the National Heritage Collection, and that a new body, Historic England, will be set up to take responsibility for the planning protection, advisory, conservation and archival services. The Historic Towns Forum will submit a response. Responses should be submitted by 7th February. Read more

    Draft National Policy Statement for National Networks – deadline 26 February 2014

    The Department for Transport has launched a public consultation on the Governments Draft National Policy Statement for National Networks in England. The Department has also published its appraisal of sustainability of the draft National Statement. The consultation period ends on 26 February 2014. Read more

    Review of Local Government Archaeological services

    Ed Vaisey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, has initiated a review into the future of local government archaeological services. The review will be undertaken by Lord Redesdale and John Howell MP, supported by The Archaeology Forum. Written evidence responding to a set of questions in the consultation paper is to be submitted by 7th February. Those interested in the implications of this should attend our Skills’ Summit event on 18 Feb – see above or contact Read more

    Shale gas and oil regulatory roadmap published for consultation

    The Government has published for consultation a regulatory roadmap for shale oil and gas developers along with Strategic Environment Assessment report. The regulatory roadmap sets out the series of permits and permissions developers need to obtain prior to drilling for onshore oil and gas. The consultation will run until March. Read more

    Publications and Toolkits

    Loss of local authority conservation staffing

    A new report by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage, shows a continued decline in local authority conservation staffing with a reduction in 4% in 2012, part of a ‘devastating 33% cut since 2006’. Those interested in the implications of this should attend our Skills’ Summit event on 18 Feb – see above or contact Read more

    English Heritage Searchable database of heritage planning

    A searchable database of heritage planning and court cases has been produced by English Heritage to help access court cases to give involved parties the ability to challenge opinions from planning inspectors. Access it here

    HTF membership

    We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. If you would like to enjoy the benefits such as discounts to our topical events and the chance to network with our Local Authority, Corporate, Private and Individual members, as well as with Agencies, Civic Societies, Community Groups and Sponsors, please visit this link to our website to join.

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a Member? Special events’ discounts and other benefits are available for members.

Patron

Partners


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Follow us

If you would prefer to no longer receive these e-mails please
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December 2013 Newsletter

December 2013 Newsletter

Director’s Message

Well, what a busy few months it has been! With our events in November on Growth in Exeter and New Towns in Milton Keynes (presentations and events due shortly), and our AGM and Annual Partners’ Dinner this week, we have been rushed off our feet! It has been a successful and rewarding year with our new hosts, Kellogg College, at the University of Oxford, and we look forward to many more.

We have an exciting year programme of events planned for the first half of next year (see below) and would like your input on what you’d like to see us cover from June onwards, both in terms of topic and location. Among the events planned is a free members’ Skills’ Summit focusing on the continuing and increasing gap in Local Authorities of Conservation, Heritage, and Archaeological Officers. This will be your chance, as members, to tell us what you need us to do to help fill that gap.

An important outcome from our AGM was the ratification of our intention to merge with the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages at the end of 2014. It makes sense at this time to align ourselves with an organisation with similar aims; this will also broaden our remit into the areas of rural settlements, and smaller historical settlements. If you’d like any further information on this, or on anything else discussed at the AGM, then please do get in touch.  Sadly we would like also to extend our best wishes and grateful thanks to long-standing HTF and HTF Executive member, Brian Human, who, after many years of incredible service, has decided to stand down. We are pleased though, to report that he will stay a member.

Several consultations (see below) that of importance to the heritage sector are coming up in the new year: in particular please do respond to the English Heritage New Model consultation or let us know your views, and we will include them in our responses.

And finally, please find attached a copy of our Annual report for 2012-13. Happy reading and have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. The Historic Towns Forum are very much looking forward to working with you all again in the New Year.

Latest news

HS2 benefits doubted

The Public Accounts Committee has issued a report which says that the Department for Transport has failed to present a convincing strategic case for the HS2 rail link. The committee felt that the stated benefits were based on fragile numbers and out of date data, and that the line would not help the growth of regional cities. At the same time the estimated costs have risen to £50bn which, it is argued, could be more effectively used to improve the existing rail network.
A further report on the regional economic impacts of HS2 commissioned by The Department for Transport and written by KPMG has given details of the areas which will suffer financially as a consequence of HS2. The worst affected areas will be;
  • Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City and Moray
  • North East
  • Dundee and Angus
  • Cardiff
  • North West

The Government has stressed that HS2 will provide economic benefits to the country overall and that more regions will benefit than will suffer. Read more

Training to help England’s towns modernise

From September teams of local experts have been advising the leaders of 350 towns how to adapt their high streets to changing consumer behaviour. The training will:

  • Encourage towns to carry out high street health checks
  • Agree what the town centre “offer” will be to residents and visitors
  • Explain how to best make use of planning powers and new community rights to take over closed pubs or shops
  • Detail how neighbourhood planning should be used to decide what local areas should look like in the future.

The training is available to the 350 town teams which were established following the Portas Review. Read more

Faster planning appeals process

Planning Minister Nick Boles has announced that secondary legislation has been laid before Parliament which will ensure that planning appeals will receive earlier decisions, with increased transparency for communities. The new legislation will came into force on 1st October, and at the same time new guidance on planning appeals was published. Read more

Measures announced to help bring parish powers back to towns and cities

Communities Minister Don Foster has announced new measures which will make it easier for parish councils to be established within towns and cities, which would bring more powers for local communities to run services and make decisions affecting their area.Read more

Select Committee to review NPPF

The select committee for the Department for Communities and Local government is to review the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework. The two year review will begin in March 2014 when the committee will ask interested parties to submit evidence on the impact of the planning changes. Read more

Wolfson Economics Prize 2014 – Garden Cities

The second Wolfson Economics Prize will be awarded to the entrant who offers the best answer to the question “How would you deliver a new Garden City which is visionary, economically viable, and popular?”  The deadline for submissions is 3 March 2014.

This follows much recent comment in the national press, including a piece on the Telegraph on our Annual Conference, where we had Miles Gibson, the PM’s then-Housing Advisor and now Wolfson Prize Director, on the case for further Garden Cities to help address the new for housing. Read more

Planning Guidance on Retail Site allocations

The Department for Communities and local Government (DCLG) is to issue planning guidance on retail land allocations. The guidance was announced as part of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and will urge councils to review retail land allocations taking account of changing local markets. DCLG has suggested that councils should set up “one stop shops” to provide a single point of contact for developers so that they can deal with planning, building regulations and environmental health as part of a comprehensive service to support the town centres. Read more

New National Infrastructure Plan

A new national infrastructure plan containing information on over £375bn of planned public and private sector infrastructure investment has been announced by the Government. The plan sets out investment for energy, transport, flood defence, waste, water and communications infrastructure up to 2030 and beyond. The plan will be assisted by investment of £25bn over the next five years by six major insurance companies. Read more

Communities to be consulted on wind turbine proposals

The Department for Communities and Local Government has announced that local communities will have a much greater say on wind turbine proposals. New measures to be laid before Parliament will require developers seeking planning permission for onshore development involving more than two turbines or any turbine exceeding 15 metres height to consult local communities before submitting a formal application. Read more

English Heritage seeks new commissioners

English Heritage is looking for six new commissioners to provide strategic direction during a time of change including the becoming a charity to manage the National Heritage Collection. Commissioners are needed for specialist and general roles. The appointments will be made by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.Read more

Support for self build housing

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has promised to help turn self build housing into a mainstream option rather than a minority interest. He will introduce measures to support self build housing including asking councils to assess the demand; undertake a review of Homes and Communities Agency land to identify land suitable for small scale projects; and publicise land to would be self builders. There will also be a Council Tax discount for self built family annexes and exemption from “unreasonable” section 106 charges and the Community Infrastructure levy. Read more

£150m boost for construction industry

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced that a further £150m is to be invested in the construction industry over the next five years to help reduce construction times, improve quality and make buildings more efficient.£60m will allocated to the Low Impact Building Innovation Platform to fund  projects which have those aims. Read more

Heritage Enterprise recipients announced

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded more than £12m to bring five important but neglected historic buildings back to commercial use. The funding has been awarded under the Heritage Enterprise Scheme to:

  • The Harland and Wolff Drawing Office, Titanic Quarter, Belfast
  • The Globe Theatre, Stockton
  • St Peter and the Old Black Lion Pub, Northampton
  • The Northern Counties Club, Londonderry/Derry
  • Merkinch Welfare Hall, Inverness

Read more

CPRE charter to Save our Countryside

The Campaign for the Protection of rural England (CPRE) has launched a charter asking for better protection for the countryside, a fair say for local communities in planning the places where they live and work, and more housing – but of a good quality and in the right place. CPRE is asking people to sign the charter which can be done on its web site. Read more

Stonehenge reopens

The long-awaited Stonehenge exhibition and visitor centre will open on 18 December. For the first time, visitors will have a proper introduction to one of the world’s most important prehistoric monuments. Read more

Hull to be City of Culture 2017

Hull has been named as the U.K. City of Culture 2017. The current city of culture, Londonderry, has seen visitor numbers double over the past year and has had around £120m of capital investment since being named as City of Culture 2013 in 2009. Read more

HLF support for Durham and Peterborough cathedrals

The Heritage Lottery Fund has allocated a total of £7m for investment to celebrate important anniversaries for two of England’s most spectacular cathedrals: Durham and Peterborough. Read more

Scotland’s Years of Architecture and Heritage

Scotland’s First Minister Alec Salmond has announced a series of “Focus Years” to celebrate aspects of Scotland and its people. The first in the series will be Food and Drink in 2015 followed by Architecture (2015) and History, Heritage and Archaeology (2017).Read more

The Georgian Group architectural awards 2013

The Georgian Group has announced its award winners and commended schemes for 2013. Awards were made under several categories for restoration, of buildings and interiors, new buildings in the Georgian tradition and context. Read more

New Member Focus

Trowbridge Museum writes for e-news on one of their latest projects

Trowbridge is the county town of Wiltshire. It is situated on the River Biss in the west of the county, approximately 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Bath, Somerset. Trowbridge has ancient roots, its earliest known written record can been found in the Domesday Book.
The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon words treow-brycg meaning tree and bridge.
Henry de Bohun, the Magna Carta enforcer, did much to shape the town, including building a castle sometime in the early twelfth century and the fine church of St James. King John also awarded him one of the earliest recorded market charters in 1200 and a market has been now been regularly held in the town for over 800 years.

