Property Flood Resilience Action Plan out

An independent report has been issued relating to flood protection, aiming to help with flood resilience.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) writes:

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan will see Government and industry help people better protect their properties from flooding. 

A new, independent report launched yesterday will help people better protect their homes and businesses from risk of flooding and recover more quickly if the worst happens. Continue reading

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IHBC feature: How Gloucester Cathedral is shrinking its carbon footprint

The Natural Stone Specialist recently reported on how Gloucester cathedral is installing 150 solar panels on its nave roof and aims to cut its energy bill by a quarter.

The work is part of the cathedral’s £6million Project Pilgrim scheme and claims to be the oldest cathedral in the UK to have installed a commercial-sized photovoltaic electricity generation system on its roof.

View the full story

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IHBC’s Conservation Area anniversary celebrations fund update: Check out some of the ideas already coming in from civic trusts!

StamfordTake a look at some of the great ideas already received from local Civic Trusts on they can use the IHBC’s £2500 allocation to help local communities celebrate the 50th anniversary of Conservation Areas in 2017.

Picture: First designated conservation area in Stamford (Photo courtesy Civic Voice)

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said:  ‘Of course this is early days, and we are still looking at the detailed allocation of our limited funds across all prospective bidders.  However we’ve had lots of requests for suggestions, so we’ve taken the liberty of letting people know about the kind of ideas that we think should work well.’

‘Any published below are of sufficient relevance, quality and imagination for these civic groups to be confident that we will grant at the very least our minimum allocation, of £100.’

  • Leek & District Civic Society: Celebrating the Conservation Area
    A programme of celebration of Leek’s Conservation Area to include an exhibition illustrating the extent and purpose of the Conservation Area, a 20 minute film, an illustrated talk, ‘The development, purpose and scope of Conservation Areas’, guided walks highlighting key features and a booklet illustrating the emergence and development of the Conservation Area. 
  • Pontefract Civic Society: Celebration of Pontefract’s 4 Conservation Areas
    2 of these areas were created following campaigns from Pontefract Civic Society. However, time has now elapsed and awareness of the importance of these conservation areas needs to be raised particularly when resources appear limited. Events will be run around the Civic Day to achieve this.
  • Malvern Civic Trust: Civic Day Annual Lecture
    The first of what is intended to be a prestigious Malvern Civic Society Annual Lecture to be held on Civic Day each year. Next year’s lecture will be given by the Chief Executive of Malvern Hills District Council and Managing Director of Wychavon District Council and the theme will be the role of Conservation Areas in Planning.
  • Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage: Mitcham Cricket Green in 50 objects
    The project will celebrate the conservation area and identify 50 ways of telling the story and describing the significance of Mitcham Cricket Green Conservation Area today, identifying 50 objects to inform the next 50 years.The results will be published online and in a free bulletin issued to c4,000 households in and around the conservation area.
  • Alnwick Civic Society: Research Project
    Taking a unique view of the heritage of Alnwick Town by researching the positive heritage contributions of a local historian (1860), an international urban academic (modern), a local illustrator and the Civic Society up to the present day, and publishing the research in an illustrated booklet, including details of the architectural and townscape treasures of Alnwick’s own Conservation Area. 2,000 free copies of the booklet will be made available for schools, local organisations and tourist venues.

Keep up to date, and apply, see IHBC Awards etc

For more about the background see the IHBC NewsBlogs

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IHBC launches new Guidance Note: ‘Cemetery Monuments and the new British Standard’ (BS 8415)

Toolbox Homepage imageIHBC’s newest Guidance Note (GN), entitled ‘Historic Cemetery Monuments Testing and the new British Standard’ (GN2016/4) has been published on the IHBC’s Toolbox.

Bob Kindred, IHBC Research co-ordinator and author of this Guidance Note, said: ‘This is a short interim guidance note aimed at those who have responsibility for heritage advice regarding historic cemeteries and burial grounds and who have an input into the appropriate management of the memorials and monuments and/or liaison with cemetery managers. The issue of the impact of monument safety continues to be raised by IHBC members and the note is intended to raise awareness of the forthcoming revision to the relevant British Standard, which it is hoped will address those concerns.’

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘IHBC Research Notes are produced as part of an integrated programme of online support for conservation practitioners, the IHBC’s ‘Toolbox’

The Toolbox is being developed to help inform, advise and guide anyone with specialist interests in built and historic environment conservation.  Already it offers a wide range of basic resources – the ‘tools’ in the toolbox – from primary research and guidance produced by or on behalf of the IHBC, to technical, academic and practice advice supported or endorsed by the institute.’

The Executive Summary of the Guidance Note states:

  • The principal purpose of this briefing note is to draw attention to the intended update of the British Standard BS 8415: ’Monuments within burial grounds and memorial sites —Specification’ and potential implications for current practice.
  • The Institute has been made aware of concerns from some of its local authority members regarding the continuing testing of monuments in registered historic cemeteries and burial grounds, irrespective of whether those commemorative structures are individually listed or not, and the potential visual impact on the landscape character of those sites.
  • While IHBC members are not usually directly involved in discussions about monument safety, they need to be sufficiently conversant with the broad issues to ensure that those tasked with such testing (as a precursor to any safety or remedial works) are also fully informed regarding the interaction of heritage and other regulatory regimes.

See the Guidance Note

See more in the IHBC’s Toolbox

See more IHBC Guidance Notes  and IHBC Research Notes

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Reminder – IHBC Scotland Branch AGM and ‘hard hat’ visit to Riddles Court: 25 Nov

IHBC Scotland Branch has announced its AGM (6 pm) and linked ‘Hard Hat’ visit to Edinburgh’s ‘Riddles Court, a Merchants House fit for a King’, on 25 November from 2pm on

For details and more background and options see the NewsBlogs and IHBC Events

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IHBC’s ‘bigger picture’ NewsBlog: Government Response to BE Select Committee says ‘historic environment is a resource of significant cultural, social and economic value’

The Government’s response to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Built Environment (BE), says it ‘recognises that England’s historic environment is a resource of significant cultural, social and economic value’.

