BS 7913: IHBC-branded, laminated AND cheaper than the BSI

BS 7913 front cover

IHBC members avail of a unique opportunity to purchase their own IHBC-branded laminated copy of the new conservation British Standard (BS) 7913, ‘Guide to the conservation of Historic Buildings’, which is on offer 20% off, and contains a dedicated IHBC foreword and logo.

The copy costs £112 plus post & packing of £8 for the UK.

Read the original NewsBlog

Find out about the extra reductions

To buy, simply click the link from our Home Page or go straight to, or just send your order and invoice details (including your IHBC membership number, and a PO number if you are an organization), to Lydia at

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Post-Ironbridge: IHBC ‘recognises’ new Birmingham course

The new home for the IHBC-recognised conservation course previously at Ironbridge is Birmingham City University, while the course retains its full recognition by the Institute as it beds into its new home.

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said:  ‘Critical to the recognizing the course under these new arrangements are continuity, both of course content – which was renowned for its effective balance of practice and theory – and of course director, Harriet Devlin IHBC, who was recently awarded her well-deserved MBE for Services to Heritage and the Historic Environment.’

‘IHBC ‘recognition’ of her now-closed conservation course at Ironbridge will also continue, as any graduates from there interested in careers as conservation professionals can continue to reap the benefits of IHBC recognition through speedier application times when seeking IHBC membership.’

Harriet, who continues as course leader under the new arrangements, is directing the programme as a new post graduate course in ‘Conservation of the Historic Environment’, and it starts at Birmingham City University (BCU) this autumn.

Harriet says ‘This will be a fantastic new home for our exciting and flexible course.  Hosted by the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, in the School at Architecture, we’ll be able to tick all the boxes as we offer IHBC-recognised coursework to students and CPD to practicing specialists.’

‘BCU City Centre Campus is a buzzing place full of innovation and creative ideas, and with a long history and with great roots in practical skills’.

Places are limited  so please contact as soon as possible for a start this autumn. If a full degree isn’t possible at the moment- check out all the short CPD courses – the first lime course is in September, so get booking! 

further details … 

NewsBlog on new arrangements

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IHBC’s ‘digital’ Summer School – Orkney highlights

Orkney image

The final instalment of the IHBC’s 2014 Edinburgh School ‘Storify’ this week highlights the School’s  ‘Orkney Opportunity’, a unique and no-fee coda to the programme that was offered to School delegates by Orkney Island Council as part of its generous sponsorship of this year’s examination of the art of conservation.

Delegates in Orkney enjoyed the School’s ‘art’-related theme, but with a localised flavour including:

  • Neolithic archaeology
  • Arts and Crafts architecture
  • Designated landscapes
  • Heritage economics in Stromness and Kirkwall
  • Wartime murals and the heritage of conflict
  • Art, poetry and writing with artists in residence and storytellers

IHBC President Trefor Thorpe said: ‘While, sadly, I wasn’t able to attend the Orkney Opportunity, clearly it was an exceptional and busy programme that complemented well the man programme, and another unique and beautiful setting.’

‘Even a brief scan of this wonderful ‘Storify’, created by Alison McCandlish, our NewsBlog author, shows how much so many of us missed.  That said, it also offers us a special opportunity to participate in the experience, so it’s not just about what we missed, but what we can enjoy together.

‘So I’d like to thank especially Stuart West and Tom Hunter of Orkney Island Council for their hard work in setting up this programme, and volunteering so much of their own time to make it work.  This was a huge and welcome gesture, and one that represents so well the spirit of learning in the IHBC.’

Describing the ‘Storify’ experience, Alison McCandlish said: ‘The Storify brings together all the digital posts made by delegates relating to the annual school activities and allows you to see and hear a little taste of Orkney.  And please remember too that you don’t need any social media accounts – anyone can simply scroll through the webpage to read the posts in chronological order.’

Visit Storify

View previous IHBC newsblogs on the summer school digital highlights

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PINS Annual Report: Outsourcing versus Streamlining

The latest annual report for the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) reveals that outsourcing for projects in England was considered as an option, although rejected in favour of internal streamlining.