Weaving fine West of England cloth is what helped Trowbridge to develop and expand beyond its modest beginnings. Evidence from Anglo-Saxon excavations has uncovered loom weights which indicate that weaving has taken place in the town for over 1,000 years. The town centre has been a focal point for producing woollen cloth from the 14th century.

The Jenny Factory, which dates from 1830A weaver’s cottage, which dates from the 18th century

Three hundred years later Trowbridge was producing medley or Spanish cloth which according to the author Daniel Defoe (was) “the finest medley Spanish cloths, not in England but in the whole world...”.Defoe’s testimony to the quality of the Trowbridge cloth was born out by a request received by local clothier John Clark on the 4th May 1747 from an agent for Elizabeth, Empress of Russia for “plump cloths and good full colours.”

This industry generated great wealth which resulted in the building of fine clothier’s houses many of which can still be seen in the town and which the architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described as a ‘stretch of palaces’and a building currently operated by Lloyds Bank as to be ‘so stately as to recall Genoa’ and the finest building in Wiltshire. In the nineteenth century industrialisation and the embracing of new technology within the West of England cloth mills had a major impact on the town resulting in it being described as ‘The Manchester of the West’. The woollen cloth industry has left a rich and notable architectural legacy, ranging from the late sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, which according to English Heritage ‘is a quite exceptional chronological range for industrial buildings in a town centre’.

Trowbridge was producing high quality cloth well into the twentieth century and supplying members of the Royal family including Queen Mary, Edward the VIII and the current Queen Elizabeth II who came to Trowbridge Mill, Palmer and Mackay to obtain Culloden tartan for the Trooping of the colour. Trowbridge mills also supplied top sixties designer Mary Quant.

Trowbridge Museum is the focal point for this fascinating heritage and contains unique working machinery relating to West of England woollen cloth production including an extremely rare Spinning Jenny. To discover more check out our website at www.trowbridgemuseum.co.uk

Events and Seminars

Forthcoming Historic Towns Events

We have an exciting programme of events starting in 2014. In addition we will be introducing an events’ season ticket and further discounts on events for members who join again in 2014. Ask for details here

Historic Built Environment Seminars Oxford 2014

The New Towns Agenda – Masterplanning for new towns, garden cities and urban extensions in the historic environment – theory, practice and examples
The Historic Towns Forum, the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, and Kellogg College are pleased to announce the inaugural series of Historic Built Environment Seminars. Beginning in 2014, these seminars will address current and contentious topics within the historic built environment, fostering academic dialogue, professional practice, and providing an arena in which the public, private, civic and academic sectors can engage in heated and healthy debate about all aspects of the topic in hand. The seminar series will be accompanied by published proceedings each following year. Do join us!
  • 25 February David Lock, David Lock Associates, on New Towns and Masterplanning tbc
  • 3 June Steven Bee, Steven Bee Urban Counsel, on Urban extensions and ‘Poundbury-Lite’
  • 14 October Peter Larkham, Birmingham City University, on Conserving the post-Second World War reconstruction: a contentious idea

These are free events. Register here

London 18 February 2014

Local Authority Skills Summit Invitation Event

In answer to the skills’ gap crisis in Local Authorities regarding the continued dearth and increasing cuts in Archaeological, Conservation and Heritage Officers, the HTF is holding a free strategy event to determine what our part of the sector needs to do to address this issue. This will be at HTF partner’s office, Bircham Dyson Bell, 50 Broadway, London, on 18 February 2014, from 12-5 with lunch. Places will be limited so register soon!

London February 24 2014

Accommodating growth in historic towns – what can we learn from past models and future thinking?

Response to our Milton Keynes Conference on the New Towns Agenda was so positive that we are revisiting the topic with a focus on how what we can learn from Masterplanning and social planning of the past in our historic towns and cities – are we taking those lessons forward into the planning of today and the future, or are we continuing to reinvent the wheel? This event will be held at HTF partners’ office Bircham Dyson Bell , 50 Broadway, London, on 24 February 2014. Register here

Poundbury April 03 2014

Heritage Tourism, Ruralism, Communications and Business in a Broadband Age
England Tourism Week

The Historic Towns Forum in conjunction with ASHTAV will be holding its second National Tourism Conference during England Tourism week on April 3 2014. This will focus on rural heritage and tourism issues and how Broadband provision affects this, among other topical issues such as communications, transport infrastructure and economic growth in rural historic settlements. The event will be VisitEngland supported and will include tours around Poundbury, the often controversial and fascinating housing development instigated by HTF Patron, HRH Prince Charles. It is rumoured we may have some important guests! Register here

London May 01 2014

Annual Heritage Legislation Update

On May 01 we will be holding our annual heritage legislation update at HTF partners’ office Bircham Dyson Bell , 50 Broadway, London, on 24 February 2014. With so much still changing in both the planning and heritage sectors, this event, hosted by legal advisors to English Heritage, is not to be missed. Register here

Other HTF events

What events would you like us to put on?

We are now planning the rest of yearly programme. What events would you like us to cover? Some ideas so far include Coastal Communities, revisiting the LEP issues, transport infrastructure and further events on accommodating growth. And where would you like us to hold them? We’ve had several requests for events in the north of England, later in the year. Places we are considering are Scarborough, Liverpool and Manchester. Let us know what you think!

Partner Events

10-12 January Milton Keynes
New Towns Heritage Festival, Bradwell Abbey

This free event is a joint project between the University of Hertfordshire, the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and Milton Keynes Council, sponsored by the AHRC. The event hopes to celebrate the New Towns of the United Kingdom and act as a catalyst for future joint working and sharing of best practice.

The programme will centre around an arts day (Friday 10th), a day of talks (Saturday 11th) and a day of visits (Sunday 12th). You are welcome to attend one, two or all of the days.
For more information and to register

London 01 April

National Planning Summit

The inaugural National Planning Summit will be held on 1st April at the ILEC Conference Centre in London. The summit is intended to address the latest, most pertinent issues facing the planning system today. Read more

Edinburgh June 2014

IHBC Annual School

The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation (IHBC) annual school will be held in Edinburgh in June 2014. Professor Jukka Jokhileto will speak on the theme of “the philosophy and conservation theory, exploring the relationship with culture and science”. Read more

Funding

HLF funding for First World War cultural programme

The Heritage lottery Fund (HLF) has committed £5m to help deliver a U.K. wide cultural programme marking the centenary of the First World War. The programme “14-18 NOW” will be a series of commissions from artists from Britain and across the world that will explore the heritage and resonance of the war today.

Arts Council England has also committed £5m to the programme making the total lottery funding £10m. Read more

Coastal Communities Fund

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) will encourage economic development of UK coastal communities by giving them funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.

The Government has committed £27.8 million to support the CCF in 2013/14 with money generated by the Crown Estate’s marine assets. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of the Government. Funding awards of over £50,000 are available and are open to a wide range of organisations including local authorities, charities and private sector companies. Read more

Consultations

English Heritage New Model  - deadline 08 January 2014

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued the consultation document on the proposal for the a new model for the functions currently undertaken by English Heritage, including the establishment of a new charity , to retain the title English Heritage, which will protect and care for the National Heritage Collection. The heritage protection and regulatory functions will be transferred to a new body, Historic England. The consultation period ends on 07 February 2014.
A stakeholder event will be held on Wednesday 08 January at the DCMS offices in London. Read more

Welsh Government draft Planning Bill consultation –deadline 26 January 2014

The Welsh Government has issued its draft Planning Bill for consultation. The draft Bill includes proposals for:
  • The introduction of a new national development plan
  • A new tier of regional plan to address issues of more than local importance such as housing land supply
  • A new tier of applications, identified as being of national significance, which the Welsh ministers will determine
  •  The introduction of a Planning Advisory and Improvement Service to support skills and culture change
  • A series of improvements to the development management and Local Development Plan system.

The consultation period ends on 26 February 2014. Read more

Consultation starts on new rules for listed buildings – deadline 27 January 2014

Proposals which streamline the regulatory burden for owners of listed buildings are now out for public  consultation as a result of measures set out in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013. The  proposals focus on removing red tape without changing the existing levels of protection for listed buildings.
That Act contains a number of heritage provisions to simplify the listed building consent system. Draft secondary legislation now under consideration covers such matters as:

  • Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreements
  • Local Listed Building Consent Orders
  • Certificates of Lawfulness of Proposed Works
  • the approach to be taken in setting up National Listed Building Consent Orders.

Read more

Draft National Policy Statement for National Networks – deadline 26 February 2014

The Department for Transport has launched a public consultation on the Governments Draft National Policy Statement for National Networks in England. The Department has also published its appraisal of sustainability of the draft National Statement. The consultation period ends on 26 February 2014. Read more

Publications and Toolkits

Heritage at Risk 2013

English Heritage (EH) has published its latest survey of listed buildings and important historic sites which it deems to be at risk. The number of entries on the register, 5,700, is less than in 2012 (5831) but the cost of repairs needed has increased. The average difference between the estimated cost of repair and end use value is now £450,000. In 2012/2013 EH offered over £10m in grants to help repair buildings which were on the register. Read more

Beyond the High Street report

The Centre for Cities has published a report –Beyond the High Street- which says that the focus on High Street shops has resulted in a lack of action to help wider city centres to attract and retain a wide range of jobs and to adapt to a changing economy. Read more

Loss of local authority conservation staffing

A new report by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage, shows a continued decline in local authority conservation staffing with a reduction in 4% in 2012, part of a “devastating 33% cut since 2006”. Read more

Responses Scotland’s HES and HS-RCAHMS merger

The Scottish Government has published the responses to its Historic Environment Strategy and the proposed merger of Historic Scotland (HS) and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The consultation period ended on 31st July.
Read more

Health and participation in culture linked

A new report from the Scottish Government says that cultural activities such as dancing, reading or visiting historic sites and museums can have health benefits. The report is based on the results of household surveys and adds to evidence from other research that people who participate in sporting and cultural activities are more likely to report that they are in good health and are satisfied with their life than those who do not. This remains true when factors such as age, economic status, income, education, area of deprivation and long term illness are taken into account. Read more

Regional cities outperform the largest

A report by management consultancy PwC in conjunction with think tank Demos shows that medium sized regional cities throughout the U.K. are outperforming the largest (London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester) for economic success factors which the general public value, and quality of life. The highest ranking cities are Reading and Bracknell, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Southampton and Cambridge.
Read more

HTF membership

We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. If you would like to enjoy the benefits such as discounts to our topical events and the chance to network with our Local Authority, Corporate, Private and Individual members, as well as with Agencies, Civic Societies, Community Groups and Sponsors, please visit this link to our website to join.

