Civic Voice (CV) reports that Tony Barton, chair of Donald Insall Associates, has written an article on 50 years of Conservation Areas for the Architects Journal.
Civic Voice reports Bartons’ text as follows:
As we mark 50 years of conservation areas, let’s acknowledge their success in balancing preservation and progress.
The Civic Amenities Bill and the invention of the conservation area was indeed a radical proposal and, I believe, one that has had a profound and positive impact on quality of life in the UK.
It is surely self-evident, from our perspective today, that conservation areas have been a success. We will never know how much of our familiar and revered surrounds survive through designation but examples of local opposition to loss of heritage, bolstered by this legal protection, can be found all over the country.
When we feel a connection to our shared heritage within a city, town or village, we are almost certain to be in a conservation area. This simple presumption against demolition has resulted in a legacy that can be celebrated and which is testament to the ambitions of the post-war pioneers of the conservation movement.
Historic building conservation is fundamentally the management of change in a precious and unique structure. Just as we enable new lives for buildings through creative and sensitive intervention, so our historic areas have, through careful husbandry backed up by legislation, continued to adapt and react to social change, while, in most cases, maintaining their essential individual stories and characters. I see no conflict between preservation and progress today and it is our role, as creative architects working in the historic environment, to facilitate this change, step by careful step
For the original see the Architects Journal