PINS writes:
‘During 2013, the Inspectorate held initial fact finding meetings with a range of companies regarding outsourcing of some of our work. These meetings proved to be valuable, however, it became apparent that business processes should be streamlined in several areas prior to making a move to another provider’ (p.24)

The ‘Vanguard approach’ to management is now being used ‘looking at processes from the customer’s point of view.

PINS also reports a positive review of the year 2013/14:
Yet again, we met or exceeded all of our key performance measures in both England and Wales, and 88% of appeals complied with the Planning Guarantee. We completed casework on time, including 100% of our Local Plans and our National Infrastructure work, doing so to an exacting quality standard.

View the full PINS annual report

Planning Resource article on PINS

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Appeals success rate rises

There has been an increase in the success rate for planning appeals since the introduction of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) two years ago with a particularly significant improvement for residential appeals determined after public inquiries, according to new research published by Turley Associates.

The planning consultancy examined planning application and appeal statistics for the two year periods immediately before and after the introduction of the NPPF. The resulting report revealed a higher percentage of successful appeals following the introduction of the guidance and the emergence of differences in success rates depending on whether appeals were determined by written representations, by hearing or by public inquiry.

The document showed that the percentage of applications refused by local planning authorities remained largely unchanged at approximately 20 per cent with approvals at 80 per cent

The research did show, however, that the rate of success on appeal has increased by as much as 50 per cent for public inquiries since the introduction of the NPPF.

Turley executive director Rob Peters said: ‘There has been a marked increase in success by inquiry with only a modest increase by hearing and virtually no change in written representations. This could be explained, in part, by the failure of local authorities to formulate and adopt local plans to the timescale envisaged in the NPPF.’

Read the Turley Associates news release

Search Planning Portal

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RTPI Awards for Excellence: Silver Jubilee Cup to Govan

The Silver Jubilee Cup has been awarded to the Central Govan Action Plan at the RTPI Awards for Excellence, and the winners of all twelve awards for project schemes as well as individual and team excellence took place in London on 23 June.

A ten year, community led, planning partnership and investment framework, guiding the physical regeneration of Central Govan, has won the Silver Jubilee Cup, the UK and Ireland’s premier planning award.  The Central Govan Action Plan was announced as the winner today (Monday 23rd June), at an awards ceremony held at The Shaw Theatre in the Pullman London St Pancras.

The Silver Jubilee Cup is awarded to the overall winner of The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence. The Central Govan Action Plan was also winner of the category, ‘Leading the way in planning for the community’.

Submitted by Glasgow City Council, the action plan has invested £88m into transforming Central Govan not just physically but also by raising the quality of life and instilling a sense of positive and lasting change into a community that has been in decline for the last 60 years.

Sir Terry Farrell CBE and Chair of Judges, said: ‘Community-led and hard-won, I applaud the passion and energy that has sustained the Central Govan Action Plan through the last 10 years. Overcoming tough urban issues typical of our post-industrial cities, the action plan has genuinely brought together a community to create, realise and sustain many physical, social and economic projects, bringing real and noticeable benefit to Govan. This is true pro-active and ‘bottom up’ planning in a robust environment, and a worthy winner of the Silver Jubilee prize.’

Cath Ranson, RTPI President, said: ‘The planned regeneration of the Central Govan is a great example of how community –led planning can change the lives of people living in that community. With planning and planners at the very heart of the regeneration process of Central Govan, the action plan has brought together different sectors to respond to local needs while at the same time engendering a sense of ownership, confidence and pride in the local community.

‘I would like to congratulate all of our category winner and shortlisted candidates who entered the RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence. In this the RTPI’s centenary year I am delighted we are able to celebrate the contribution that planners and planning make to society, to the economy and to the environment, and highlight through these awards truly exceptional examples of planning.’