 

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a Member? Special events’ discounts and other benefits are available for members.

Patron

Partners


working in partnership with:

Follow us

If you would prefer to no longer receive these e-mails please
e-mail htf@kellogg.ox.ac.uk including 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

 

Sent from: Historic Towns Forum, Kellogg College, 60-62 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX14 1PN

 

September 2013 Newsletter

September 2013 Newsletter

Director's Message

I hope you have all enjoyed the late and lasting summer as much as we have in the HTF / ASHTAV office! As you may have gathered from previous missives, the Historic Towns Forum has been sharing an office at Kellogg College, Oxford, with the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages. We have been working in an increasingly close partnership, and have this year jointly hosted 3 successful events - Planning Legislation update – The NPPF, Neighbourhood Planning, Taylor Review, and the Red Tape Challenge. Where are we, exactly? (London); Community Engagement – it’s real, it’s now and it’s happening. Sharing good practice from within our cities, towns and Neighbourhood Areas (St Albans);  and Engaging businesses and communities with the tourism economy in historic towns – how to work with BIDs, Neighbourhood Plans and the USP of your area (Hereford) - with further joint events to come in Durham (Tourism and Heritage Issues), Milton Keynes (Annual Conference - New Towns, Garden Cities and Utopian Masterplanning), Exeter (Growth in Historic Areas and the Green Belt Issue) and Poundbury (Heritage Tourism, Ruralism and Businesses in a Broadband Age)(see below for more details). In these times of less funding and resources it makes sense to advance partnership working, and we are grateful to ASHTAV for the opportunity to make the most of our shared aims. One of several potential outcomes of this partnership is the Oxford Seminar Series, which will be starting in January in conjunction with the University of Oxford. For the 2014 year we will be focusing on New Towns and Ideas of Utopia - historical, current and futuristic. Proceedings of papers will be published as a continuing series. If you are interested in attending and /or presenting / offering papers for publications, please do get in touch. We are particularly interested in fostering partnerships between academics, practioners public and private, and corporates.
  
Another area of particular interest through our association with ASHTAV is the rural question - rural broadband, how this affects the public realm and also how it affects local businesses, and in particular tourism and placemaking SMEs who rely so heavily on the broadband agenda in our rural areas. How do we marry things like the sympathetic design for broadband boxes in historic areas with the need for fast access to the internet, and how does this affect the high street and how local businesses survive, thrive and offer a complete visitor experience? We will be exploring this issue at Our Poundbury conference - Poundbury itself being an interesting (sometimes controversial) forward thinking example of social and physical (rural and urban) masterplanning. And this will follow on from our November Annual Conference in Milton Keynes – how to plan for  scale and physical masterplanning in our historic areas where new developments need to be more than just 'bolt ons'?

 
We’re currently planning for 2014 and beyond, so if you have any ideas or want to talk through these issues then do let us know what you think. Please take this opportunity to tell us what you want from your membership. What would you like us to focus on? What areas would you like us to research on your behalf? We'd also really like to know what kind of resources you would find helpful to access. This is your forum – please continue to help us shape it in a way that fits with the future of historic towns.

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a Member?

Latest news

IHBC Elects New Chair

Mike Brown, formerly the IHBC’s Policy Secretary, has been elected as its new chair.

Read more here

New Chairman for English Heritage

Sir Laurie Magnus has been appointed Chairman of English Heritage by the Culture Secretary Maria Miller. Sir Laurie, who is currently Deputy Chairman of the National Trust will take over from the present EH Chairman, Baroness Kay Andrews, on 1st September.

Read more here

Design Council appoints new Director of Architecture and the Built Environment

The Design Council has appointed Clare Devine as its new director of architecture and the built environment. The Design Council states that ‘Clare has 25 years experience in architecture and has been a director of three practices working in fields of housing, regeneration, education, public, civic and cultural buildings.’

For full details see here

Shortfall of housing land supply for SW and NW

According to reports from consultants Turley Associates there will need to be 110,000 new homes  in SW England within the next five years but there is currently land supply for 87,000 leaving a shortfall of 23,000. For the NW there is an estimated need for over 178,000 new homes with current land supply for just over 138,000 leaving a shortfall of over 40,000.

Read more here

Essex Green Belt Housing Stopped By Pickles

Eric Pickles has overturned a decision of the Planning Inspectorate to grant consent for 165 new homes on Green Belt land near Thundersley in Essex. He acknowledged that there was ‘a severe lack of forward  housing land supply’  but considered that the development would have caused a ‘considerable level of harm to the character, openness and appearance’ of the Green Belt land.

Read more here

Court of Appeal rejects HS2 challenge

The Court of Appeal has rejected challenges to the first phase of the London to Birmingham high speed rail link brought by HS2 Action Alliance. The objectors, led by 15 local authorities, claimed that the Government failed to consult properly and had not complied with various EU environmental directives.

£220m affordable housing allocations announced

The DCLG has announced that £220m of funding to support new affordable housing will be allocated to 69 housing associations and used to provide 13,896 new homes outside London between 2015 and 2017. The allocations are from a total pot of £450m held by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Environment Agency and Natural England to Remain Separate

The triennial review of the Environment Agency and Natural England carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has concluded that the 2 organisations should remain as separate public bodies but that both should continue to reform how they deliver their services.

Green Belts under threat

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has published figures which show that 150,000 new houses, and 1,000 hectares of mines, offices and warehousing are currently planned for Green Belt sites. CPRE questions whether the Government’s pledge to prevent building in the Green Belt other than in exceptional circumstances is being implemented effectively.

Read more here

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

This act received Royal Assent on 26th April. It contains a package of legal reforms intended reduce regulation and promote growth. The Act includes a number of changes to the legal framework affecting heritage in England which are intended to provide new and simpler ways to protect and manage heritage assets. These provisions are:

  • New Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreements;
  • Introduction of a system of Local and National Listed Building Consent Orders;
  • Introduction of Certificates of Lawfulness of Works to Listed Buildings;
  • Conservation Area Consent replaced by requirement for planning permission;
  • More listed building entries;
  • Certificates of Immunity from listing can be sought at any time.

Changes relating to listed building entries and Certificates of Immunity are expected to come into force within two months. Changes which affect the management of listed buildings and the merger of Conservation Area Consent and Planning Permission will require secondary legislation and will take longer to come into force.

English Heritage have prepared a voice-over presentation explaining the changes and are planning training sessions for the autumn. For details see here

Also read more here

High Street Renewal Funding

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk has announced the seven urban areas that will receive a share of the Government’s £1m High Street Renewal Award. They are:

  • Herne Hill, London, where a thriving town square and market has been created in the heart of the community;
  • Northam Road, Southampton, where strong local leadership and a public/private partnership is transferring the High Street into a regional antiques centre;
  • Altrincham, Greater Manchester, where landlords and retailers are working together to bring empty shops back into use;
  • Ipswich, where the town centre has been reorientated and linked to a new waterfront development;
  • Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, where the local market has been strengthened and community shops opened offering local products;
  • Gloucester, where local start ups have resulted in record new company registrations;
  • Rotherham, where independent businesses  have taken empty premises.

For full details see here

BEFS Small Towns Initiative

Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) has identified small towns as a critical, but too often neglected component of Scotland’s built environment. ‘They are important to Scotland’s identity, its tourism offer and, of course, to the local economies and residents they serve. However, such places also seem to be facing major challenges in terms of retaining their services, as well as their character.’ BEFS has issued reports on small towns throughout Scotland.

For details see here

London Blue Plaque Scheme saved

English Heritage’s Blue Plaque Scheme for London which recognises significant buildings in the lives of notable people from the past, but which had been suspended due to lack of funding, has been saved following a donation by property developer David Pearl and support from the Evening Standard.

Read more here

Comprehensive Spending review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s comprehensive spending review , announced on 26th June, included wide ranging plans for overall Government spending and borrowing, funding for government departments, and capital  expenditure. The following day the Chief Secretary to the treasury announced details of the infrastructure projects which will receive capital funding from 2015/16. The plans include:

  • Council Tax to be frozen for a further 2 years;
  • £3bn committed to capital investment in affordable housing;
  • DCLG budget cut by 10% for revenue (leading to a 10% cut in local authority funding) and 35.6% for capital;
  • Shale gas extraction to be encouraged by tax and planning changes; the Government has committed to publish guidance on extraction in the summer;
  • £9.5bn increase in capital funding for transport;
  • Museums to have more freedom from central government;
  • Lord Heseltine’s proposal for a single local growth fund to receive funding but less than he proposed. Local Enterprise Partnerships will be able to bid for up to £2bn per year.

HCA delivery priorities for 2013 – 2015

The Homes and Communities Agency has set out the ways in which it will help realise Government aspirations for affordable housing and economic growth over the next two years.

Volunteers and Interns

The Historic Towns Forum welcomes volunteers and Interns at our Oxford Office – would you like to join us?

For the first time the Historic Towns Forum has welcomed volunteers and interns to help with some of the policy elements of our work. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dennis Stevenson, a planner by qualification, who has helped with our excellent legal updates, and Neil Monaghan, ex-Oxford City Council, who has been helping with the planning elements of the newsletter. Recently a sixth form student from Hereford Cathedral School, Freya Taylor, undertook some valuable marketing and PR work experience for us. We would also like to introduce Rebecca Payne, a student about to commence her MSC in Urban Studies at UCL, who will undertake a brief internship with us.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to volunteer or undertake short or long-term work experience with us in any area of marketing, planning, retail, or working in historic towns in general then please do get in touch – you will be very welcome! Our current volunteers and interns work both remotely and from within the Oxford office – we can arrange times and venues to suit!

Events and Seminars

Forthcoming Historic Towns Events

We are shortly to announce a series of Oxford Seminars in conjunction with HTF partners ASHTAV, HTF hosts, Kellogg College, and the University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education at Rewley House. These seminars (beginning in January 2014) will carry a single theme each year, and will follow with published proceedings and additional papers. The topic for 2014 is likely to be New Towns and Ideas of Utopia. We are inviting papers from practioners and academics, and hope to cover all facets of the topic, including historical context and future planning. To register your interest to attend and / or to contribute papers, please contact us here

Historic Towns Forum and Tourism Management Institute joint Durham event October 16-18

On October 16-18 the Historic Towns Forum and the Tourism Management Institute will be holding a joint event in Durham covering several matters concerning Heritage and Tourism. Discounts are available for HTF members. HTF and Blue Sail (an HTF member) will be speaking as well as many other experts from both the Tourism and Heritage sectors. Places and sponsorship packages are still available. Book here

Historic Towns Forum Annual Conference - New Towns, Garden Cities and Utopian Masterplanning  - Milton Keynes November - save the date

Our Annual Conference on New Towns, Garden Cities and Utopian Masterplanning, to be held in Milton Keynes, is almost ready to launch. We’ve a range of interesting and controversial speakers, looking at several topical elements of masterplanning, social engineering, and the perennial question of new towns in historic areas. Date TBA, but is likely to be the last week of November. Watch this space and register your interest here

Historic Towns Forum and ASHTAV joint event  - Growth in Historic Areas and the Green Belt Issue - November – save the date

The Historic Towns Forum and new partners, the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, will be holding their first joint event on the issue of growth in historic areas, particularly those with a rural focus. The date is still to be confirmed but is likely to be towards the end of November. Watch this space and register your interest here

Historic Towns Forum and ASHTAV event – England Tourism Week – Poundbury April 3 2014 – Heritage Tourism, Ruralism and Businesses in a Broadband Age

The Historic Towns Forum will be holding its second National Tourism Conference during England Tourism week on April 3 2014. The event, looking at Heritage Tourism, Ruralism and Businesses in a Broadband Age will focus particularly on rural heritage and tourism issues and how Broadband provision affects this, among other topical issues. The event will be VisitEngland supported and will include tours around Poundbury, the often controversial and fascinating housing development instigated by HTF Patron, HRH Prince Charles. Register your interest here

Heritage Open Days

The annual Heritage Open Days will be held in towns and cities throughout the country between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th September. The theme for this year will be celebrating the history makers. Hundreds of buildings that are not normally open to the public will be opened free of charge.   

Read more here

IHBC Bristol conference

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) SW branch day conference on “Characterisation…Making sense of place” will be held at Circomedia, Bristol on 20th September. Full details of the conference are now available on the IHBC web site.

Read more here

IHBC London conference

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) London branch will hold a conference on 2nd October. The conference theme will be “A Risky Business”, considering practical solutions for heritage at risk. The venue will be the Royal College of Physicians, Regents Park.

Read more here

Scotland’s Towns Week 18-24 November

This recent annual event celebrating Scotland’s towns also included their annual conference: ‘Whose town is it anyway?’ on 22 November in Inverness. Read more here

Festival of Scottish architecture

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced that in 2016 it will hold a year- long celebration of Scotland’s architecture. The festival will coincide with the centenary of the Incorporation.

Read more here

IED November Conference

The Institute of Economic Development (IED) will hold a one day conference on “Going for Growth” on 20th November. The conference will be held in Westminster, London.

Funding

HLF funding for historic places of worship

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that more than £12m is to be provided to help secure the future of 96 of the UK’s historic places of worship. This is the first allocation under the New Grants for Places of Worship Scheme launched in March.

Read more here

HLF grant for The Heritage Alliance

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £12,100 to help The Heritage Alliance to develop its proposal for a partnership with the Institute of Fundraisers intended to provide assistance to heritage and local organisations in securing funding for heritage assets.

Read more here

Icon secures funding support to develop the conservation workforce

Icon, the Institute of Conservation, is delighted to announce that it has secured a second year of funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to deliver the National Conservation Education & Skills Strategy. This means that the Foundation will have supported half of the five-year period of the Strategy. The NCESS supports the vision of an educated, skilled and diverse workforce to ensure that the UK’s rich heritage is preserved and accessible. The conservation workforce is critical to preserving these valuable cultural assets

Read more here

Consultations

Property Owner and Business Improvement Districts – 17 September

The HTF is preparing a response to this consultation which is due on 17 September. If you would like to offer comments on our drafts please contact us as soon as possible here

Gift Aid and digital Giving – 20 September

European Commission Consultation on Sustainable Buildings – 01 October

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Consultation on funding reform for apprenticeships in England - 01 October

Welsh Government Consultation on proposals for the historic environment in Wales - 11 October

Opportunity to comment on new online planning resource

Planning Minister Nick Boles has announced that the Government's new online planning resource is now live, containing new planning practice guidance to complement the National Planning Policy Framework. This will be available on trial until 9 October 2013. Those interested are asked to comment on content before its Autumn launch. To review the material and to comment, please click here

CLG announces new permitted development rights

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has published proposals for the extension of permitted development rights to allow:

  • Shops and financial and professional services premises to change use to a single dwelling;
  • Existing buildings of up to 150 sq. metres used for agricultural purposes to change to residential use;
  • Retail uses to change to banks and building societies;
  • Premises used as offices, hotels, residential and non-residential institutions and leisure and assembly to change use to nurseries providing child care;
  • Buildings of up to 500 sq. metres used for agriculture to be used for a new state funded school or a nursery providing child care.

The proposals are open for consultation until 15th October 2013.

Read more here

Housing Standards Review Consultation

The Government has commenced a consultation on its proposal to introduce national standards for new housing following the report in 2012 of the group led by Sir John Harman. The Government is considering either issuing a new set of standards to replace the various existing standards for energy, accessibility, security, water and space set by local government and central government agencies, or fully integrating such standards into the Building Regulations. The consultation is open until 22nd October.

Read more here

Publications and Toolkits

The Changing Face of the High Street: Decline and Revival: a review of retail and town centre issues in historic issues

This useful and topical publication on the state of the current high street was released in June by English Heritage and Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, after close consultation with the Historic Towns Forum and their members and with further help from Strutt & Parker. It replaces and updates previous HTF and EH publications on the theme of retail and the high street in historic areas. Hard copies are available free from the HTF or English Heritage, and may be downloaded here

Planning guidance on street clutter, road humps, town centre parking and ensuring the vitality of town centres

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that new planning guidance is to be issued which will encourage more town centre parking spaces, tackle the blight of ugly street clutter and aggressive ‘anti-car’ traffic calming measures. The guidance will also refer to the use of transport assessments and statements in decision making, and ensuring the vitality of town centres.

Read more here

Government response to review of planning practice guidance

The Government has published its response to the review of planning practice guidance led by Lord Taylor. The response includes details of the responses to the consultation which was undertaken between December 2012 and February 2013. The Government has accepted the majority of the report’s recommendations with the exception of those on signposting best practice material and cancellation of out of date guidance.

Wind turbine noise assessment guide published

The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) has published guidance on noise assessment procedures used to measure the noise emitted by wind turbines. The guide was prepared in response to a request by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It sets out what should be good practice for assessing the noise from proposed wind turbines and should be useful for acoustics planners, planning consultants,  local planning authorities, developers, the planning inspectorate and the public.

CPRE report on effect of NPPF

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has issued the results of research on the effects of the National Planning Policy Framework. CPRE President Andrew Motion has described it as “ground breaking in all the wrong ways”. CPRE evidence indicates:

  • The requirement  to supply at least five years’ worth of ‘deliverable’  sites for new housing is being used to push through unnecessary and damaging development in open countryside.
  • Greenfield sites are being developed when suitable Brownfield sites are available.
  • Localism is being undermined because councils have not been given enough time to get up to date local plans in place.

For full details of the report see here

Scottish Government Launches National Policy for Architecture

The Scottish Government has launched a national policy on architecture; ‘Creating Places’. The policy sets out ‘the comprehensive value good design can deliver’.

Read more here

Seaside Towns – Centre For Social Justice report

The Centre For Social Justice has published a report which examines and comments on conditions at 5 of the U.K.’s seaside towns: Rhyl, Margate, Clacton-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Blackpool. The report warns that after years of decline and loss of popularity as holiday resorts these, and other such towns, are suffering social breakdown.

Read more here

Taskforce final report on Tree Health

The Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce has published its final report with recommendations on how best to address the threats posed by plant pests and pathogens to the Country’s trees and plants. The recommendations in the report ‘range from the development of a Plant Health Risk Register in order to identify and prioritise the main risks, through implementation of procedures for preparedness and contingency planning, to strengthening biosecurity at the borders and to minimising the impact of pests and disease within the UK.’ The report proposes the roles to be played by Government, industry, other stakeholders and the public.

Read more here

The State of Nature

The inaugural State of Nature report has been published by a coalition of UK conservation and research organisations. The aim of the report is to produce an authoritative assessment of the changing fortunes of nature in the UK.

Read more here

HTF membership

We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. If you would like to enjoy the benefits such as discounts to our topical events and the chance to network with our Local Authority, Corporate, Private and Individual Members, as well as with Agencies, Civic Societies, Community Groups and Sponsors, please visit this link to our website to join.

New members

A warm welcome to our newest members:

Mark Barnes, Revive & Thrive

Haydn Morris, Terrence O’Rourke Ltd

Dan Skipworth-Mitchell, Rentalite

Tetbury Town Council

Paul Daykin

Cllr Jason Kay

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a member?

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May 2013 Newsletter

May 2013 Newsletter

Director's Message

Dear HTF Member/Subscriber

Happy May Day to you all! And what a way to celebrate the final and much-awaited advent of Spring! I began my day at 4am with a 6 mile walk along the historic tow path from Abingdon to Oxford, in order to see the choristers singing from the tower of Magdalen Chapel at 6am. And what a glorious start to the day! The sun rising over Iffley Lock; the historic buildings along the canal side; the centuries of history of which we are all such an important part; as inhabitants, as participants and as custodians for the future. Which in some ways was the subtext of Maria Miller’s recent speech  on culture at the British Museum. In an age of austerity and in light of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review she urged us all ‘to get a proper grasp of the economic impact of culture’, both in terms of domestic and international draw. The streets of Oxford were packed at 6 am. As I walked to work after the singing to post this newsletter, bars and cafes were open serving drinks; people were dancing outside (and I don’t just mean the Morris Dancers, although they were in abundance); bands were playing – and the visitor economy was booming – both from domestic and international visitors. There is a fine balance to be found in conserving what we are proud of from the past, and in allowing it to develop in a modern way within a soundly-planned infrastructure, without losing the beauty of the tradition that makes it so attractive in the first place. It seems the message that heritage is an economic driver and regenerative tool that is part of a whole cultural offer may finally be getting through to Government. Let’s continue to work on this together. The HTF will continue to push this issue with our suite of interdisciplinary events, for which, see below.

And on that note, again, Happy May Day! I am off to dance in the streets and celebrate our heritage with the best of them.