Central Govan Action Plan and THI online

View the full list of winners across all categories, and photographs from the awards on the RTPI website


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Government not to defend turbine near ‘Northumbrian Stonehenge’

The Government has decided not to defend a High Court challenge to a planning inspector’s decision to allow on appeal a single wind turbine close to the Duddo stone circle, known as Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge.

Energy company 3R Energy Solutions’ plans for the scheme at Shoreswood Farm, Ancroft near Berwick, will now be reconsidered by the Planning Inspectorate.

Search Planning Portal 

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RIBA Annie Spink architectural education award open

The RIBA are inviting entries for the biennial Annie Spink Award for architectural education, with a deadline of 5pm on 11 September 2014.

RIBA writes:
The biennial award is open to individuals or groups, teaching in a school anywhere in the world that offers RIBA validated courses. Nominees will have made a substantial contribution to architectural education over a number of years, be involved in the development of architectural education and be directly engaged in the processes of teaching and learning. Winners of the award receive the Annie Spink trophy and £10,000.

Full guidance on eligibility criteria and details of past award winners

IHBC awards page

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Cathedral awards: WW1 Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund

The first awards from the Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund (which was introduced in an announcement in the last budget) have now been awarded.

DCMS writes:
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced today, that cathedrals across England will receive almost £5million for urgent repairs in the first round of grants from the First World War Centenary Cathedral repair fund.

From Truro to Newcastle, 22 cathedrals across England will now be able to fix leaking roofs, repair stained glass, and replace stonework after being awarded grants from the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.

The fund was announced in Budget 2014 and set up in April this year in recognition of the powerful symbol our cathedrals are of Britain’s shared history as well as the significant role they will play when the nation comes together to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Visiting Gloucester Cathedral, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:

‘We are ensuring these magnificent buildings are preserved for future generations so they continue to serve their communities and congregations.

‘This fund is just one part of the Government’s preparations to ensure the UK is ready to remember and mark the heroic sacrifice so many made a century ago.’

Sir Paul Ruddock, Chair of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund expert panel and Chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum, said:

‘Spanning over 1000 years of architectural history and housing many treasures, English cathedrals are a hugely important part of England’s heritage. I am delighted we are able to award grants to 22 cathedrals in the first round from the Government’s World War One Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund.’

The £20 million Cathedral Repairs Fund was announced by the Chancellor in the Budget 2014. Grants will allow cathedrals to undertake urgent repair work, including keeping the building wind-proof, weather-tight, safe and open to the public, and preventing further deterioration of the building.

This was the first round of funding allocations and will be followed by two more.  The next round will close in September 2014 with the final round closing in January 2015.  

Read the press release

View an interactive Google Map of all of the awards in England

Apply online for funding

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IHBC’s 2nd member survey: ‘Now the details’

The IHBC is continuing its exploration of forward planning priorities and future governance for members in a new and more detailed survey of issues arising from our March survey, with contributions, which can take only a few minutes, invited before the closing date of 31 July. 

Trefor Thorpe, IHBC President, said: ‘Our latest member survey raises lots of issues, but still may take no more than 10 minutes of your time, possibly even as little as 5 if you have thought about these issues before, though it may be worth spending longer as there’s lots of food for thought there.’

‘I know these things can seem to be a bit of a pain, but it’s the most effective method we have of getting your invaluable opinion on what issues and priorities you have as members of the principal institute for conservation specialists.’

‘And the results will build on our earlier survey last March, to which so many of you responded brilliantly.  Doing this one will help us help you by shaping the future plans and structures of your institute to meet future needs and challenges.  We’ll report back in August, but more importantly, the results will feed directly into our future structures and our next corporate plan.’

IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘We’re taking a different approach in this survey, as we felt the need to give more detail on issues, and be more specific on possible directions for the future.  But even if you only want to indicate the most general concerns though your comments, any contributions are welcome.

Of course much will depend on capacity and opportunities, but guidance from practitioners and members here will make all the difference when your Council and trustees have to make hard decisions about what we can and cannot do.  And if you really want to explore the issues and get involved, there’s no better way to start than by reading our current corporate plan, which covers 2010-15’.