Latest news

Bills receive Royal Assent

Last week the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the Growth and Infrastructure Bill received Royal Assent and became Acts of Law. The implications of this for the historic built environment were discussed in some detail at our recent event on Heritage Planning Law. Civic Voice in particular have been proactive in ensuring that controversial amendments to permitted development rights concerning single story extensions in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill were temporarily laid to rest. Read more>>

Neighbourhood Planning – HTF Chair involved in winning partnership

DCLG provides support for neighbourhood plans. Communities Minister Dom Foster has announced a £9.5 million 2 year fund to support groups of people who wish to create neighbourhood plans. Individual grants will be up to £7000. The partnership is led by Locality and includes HTF Chair and HESPR designated advisor Dave Chetwyn, who, in his role as Managing Director of Urban Vision CIC, said: ‘Urban Vision is very pleased to be involved with this important programme. Communities are already demonstrating that they are well able to plan for the future of their local neighbourhoods and to take tough decisions to secure sustainable growth’. Read more>>

HTF – Planning Legislation update – the NPPF, Neighbourhood Planning, Taylor Review and the Red Tape Challenge. Where are we, exactly?

On 29 April we held our third annual heritage law planning update event with HTF sponsor, Bircham Dyson Bell, at their offices in central London. 18 months after the Localism Act and one year on from the National Planning Policy Framework, our panel of experts explained exactly where we are now in relation to heritage planning and government guidance. Speakers from Bircham Dyson Bell, the Department for Communities and Local Government, Locality, English Heritage, the Historic Towns Forum, and HTF sponsor CgMs Consulting, debated the issues, and while showing the positive opportunities available within the new regime, also delivered in some cases a somewhat damning indictment of Government’s approach to heritage planning issues. Presentations will shortly be available for members on our website – watch this space >>

HTF Neighbourhood Planning and Community Engagement Event – St Albans 19/20 May

Following on from our legislation update event, we take the issues raised by the Neighbourhood Planning segment and examine them in fine detail, alongside Community Engagement and actual case studies showing good practice. Please join us! For further information and to book read more>>

New Director General for Localism at DCLG

Helen Edwards has been appointed Director General for Localism at the Department of Communities and Local Government. Read more>>

DCLG publishes proposals to reform CIL regulations

The DCLG has published proposals to reform the Community Infrastructure Levy. The consultation will run until 28 May 2013. Read more>>

Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey launches new review of architecture and the built environment

An independent review is to be undertaken by architect Sir Terry Farrell. It will look at four main areas:

  • Understanding the Government’s role in promoting design quality in architecture and the built environment;
  • The economic benefits of architecture – maximising the UK’s growth potential;
  • Cultural heritage and the built environment; and
  • Promoting education outreach and skills.

Sir Terry will be supported by an expert advisory panel made up of members from across architecture and design industry which look at the themes in more detail. The report should be produced by the end of the year. Read more>>

Planning Minister believes commerce has place in conservation

Speaking at the Annual Heritage of London Trust’s meeting at Westminster Hall, Planning Minister Nick Boles recognised that profit was a good incentive for developers to practice good design, and made the case for commercially-driven conservation, while defending development on greenbelts. This comes along with other comments during a speech to large scale property developers in London that ‘new developments are quite likely to be ugly’. Read more>>

The Law Commission’s Conservation Covenants Consultation

The Law Commission has launched a consultation on its suggestion that a new legal tool is needed to help conservation efforts by private landowners. A conservation covenant is a private, voluntary agreement between a landowner and another body such as a conservation charity. The agreement commits the landowner to meet specific conservation obligations. These could be, for example, to maintain a habitat or preserve a historic building. If the land is sold the obligation passes to the new owner.
The Commission is asking whether conservation covenants should be introduced and, if so:

  • Who should be able to agree a conservation covenant;
  • What conservation objectives would be sufficiently important to justify one;
  • How should they be monitored and enforced; and
  • When and how can the terms be changed or a conservation covenant be brought to an end.

The consultation is open until the 21st June. Read more>>

IHBC response to Review of Planning Practice Guidance

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation has responded to the consultation on planning practice guidance in England, noting broad agreement with the recommendations despite reservations about the timescale, resource commitments and the way some critical guidance may be withdrawn before credible replacements are available. Read more>>

Revised household projections

The latest national statistics on the projected number of households in England shows a lower growth than previously predicted. The latest estimate is that the number of households in England will grow to 24.3 million in 2021, an increase of 2.2 million over 2011. Read more>>

New Regeneration Framework for Wales

The Welsh Minister for Housing, regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis, has launched the Welsh Government’s new regeneration framework – Vibrant and Viable Places. The new framework is the result of a review and consultation that took place during 2012. Intensive investment of up to £30 million applied to a small number of key places will be used to support local growth in town centres, coastal communities and Communities First clusters. The investment will be aligned with other Welsh Government policies – such as Communities First – and a more collaborative approach will be taken between the public, private and third sectors. Read more>>

Museums and Galleries to benefit from lifetime giving incentive

A new scheme that allows people and companies to donate cultural treasures in return for a reduction in their tax liability came into effect in March. The Cultural Gifts Scheme (CGS) allows owners of objects or collections to donate them for the benefit of the public or the nation and in return receive a tax reduction based on a set percentage of the value of the donation. Read more>>

RTPI Planning Excellence Awards shortlist announced

The RPTI has announced the schemes on the shortlist for its Planning Excellence awards for 2013. They include the redevelopment of Kings Cross Station, public realm regeneration in Belfast, and the Nine Elms regeneration project in South London. Read more>>

Tourism Survey shows increases in visitor numbers and expenditure

The latest surveys of tourism in the UK by Visit Britain show increases in the numbers of visitors and the income from tourism for the 3 months from December 2012 to February 2013. Read more>>

Graduate careers in heritage survey

A new survey on graduate careers in heritage is being undertaken by youngfreeandmuseumminded. If you would like to take part in the survey read more>>

English Heritage Angel Awards 2013 – Deadline extended to Sunday 19 May 2013

The deadline for applications to this year’s Angel Awards has been extended to encourage as many people as possible to apply. English Heritage is keen to receive entries from all sorts of different people and for all sorts of different projects.  You don’t have to be part of a local community group to apply. English Heritage is also keen to hear from commercial organisations, private companies and private owners. Find out more about last year’s winners and how to apply>>

Events and Seminars

Historic Towns Forum 19/20 May St Albans.

Community Engagement – it’s real, it’s now and it’s happening. Sharing good practice from within our cities, towns and Neighbourhood Areas.

Community Engagement and Neighbourhood Planning are happening. Despite cynicism around the effectiveness and dissemination of, as well as engagement with, the Localism Act, communities are doing just that - engaging effectively and seizing the opportunities that Government has handed to them. Just over 18 months on from the passing of the Act we examine in detail those proactive communities who are leading by example, and take a look at some of the first neighbourhood plans, as well as at some community groups' particular brand of 'muscular Localism'. Come along and learn what is being done, how to do it, and meet those groups who are leading the way. The opportunities are there. Take them while you can! For more information and to book read more>>

Forthcoming Historic Towns Events

We are shortly to announce forthcoming linked events on Garden Cities and New Towns in Milton Keynes (July) and Poundbury (November). Dates and venues to be announced shortly. Register your interest here

Heritage Conservation and Tourism – who Benefits? Who Pays? 21 June, Brighton University

Special discounts for HTF members. For more information and to book read more>>

Historic Towns Forum and Tourism Management Institute joint Durham event – save the date!

On October 15-17 the Historic Towns Forum and the Tourism Management Institute will be holding a joint event in Durham covering several matters concerning Heritage and Tourism. Register your interest here

Register now for Heritage Open Days in 2013

Local organisations intending to hold heritage open days in 2013 can register their events at http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/

Funding

HLF to accept grant applications from private interests

The Heritage Lottery Fund will now accept applications for grants of up to £100,000 for capital projects under its Our Heritage programme from private individuals and commercial organisations. Read more>>

New HLF Heritage Enterprise scheme announced

The HLF has also announced a new grant scheme aimed at unlocking the economic potential of historic buildings and sites across the UK. Heritage Enterprise will provide grants of between £100,000 and £5m to support the repair, adaptation and refurbishment of buildings, turning them into offices, workshops or flats. Community groups are being encouraged to work with private developers to achieve their aims. Read more>>

Coastal Communities Fund

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) will encourage economic development of UK coastal communities by giving them funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs.
The Government has committed £27.8 million to support the CCF in 2013/14 with money generated by the Crown Estate’s marine assets. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of the Government. Funding awards of over £50,000 are available and are open to a wide range of organisations including local authorities, charities and private sector companies. Read more>>

Consultations

Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) consultation. The SPP is a statement of Scottish Government policy on how nationally important land use matters should be addressed. Consultation on a review of SPP is to commence in Spring 2013.
The Law Commission’s Conservation Covenants Consultation. Deadline June 21

Publications and Toolkits

Historic Towns Forum Heritage Law Update

This briefing note identifies the principal changes to the Heritage Protection Regime since May 2010 and lists those proposals which are intended to be implemented shortly. Readers seeking a comprehensive review of the current system are referred to the English Heritage ‘Guide to Heritage Protection in England’ which is a helpful on-line source. This note relates specifically to the situation in England. Read more>>
Look out also for our forthcoming updates on Community Engagement and Heritage Tourism and Planning, out in May. They will shortly be on this link.

Preservation and Progress – the story of Chester since 1960

A new book by Peter de Figueiredo and Cyril Morris. Edited by Stephen Langtree.
Is Chester an ‘historic city’ or a ‘modern city’; a finely balanced and well managed combination of the two, or an uncomfortable and paranoid victim of a split personality? It’s a dilemma highlighted, if not created, by our Victorian forebears, and played out in good measure since the end of the Second World War. Read more>>

HTF new member City-Insights bring site-specific, Smartphone friendly, amazing stories to your streets

There’s a new way to be part of cities, streets and communities. City-Insights create a unique, multimedia experience about the place where you’re standing using your Smartphone. They tell vivid human stories, find forgotten footage, vintage photos, illustrations and contemporary interviews. To see how they animate places with personal, cultural and heritage, or to find out more about their bespoke approach to working with street signage, QR codes and pop-up
events, read more>>

Constructive Conservation – Sustainable Growth for Historic Places

This English Heritage report shows how a conservation led approach to the adaptation of historic buildings can contribute to job creation, business growth and economic prosperity. Thirty six case studies include new hotels in London and Ipswich, retail and office developments in Bristol and Yorkshire and converted industrial buildings in Derbyshire and Stoke on Trent. Read more>>

Heritage Help

Heritage Help is a new website providing advice, information and help to individuals and organisations on a wide range of heritage related matters. Read more>>

Planning System in Scotland – Main Issues report publication

The NPF3 Main Issues report and draft Scottish Planning Policy will be published after the Easter Parliamentary Recess. This will be followed a 12 week period of consultation. Revised Participation Statements will be published at the same time, setting out opportunities for stakeholders to get involved in the next stages of the process. Read more>>

HLF research demonstrates contemporary value of heritage

A report by HLF, undertaken with Oxford Economics and Colliers International shows that areas of cities with a higher density of listed buildings also have a higher concentration of business linked to the creative and knowledge economy. Read more>>

HTF membership

We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. If you would like to enjoy the benefits such as discounts to our topical events and the chance to network with our Local Authority, Corporate, Private and Individual members, as well as with Agencies, Civic Societies, Community Groups and Sponsors, please visit this link to our website to join.

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a member?

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Sent from: Historic Towns Forum, Kellogg College, 60-62 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX14 1PN

 

April 2013 update

 

April 2013 Newsletter

Director's Message

Dear HTF Member/Subscriber

I hope 2013 is going well for you!

While it has been somewhat quiet on the surface things have been very busy in the HTF office.

The first piece of important news is that after the end of our contract with UWE, we have negotiated hosting at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. We are very happy to say we have been working in close partnership with the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages, with whom we share an office at Kellogg. Our new contact details are:

Historic Towns Forum, Kellogg College, 60-62 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX14 1PN
Telephone: 01865 612033; 07947 521567
Email: htf@kellogg.ox.ac.uk; Noel.James@kellogg.ox.ac.uk

The second piece of news is that HTF events are back on! Our first for 2013 on 29 April at BDB in London: http://www.historictownsforum.org/events and is entitled: Planning Legislation update – The NPPF, Neighbourhood Planning, Taylor Review, and the Red Tape Challenge. Where are we, exactly?

With expert speakers from legal planning, DCLG, Locality, English Heritage, the Historic Towns Forum, and with prices from as low as £50 it is an event you should attend! To book and read more about the event, please click on the link above.

We have also produced a publication dealing with current heritage legislation to accompany the event – this is now available within the next week for download, so please do check back to our website for this: http://www.historictownsforum.org/node/1270 and to our forthcoming newsletter which will be out after Easter.

More events are planned for St Albans in May, Milton Keynes in the summer, Durham in October and Poundbury in November with practical workshops of neighbourhood planning in between, so watch this space!

With very best wishes

Noël

Dr Noël James
Director
Historic Towns Forum
Noel.James@kellogg.ox.ac.uk
07947 521567

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a member?

Patron

Partners


 

working in partnership with:

Follow us

    

If you would prefer to no longer receive these e-mails please
e-mail htf@kellogg.ox.ac.uk including 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

 

Sent from: Historic Towns Forum, Kellogg College, 60-62 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX14 1PN

 

August newsletter

August Newsletter

 

Director's Message

Welcome to our new look old look newsletter! We have responded to members who much preferred our previous article-style, rather than link-style newsletter, and so happy reading! This is a very full edition – there are several consultations to participate in and much to update you on. In particular please do look at the article on the Listed Buildings Consent consultation - we have only until the 23 August to respond. You can also see the results of the VAT campaign below – while Government made some concessions it was not the result we had hoped for but I hope you will be heartened to read that we have not given up – there is a new campaign to cut the VAT to 5%. Your support would be extremely welcome!

You will see we have more events on Practical Localism and Neighbourhood Planning in September, and we are repeating our popular Social Media course on September 18 in Oxford. We are also repeating our successful Community Asset Transfer Seminar on November 13 in Burslem, at the rather beautiful and historical School of Art, due to requests to hold it somewhere more northerly. So I do hope we will see you all again soon! Until then I hope you are enjoying the 2012 Olympic Games as much as we are in the office – coffee breaks are spent around the live-stream cheering on our Great British athletes. We have so much to be proud of culturally and historically – what could be more inspiring than seeing Bradley Wiggins receiving the gold medal in front of the backdrop of Hampton Court? I am so inspired I am off this week to volunteer at the mountain biking in Hadleigh Park, another wonderful site near to the historic Thames Gateway, where 19,000 spectators are expected each day. I hope each of you have found something to inspire you culturally over the period leading up to and including the Games – in spite of some concerns over traditional tourism and traffic infrastructure over this period is it a marvellous time to be British and we have really shown the world what we are made of – let’s make the most of the legacy that is to follow for our historic towns and cities!

Latest news

STOP PRESS: Reforms to Listed Building Consents system – consultation – please respond!

As part of the Penfold Review of Non-Planning Consents, DCMS has been working with CLG on proposed reform of the heritage-related non-planning consents. Some have already gone into the ERR Bill, but Government has committed to consultation on other possible reforms. The proposed changes may affect the management of the historic environment; please take this opportunity to respond to the consultation here. The consultation period ends on the 23 August so there is not much time.

The consultation sets out four options for change: a system of prior notification; a system of local and national class consents; a ‘certificate of lawful works to Listed Buildings’; and the replacement of local authority conservation officer recommendations for LBC by those made by accredited agents. The consultation also seeks views on enforcement mechanisms for buildings which have been put at risk through neglect, such as Repair Notices and Compulsory Purchase Orders; particularly those that have been on the Heritage at Risk Register for some time. Read more>>

To help organisations respond to the consultation within the short time frame, English Heritage will be hosting two identical briefing and discussion events on the 9 and 16 August at 1 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, between 2 and 4pm. Anyone wishing to attend is asked to contact Tiva.montalbano@english-heritage.org.uk with a preferred date.

National Planning Policy Framework

On 20 June the HTF, sponsored by Terrence O’Rourke Ltd, held a lively and timely conference on the topic of The National Planning Policy Framework: Planning for Growth in Towns and Historic Cities. This well-received event was held in historic Salisbury, and included speakers from English Heritage, Terrence O’Rourke Ltd, the Historic Towns Forum, Chichester Cathedral, Winchester City Council, Winchester Civic Trust and Salisbury Civic Society.

While the Government’s new agenda affects all aspects of planning, a particular challenge is how to reconcile a pro development national policy framework with the conservation of those qualities of our historic towns and cities that make them successful places in which to live, work and play. See the event presentations here. A conference report will be available shortly. Please check back!

Community Right to Challenge comes into force

Communities will now be able to bid to take over local services. A Community Rights website has been launched to give people more information about the new powers and opportunities available to them. Practical help and guidance for those wishing to use the Community Right to Challenge is now available on the Community Rights website. A dedicated phone line for support is also now available on 0845 345 4564. Read more.

On 31 May the HTF, sponsored by partners, Bircham Dyson Bell, held a successful and vibrant event focusing on Community Asset Transfer. Prominent speakers from the HTF, Bircham Dyson Bell, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, the Asset Transfer Unit, the Association of Preservation Trusts, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the Church’s Conservation Trust and Oxford Preservation Trust explained the legalities and practicalities of community asset transfer under the Localism Act, and what this could mean for communities wishing to take over capital assets. The event was so popular that we will be repeating it on November 13 at the Burslem School of Art. Watch this space! View the presentations here.

VAT Campaign – Addressing borderline anomalies – section 7 – 'Approved alterations to listed buildings'

By now you will probably be aware that in spite of u turns on pasties and caravans, the Government refused to back down on proposed changes to the VAT relief on approved alterations to listed buildings. As a result, the zero rate of VAT on approved alterations to listed buildings will now be removed from 01 October this year following an amendment to the Finance Bill that was approved by MPs on 03 July.

Although the Government made two significant concessions, the campaign, ultimately, was unsuccessful. The concessions were:

  • The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme was extended to cover repairs as well as alterations, and was increased by £30m, which the Government says will provide 100% compensation to listed places of worship; and
  • Significant improvements in the transitional arrangements designed to protect projects already underway, whereof owner who have applied for Listed Building Consent before 21 March 2012 will still be eligible for the zero rate until 01 October 2015;

Government defence to the relief cut ignored the robust evidence put forward by the Heritage Sector. The HTF campaigned on your behalf, working closely with the Federation of Master Builders, the Heritage Alliance, the IHBC, and many others, and were joint signatories on prominent letter to the Chancellor, the Times, and the Telegraph, among other communications.

Thanks to all of you who joined in the movement with letter to MPs and so on – the fight is not yet over and  although we have lost a battle there is  a new main campaign to Cut the VAT (5% on all residential repair, maintenance and improvement work) – the HTF is on the website as a supporter. Please show your support also and visit the Cut the VAT website.

Tourism

Debbie Dance, HTF's Chair, spoke at the 2012 China-UK Cultural Heritage Forum in China, on 'Heritage and Tourism' by highlighting the contribution heritage and historic towns make to the UK economy. Read more >>

High Streets and Town Centres

HTF invited to contribute to DCLG publication

The HTF was recently approached to advise and contribute content to the new DCLG publication, Re-imaging urban spaces to help revitalise our high streets. Two prominent members of the HTF Executive, Steven Bee of Steven Bee Urban Counsel, and Brian Human, of BRH Associates, obliged and you can read the results by clicking on the link above.

Ipswich is awarded Purple Flag status

The Ipswich Society (HTF members) have announced that Ipswich has been awarded Purple Flag status for their night time offer. Purple Flag is the new accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night, and is a good measure of a successful night time economy. Congratulations to Ipswich, and to the Community Safety Partnership, which has been instrumental in achieving this award.

Second wave of ‘Portas Pilots’ announced

A second group of towns in England have been selected to run pilot schemes based on the Government-commissioned Mary Portas report on improving high street vitality. Read more>>

On 23 March, the HTF, sponsored by Bircham Dyson Bell, held a well-attended (and somewhat heated!) event in light of the changes suggested by the Portas review. Retail, the high street review and the revivification of historic cores included high profile speakers from CLG, New Anglia LEP, Lincoln BIG, ATCM, VisitEngland, English Heritage, CgMs, Land Securities, HTF, Plus Urban Design, the British Parking Association, the LGA, Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners and focused on the perennial issue of the future of the high street within historic cores. View the presentations here.

Transport

The Canal and River Trust (CRT) has now officially launched, marking the largest transfer in the UK state-owned infrastructure to the charitable sector, with over 2000 miles of canals, rivers, reservoirs and docks in trust for the people of England and Wales. It brings together the third largest collection of Listed structures in the country, as well as the museums, collections and archives of the former Waterways Trust.

266m transport boost for green growth and infrastructure

Towns and cities across England are set to benefit from major transport schemes boosting green growth. Read more>>

Speaking to HRH The Prince of Wales

Vanessa Gregory, a staunch and long-serving HTF member, had the honour to give a speech to HRH The Prince of Wales and guests at St James's Palace in May 2012 to the Prince's Foundation. You can view Vanessa's speech here.