Survey closes on 31 July.

Complete the IHBC’s Survey


See our current Corporate Plan, for 2010-2015

Report on 1st survey

See the first survey NewsBlog

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IHBC Gus Astley Student Awards: Closes 31 July & now £500!

IHBC GASA Award Ceremony
images courtesy of Jonathan Taylor

The most inclusive award for taught coursework in the UK relating to the past and future of valued places – The Institute of Historic Building Conservation’s (IHBC) 2014 Annual Gus Astley Student Award – GASA 2014 is still open for submissions, with a closing date of 31 July 2014 and an uplift in the award to £500.

If you lead, present or participate in taught courses or modules in any areas ranging from history, heritage skills and management, to planning, regeneration and design, please circulate this news across your student and training networks.

For a chance to win a £500 cash prize, applicants need only submit digital versions of work assessed on taught courses ending in July 2013 or 2014. Free places at the IHBC’s Annual School, valued at around £500, are also offered to the winner and any commended entrants so they can receive their prizes in person at the IHBC’s School dinner.  The 2015 School, when the awards will be presented, will take place in Norwich.

Eligible course work may deal with any aspect of places, buildings, features or areas that relates to conservation and the past or future of the built and historic environment.  Entries may cover history, heritage site management and planning, new architecture or investigative research. There are no restrictions on discipline, type of taught coursework, group numbers or age. The only requirements for eligibility are that the entry should represent a relevant and quality submission assessed as part of a UK taught course in the UK and completed in academic years ending July 2013 or 2014.  The entry (or an appropriate record of the entry if it is not in a digitised format) must be submitted using the IHBC’s online procedures, lined from the Award’s website.   Should the entry be selected for an award by the judge, the IHBC will require authentication by the relevant tutor.

The IHBC Award website gives full details on the process and terms of the award, including how to submit digitally in accordance with our guidelines HERE

Download Awards flyer

Download award guidelines

IHBC newsblogs on the Gus Astley Student Award 

See details of the IHBC’s 2014 School, attended by the winner of the 2013 Award HERE

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IHBC NW day conference: Setting – ‘I can see clearly now…’


IHBC North West Branch is holding its ever-popular Annual Conference in Liverpool on Wednesday 15 October, with a focus on understanding the setting of historic buildings, and an early bird discount of 5% is available for bookings made before the end of August. 

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘The IHBC’s North West Branch conferences are known for their coverage of a topical theme in all its practical implications. This year is no different, as we see ‘setting’ and all it encompasses subject to a combination of almost surgical analysis and challenging expansion.  This is an opportunity for learning and CPD development that is unequalled in its value for this part of the country.’

The Keynote speaker is David Rudlin of URBED who will explore the importance of setting for heritage.

NW Branch Chair Paul Hartley said: The IHBC NW Branch is delighted to announce that booking is now open for their popular annual conference. This year the theme is the setting of heritage assets and take place on 15th October in Liverpool.’

‘The conference will explore the inter-related concepts of setting, context and character, and consider the different ways in which new development can be sensitively designed as well as how its impact can be measured and assessed. The role and contribution of views assessment and historic analysis will be examined alongside a range of case studies drawn both from the North West and nationally in order to highlight examples of best practice. The conference will consider how these concepts can be applied to World Heritage Sites, conservation areas, individual historic buildings and wider designed landscapes.’

‘This conference will be of interest to planners, architects, developers, property owners, amenity societies, and all those who manage and care for the historic environment.’

Visits will include an exploration of the world heritage site and the Liverpool Biennial sites, as well as presentations and discussions relating to urban and rural historic settings.

Structures in historic settings will be examined, with Jonathan Edis of the Heritage Collective discussing the siting of wind farms David Tomback of English Heritage addresses enabling development and John Simons, Donald Insall Associates gives an overview and examples of work in Chester.

The Conference Fee is from £95 for Members, £110 for Non Members and £65 Concessions, with an early bird 5% discount rate available until end of August.

To find out more about the full conference programme or book a place CLICK HERE

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