HTF Director invited to Jubilee Garden Party

On 29 May 2012 Noël James, HTF Director, attended the Royal Jubilee Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. She was invited to meet our Patron, HRH Price Charles the Prince of Wales, whereupon they discussed the work of the Forum, and how the Forum could work together with the Prince’s built environment charities. Noël reports that she was ‘utterly charmed, rather star struck, and even a little smitten’, while being thoroughly impressed by the scale of the event, the beauty of the surroundings and the dignity and style of the Royal Family. Although not planned, she also had an impromptu chat with the Duchess of Cambridge about hats and shoes, which apparently was ‘equally satisfying’.

The Prince of Wales Medal for Philanthropy – nominations open

Nominations are now open for The Prince of Wales Medal for Philanthropy. Inaugurated in 2008, the medal is awarded to five individuals or couples every year, and recognises a sustained contribution to the nation’s cultural life, either over a period of time, or as a major gift. The deadline for nominations is 06 September.

Walk the World with the Olympics

As part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad's Discovering Places campaign, join the challenge to find international connections which take you around the world without leaving the UK and put your local town on the map. Find out more >>

Can you help?

The HTF has received a request to let members know that an interesting collection of architectural books is for sale. The collection had belonged to a parish priest, late in the Diocese of Peterborough, and has now been catalogued for sale by his son. Architecture was his lifelong passion, and the library is extensive. The seller is avowed not to sell the collection by foot to second-hand book buyers and wondered if any HTF members might be interested in the collection. You can view it here.

The West Berkshire Heritage Forum, in conjunction with HTF members West Berkshire Council, have agreed in principle to undertake local listing of its heritage assets under the provisions of its Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework. The Heritage Forum is hoping to do this is a novel way, by recruiting a Selection Panel of eminent outside experts in various fields who will adjudicate on the merits of each proposal to list an asset. The Heritage Forum is asking HTF members if they would nominate someone local to West Berkshire with the appropriate qualifications and experience to serve on the panel. If you are able or would like to nominate someone, please contact the HTF in the first instance at noel.james@uwe.ac.uk

New project seeks to understand the value of culture

This AHRC-funded project, directed by Professor Geoffrey Crossick, recently Vice Chancellor of the University of London, seeks to address exactly what makes culture of value to societies and individuals. Defining what makes culture of value and how it shapes our lives, our places, our work, our thoughts and our feelings has been a topic of continuing interest to those who work in any of the cultural sectors, including heritage. It has never been an easy topic to define. The project will aim to define aspects of this through the collection of robust evidence, and in so doing shape policy and stimulate public debate.

For more information contact Philip Pothen on 01793 416022 p.pothen@ahrc.ac.uk. The HTF will be sharing its views; particularly around how culture and cultural values shape place-making.

Design Council CABE – new programme launched to support community-led design

Design Council CABE is looking for potential partners to help with their Design Your Neighbourhood programme, which aims to help communities improve design in their neighbourhoods. Design Your Neighbourhood will work by linking local groups with local design support partners with expertise in architecture, planning, design and engineering.

If you would like to enter an expression of interest to be a design support partner you will need to be: a non-profit organisation; based in England; able to provide professional expertise in architecture, planning and/or design; and have the capacity to work with a local community group on a planning and design project between September 2012 and March 2013. Support partners will receive grant funding from Design Council CABE up to a value of around £10, 000 in order to work with a nominated community group. Read more>>

Civic Voice appoints new Director

Civic Voice has appointed Steve Graham as its new interim Director. Steve will work part-time for Civic Voice for the next 6 months. Steve has considerable experience in award-winning sustainable development, as well as working previously with the UN, the WWF, and on policy work with DEFRA.

Chair of Civic Voice, Paula Ridley, is ‘looking forward to working with Steve’, and is ‘delighted that his wide experience of the sector and enthusiasm for our work will give Civic Voice the best possible chance of a stable future.’ Steve added that he is ‘very much looking forward to working with the Board and members in taking Civic Voice to the next level and feel it’s a real privilege to be asked to fulfil the role of Director.’ The Historic Towns Forum wishes Steve all the best in his quest to continue the sterling work of Civic Voice. More here>>

Do you need training in fundraising? The Heritage Alliance could help you!

The Heritage Alliance and the Institute of Fundraising are working together to find the best ways to provide support, information and training for the heritage sector in fundraising. They would be grateful if you could take the time to fill out this short online questionnaire. For further information, please contact alexandra.warr@theheritagealliance.org.uk , The Heritage Alliance’s Philanthropy Programme Director.

New Website for Heritage Open Days

See the lovely new HOD website for information on this year’s Heritage Open Days (6-9 September). More here>>

Archived Regional Development Agency information

In accordance with Government policy, all Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) closed on 31 March 2012 and were abolished on 01 July 2012. Prior to this, RDAs transferred a range of assets, liabilities, functions and activities – including ongoing project responsibilities – to other public sector bodies. To find out where to access this, and the transferred legacy of economic information, read more>>

Events and seminars

Practical Localism

10 September, Leicester; and 24 September, London

We are holding two afternoon seminars that will look at the practicalities of Localism almost a year since it became law. What is the connection between a Neighbourhood Forum and a National Plan, a Local Plan, and a Neighbourhood Plan? Who is responsible for it? Should you be involved?

Social Media

17 September, Oxford

We are offering an all-day course to help you and your organisation get the most from social media. Used correctly, social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin can be extremely effective marketing tools. Easy step by step processes will show you how to participate fully in the social media revolution. With more and more people ‘joining the conversation’ now really is the time to get engaged and make social media work for your organisation. Click here to book a place

Consultations

You can view HTF responses to past consultations here.

Publications and toolkits

The Value of England’s Past – new research by the London School of Economics and English Heritage proves value of Conservation areas

Houses in conservation areas sell at a premium and show a greater appreciation in value than those in other areas. This is even after adjusting for the effects of the kind of property involved and where it is located. These are just some of the findings of the first, rigorous, large-scale analysis of the effects of conservation areas on house prices in England, recently published by English Heritage. For full details of the research click here. For further information please contact: beth.mchattie@english-heritage or w.smith@lse.ac.uk

Government changes how it consults with stakeholders and the public

New guidance on Consultation Principles has been published by Government, and will replace the previous Consultation Code of Practice. This will take effect from the autumn. Read more>>

Two publications launched on placed-based approach to local distinctiveness

English Heritage and City of Lincoln Council have launched two reports, 'Plans in Place: Taking a local approach to character in Lincoln', and 'Historic Townscape Characterisation - The Lincoln Townscape Assessment: A Case Study' that together outline a local approach to capitalising on the inherited character of places. Read more >>

Community asset tools by Locality

Locality has launched two new online tools to help local people understand and use the new rights relate to community assets contained within the Localism Act 2011. The Place Station enables users to map land and buildings that are of value to local residents, and encourages private sector practitioners to offer support to help get projects started. The Building Calculator offers communities the professional knowledge to calculate the long-term costs of a building. It uses the most up-to-date buildings component data, and employs the Whole Life Costing methodology used by surveyors and construction professionals. This easy-to-use tool enables communities to plan ahead for future building maintenance and replacement costs. Read more>>

Engaging places

Engaging Places is a web-based resource that provides a variety of teaching materials, lesson plans and is vital in supporting built environment education across the UK. They would like your help to make the web resource more user-friendly. You can do so by completing this short survey.

English Heritage Guidance

Historic Environment Local Management: English Heritage Guidance.

DCMS: Taking Part Survey – England’s survey of leisure, culture and sport

The latest results from the Taking Part Survey show record levels of engagement since the survey began in 2005/6. The survey reveals that 74.3% of adults visited a heritage site in the last year. This is an increase of 3.6% since 2010/11, with just under a third reporting they visit a heritage site at least three or four times a year. Read More>>

HTF membership

We invite professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership. We welcome the following new members to HTF:

  • The Kenilworth Society
  • Tim Murphy
  • The Theatres Trust
  • WRS Insurance Brokers
  • Bysouth Consultants

If you would like to join us, please visit this link to our website for membership benefits.

 

About us

The Historic Towns Forum (HTF) has been supporting professionals and other members working in the historic built environment since 1987. Why not become a member?

Patron

Partners

Follow us

    

If you would prefer to no longer receive these e-mails please
e-mail htf@uwe.ac.uk including 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.

 

Sent from: Historic Towns Forum, P. O. Box 22, Bristol, BS16 1RZ; Tel: 0117 9750459

Clone of April newsletter

Historic Towns Forum Newsletter

Director's Message April 2012

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK
Historic Towns Forum says NPPF is better than it might have been
Reactions to the NPPF published on 27 March
Confusion over NPPF helpline - aim is to advise on process rather than what the policy means
The NPPF: planning for growth in our historic towns and cities

BUDGET
Legacy10: Leave 10% of estate to charity and claim 4% tax reduction
20% VAT on alterations to Listed Buildings

TOURISM
Discovering Places Heritage Toolkit
Register events on the Culture24/BBC Things to Do website

HIGH STREETS AND TOWN CENTRES
Why not a toolkit approach for Reviving our High Streets?
£10 Million High Street Innovation Fund to be shared between 100 Local Authorities
Government response to Portas Review is published

Look! St Albans – local design guidance in the making

EVENTS AND SEMINARS
Access and Activity – Creating successful town centre and local economies – 26 April 2012
Community Asset Transfer - 31 May 2012
The NPPF: planning for growth in our historic towns and cities - implications, instigation and information - 28 June 2012

UPDATES, TOOLKITS AND MORE NEWS
Apply now for the English Heritage 2012 Heritage Angel Awards
English Heritage examines crime to historic buildings crime
Planning Aid England now funded to end of July
European Regional Development Fund Inquiry
Planning departments finance supplemented by voluntary fees
The DCMS red tape challenge
HTF Director appointed as Trustee to the Battlefields Trust

UPCOMING CONSULTATIONS
Consultation on changes to the Building Regulations in England (DCLG) Deadline - 27 April 2012
VAT: Addressing Borderline Anomalies (HMRC) Deadline - 4 May 2012
The Gift Aid small donations scheme (HMRC) Deadline - 25 May 2012
Guidance on associated development: Applications for major infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008 - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Consultation on proposed changes to the suite of guidance documents for the major infrastructure planning regime (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Guidance for the examination of applications for development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Guidance on the pre-application process - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012

HTF MEMBERSHIP
HTF invites professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership
Welcome to our newest members

How do you like our new style e-news? - tell us what you think


Celebrating 25 years supporting the historic built environment
 

Patron: Partners:
Follow HTF Linkedin logo Twitter logo \facebook logo

 

April newsletter

Historic Towns Forum Newsletter

Director's Message April 2012

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK
Historic Towns Forum says NPPF is better than it might have been
Reactions to the NPPF published on 27 March
Confusion over NPPF helpline - aim is to advise on process rather than what the policy means
The NPPF: planning for growth in our historic towns and cities

BUDGET
Legacy10: Leave 10% of estate to charity and claim 4% tax reduction
20% VAT on alterations to Listed Buildings

TOURISM
Discovering Places Heritage Toolkit
Register events on the Culture24/BBC Things to Do website

HIGH STREETS AND TOWN CENTRES
Why not a toolkit approach for Reviving our High Streets?
£10 Million High Street Innovation Fund to be shared between 100 Local Authorities
Government response to Portas Review is published
Look! St Albans – local design guidance in the making

EVENTS AND SEMINARS
Access and Activity – Creating successful town centre and local economies – 26 April 2012
Community Asset Transfer - 31 May 2012
The NPPF: planning for growth in our historic towns and cities - implications, instigation and information - 20 June 2012

UPDATES, TOOLKITS AND MORE NEWS
Apply now for the English Heritage 2012 Heritage Angel Awards
English Heritage examines crime to historic buildings crime
Planning Aid England now funded to end of July
European Regional Development Fund Inquiry
Planning departments finance supplemented by voluntary fees
The DCMS red tape challenge
HTF Director appointed as Trustee to the Battlefields Trust

UPCOMING CONSULTATIONS
Consultation on changes to the Building Regulations in England (DCLG) Deadline - 27 April 2012
VAT: Addressing Borderline Anomalies (HMRC) Deadline - 4 May 2012
The Gift Aid small donations scheme (HMRC) Deadline - 25 May 2012
Guidance on associated development: Applications for major infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008 - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Consultation on proposed changes to the suite of guidance documents for the major infrastructure planning regime (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Guidance for the examination of applications for development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012
Planning Act 2008: Guidance on the pre-application process - Consultation (DCLG) Deadline - 6 July 2012

HTF MEMBERSHIP
HTF invites professionals working in the historic built environment to join the membership
Welcome to our newest members

How do you like our new style e-news? - tell us what you think


Celebrating 25 years supporting the historic built environment
 

Patron: Partners:
Follow HTF Linkedin logo Twitter logo \facebook logo

 

December 2011

Historic Towns Forum Newsletter
Follow HTF

Season's Greetings

In thanks for your continued support we are delighted to offer you our new look wall calendar featuring the winning image from this year’s HTF photo competition. Download your 2012 wall calendar here.

We hope you will be able to join us at our 25th Anniversary events in the coming year. View HTF 2012 events.

December 2011

Localism Act and community assets
Autumn Statement
NPPF update
Penfold Review
Shared services VAT exemption
English Tourism Week 2012
20.12% discount scheme
The Portas Review
Conservation Area Consent
Street operations guidance
Energy saving guide for historic homes
Engaging Places joins Open-City
European heritage label adopted
Internships and placements
Director vacancy at BEFS
New Director at SPAB
Purple Flags for HTF Member towns
Original Features series seek properties
Historic find in Ireland
Consultations

HTF 2012 events

Director's View

As the festive season approaches here at the HTF offices it is all still go – a visit to Blenheim Palace yesterday to organise next year’s English Tourism Week conference brought home just how wonderful is our national tourism offer – so much culture, heritage and enterprise rolled into one. Nothing could have been more beautiful in the crisp cold blue of yesterday’s morning than the vista of Blenheim framed by the lake and the sunshine and the festive cheer as we pulled in – and it was heartening to see that Blenheim, a successful tourism model if ever there was one, maximising the spirit of Christmas enterprise by the sale of some rather magnificent Norwegian pines (the ones that don’t drop needles) grown and sold from the estate itself. Our conference, ‘Culture, Heritage, Tourism – developing the product’, will be held at Blenheim on 16 March and will feature a key note speech from Lady Cobham, Chair of VisitEngland, and a follow-up from John Hoy, Blenheim’s Chief Executive, on the success of Blenheim as an economic model. Read more

Autumn Statement

The Chancellor covered a number of issues that affect the heritage sector in his Autumn Statement. Particularly of interest to HTF Members will be the areas of planning reform, vocational training and tourism. More detail can be found in the articles below.

The Localism Act and community assets

An outcome of the Localism Act requires local authorities to maintain lists of assets for community value. When an asset is put up for sale a moratorium of six months must be allowed on the sale, allowing local groups time to put together a bid to take it over for community benefit. The Act does not give community organisations first refusal when community assets come up for sale, as originally proposed by community groups, but groups will have opportunities to take on the planning system or to take over failing services and to take ownership of significant historic buildings.
Supporting community asset transfers toolkits
In April the HTF will be holding a seminar to give help in how to implement Asset Transfer Register you interest

Implementing the Penfold Review

On 29 November the Government published its programme for implementation of the Penfold Review. Of particular interest in relation to heritage protection and listed buildings, is the measure to enable the extent of a building’s listing to be defined in its list entry. This removes the need to apply for consent for works to other parts of that building. Listed building owners and local authorities will be able to enter into Statutory Management Agreements to enable works specified in that agreement to be undertaken without the need for separate consent applications. Read more.
Read the EH response.

The Portas Review

Mary Portas unveiled her high street review this week giving 28 recommendations to improve UK high streets and town centres. She has received nearly 2,000 comments on her website from members of the public and high street retailers. Findings from two HTF/EH workshops attended by a wide range of property professionals and partnership organisations also fed into the report. Government will respond the to report early next year. For inclusion in the ATCM offical position read The Portas Review and send your comments to Ojay.McDonald@atcm.org. See ATCM's first response here.

Register your interest in attending HTF's retail conference on 23 March

Merging Conservation Area Consent into Planning Permission

There have been a few queries from different quarters on the proposal relating to the likely demise of Conservation Area Consent. The implications of this have been under consideration for some time as they formed part of early phases of heritage protection reform. Read more

Engaging Places joins Open-City

Engaging Places (formerly based at CABE) has been integrated into the leading independent built environment organisation Open-City, one of London's key providers of innovative and inspiring programmes, and resources that use architecture as a learning tool. Read more

ATCM Street operations guidance

Through the ATCM Street Operations Group, an increasing number of Street Operations Guides are being published. There are now a dozen available. These range from dealing with trade waste to pigeons.

Saving energy: A guide for owners of historic homes

An HTF project in conjunction with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and 4th year UWE architecture and planning student Heidi Tremlett, has produced a useful guidance leaflet to show how historic home owners can reduce CO2 emissions in their homes. Download the leaflet.

European heritage label adopted by the European Parliament

From 2013, a voluntary European Heritage Label may be granted to symbolic sites for Europe's history or integration. Particular attention will go to "transnational" sites, given their special symbolism for Europe's common history. Read more

Historic find in Co Clare

Archaeologists restoring a building in Ennis, Co Clare, believe they have discovered Ireland’s earliest surviving example of a timber framed house. Read more.

Upcoming consultations

View HTF responses to previous consultations

NPPF Update

In total there were 13,700 responses to the NPPF consultation. Local authorities are very concerned about the proposed changes to national planning policy. Main issues include the definition of sustainable development, the lack of emphasis on reusing brownfield land and the need for appropriate transitional arrangements to ensure a smooth shift to any new system. Read more

Shared services VAT exemption for civic and amenity societies

Government has confirmed that additional VAT charges incurred when organisations such as charities share back office services will be removed. However they will still be required to form a separate group to supply services, with no one charity in overall control, rather than allowing one charity to provide services to another. Find out how it will work

English Tourism Week 2012

With so many important events taking place in England in 2012 and to coincide with English Tourism Week, HTF are planning a tourism conference at Blenheim Palace on 16 March 2012. This will be supported by VisitEngland. Find out how to make the most of opportunities for tourists and the tourism industry in your town. View conference details and register. If you wish to sponsor all or part of the event please contact us.

Local tourism firms urged to join the 20.12% discount scheme

This initiative will be launched next year by VisitEngland as part of a campaign to use the Games to boost domestic tourism. Under the scheme, holidaymakers booking a UK short break before the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games will be eligible for a 20.12% discount. The campaign will run throughout next year, backed with heavy-weight TV advertising. Already taking part in the scheme are Bourne Leisure, Superbreaks and Hoseasons. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged tourism businesses around the country to take advantage of the opportunity. Read more

Aylesbury and Canterbury awarded the Purple Flag

Congratulations to these two HTF Member towns who are among nine places across Ireland, Wales and England that have recently been recognised for meeting high standards in showing night time visitors an entertaining and safe night out. HTF are planning another workshop with ATCM in Scotland and hope to see some Scottish Towns included in next year’s awards. Register your interest

Donald Insall Associates gain two awards for Blencow Hall

Congratulations to HTF Member Donald Insall Associates who have won the coveted Best Property of the Year at the Northern Design Awards as well as the Silver Award at the RIBA Northern Network Awards for their work on Blencow Hall in Cumbria.

Supported Internships and Placements

  • UWE Graduate Internship Scheme 2011/2012 offers recruiters £1000 subsidy - Closes 9 Jan 2012
    Read more
  • Newcastle University is seeking 1 year placements for 4th year Town & Planning students
    Read more
  • Centre for Scottish Public Policy invite you to adopt an intern with funding available from the Scottish Government
    Read more

Built Environment Forum Scotland seeks Director

BEFS is seeking applicants with a passion for Scotland's places. Applicants must have excellent strategic, organisational, interpersonal, communication and fundraising skills; and would enjoy working in a focused, motivated small team. This is an exciting opportunity to play a central role in developing BEFS - a strategic umbrella body for Scotland's built and historic environment. Find out more

New Director for SPAB

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has appointed Matthew Slocombe to take over as Director when Philip Venning retires next summer. SPAB, Britain's oldest heritage organisation, much like the HTF, supports local authorities and communities working to manage the historic built environment.

BBC Original Features series seeks case studies

Do you know of anyone or any property that could take part in the next 'Original Features' TV series? This will be hosted by Nick Knowles. Whatever the historical period they would be interested in hearing from you. Contact originalfeatures@bbc.co.uk or call on 0117 974 6875 or 0117 974 7981