The 44 page document is the response to the Select Committee report on the Built Environment published February 2016. This earlier report said that ‘England lacks a proactive, long-term national strategy for managing our historic environment, as part of planning for the future of the built environment. We believe that such a strategy, which would recognise the full value of our built heritage as a unique national and local asset, central to place-making, should be articulated for the future.’

As well as recognising England’s historic environment, the Government said it has ‘has set in place frameworks that promote its conservation and management’.

The Government also responded to a request to not move ministerial responsibility for heritage from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the Department for Communities and Local Government. And that the ability of the National Planning Policy Framework to balance heritage protection and development policies should be maintained sustained, enhanced and delivered.

The Government’s response to the points on the historic environment can be found from paragraph 112 onwards.

View the Government response

View the House of Lords Select Committee report on the built environment

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Farewell Boleyn: Passing on significance… in footies’ historic environment

The demolition of the Boleyn Ground, former home to West Ham United Football Club, has given one lifelong Hammers fan the opportunity to have one final look around the grand old lady of London’s East End, while progress is being monitored by the local press.

See more background and more recent images

Watch the video

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England’s areas with the most listed buildings: buyers expect costs at c.50% more than area average

Real estate agent Savills has looked at 350,000 listed buildings across England to find the areas with the highest concentration of listed properties per head of population.

The company found that buyers expect to pay almost 50% more than the county and regional average in areas with the highest proportion of listed buildings. Riversmeet in the Cotswolds heads the list with 25 listed buildings per hundred residents and buyers can expect to pay more than double the county average.

View the full Telegraph story

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H&S in construction: 43 workers killed in 2015/16

Statistics from the Health & Safety Executive (H&SE) show a construction fatality rate of 1.94 per 100,000 workers, compared to 0.46 across all industries

Looking at average figures over the years of 2013/4 to 2015/6, there were around 79,000 cases of self-reported work-related illnesses (64% of which were musculo-skeletal disorders) and around 66,000 cases of self-reported non-fatal workplace injuries (most of which related to slips/trips/falls, lifting and handling, and falls from height). Overall, these led to 2.2 million lost working days.

Construction (similar to Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Accommodation and Food Services, Transport and Storage, Manufacturing and Wholesale and Retail Trade) had statistically significantly higher injury rates than for all industries.

View the full construction statistics

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Property Flood Resilience Action Plan out

An independent report has been issued relating to flood protection, aiming to help with flood resilience.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) writes:

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan will see Government and industry help people better protect their properties from flooding. 

A new, independent report launched yesterday will help people better protect their homes and businesses from risk of flooding and recover more quickly if the worst happens.

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan, chaired by Dr Peter Bonfield, brings together Government and industry and establishes an action plan to ensure property owners are better equipped to prepare for flooding and get back into homes and business sooner if it does.

The report explores:

  • the role of building regulations and certification, in encouraging use of flood resistant construction methods;
  • how rigorous independent standards can provide confidence in flood products across the industry;
  • how insurers can further increase their support for property owners installing flood resistant measures, particularly at the repair stage.

A ‘one stop shop’ advice web portal,, has been established to make it easier for people to find the most relevant information on better protecting their properties against flooding.

This advice – targeted at homeowners, business owners and third parties such as insurers – includes:

  • precautionary actions to take to better protect your property from flooding;
  • actions to take if your property is in imminent danger from flooding;
  • live flood warnings;
  • recent case studies and research.

Furthermore, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced a new consumer guide – available here – to resilient flood repair which insurers are helping to circulate.

A number of the organisations involved in the report are also already working more closely to help recently flooded homeowners – with the Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), part of Business in the Community, setting up flood advisory services in three local authorities hit by flooding last winter.

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said:  The impact of flooding on people’s lives is not just financial, it can be emotionally devastating. This new action plan brings business and government together so it will be easier for people to take action to better protect themselves and their properties.  Our unprecedented £2.5 billion investment in flood defences will better protect 300,000 properties from floods by 2021. But property-level measures are key to ensuring those who are unfortunate enough to suffer flooding can get back in their homes and businesses sooner and minimise the impact.

Dr Peter Bonfield said:  The Action Plan will help to give people and businesses the means to reduce the chances of their lives and livelihoods being disrupted by flooding. This is about both stopping the floodwaters getting in, and speeding recovery when it does.  This action plan goes hand in hand with other recent announcements, like the broader National Flood Resilience Review. Both help ensure the country is better prepared for future flood events.

Director General of the Association of British Insurers, Huw Evans, said:  Being flooded is horribly traumatic, not only because of the immediate devastation, but because drying out and repairing badly affected properties can take so long. In the wake of last winter’s floods insurers offered those affected practical help in applying for government grants and arranging for resilient repair works.  We will continue to work with the Government, Environment Agency and others on how to encourage more people to flood-proof their homes and businesses, so people can get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said:  Flooding is a devastating experience for those it affects, and this report highlights the need to use a mosaic of measures to help communities improve their own risk and resilience and take appropriate action.  No one body or organisation can reduce risk entirely, and people need to be aware of the risk they are facing, sign up for warnings and take steps to protect themselves.  We know there are challenges as to why these measures have not been taken up – but working with members of the insurance industry and our partners, we want to empower people to take up measures that can help them address the impact that flooding has on their lives and livelihoods.

The Property Flood Resilience Action Plan was a collaboration between central government, the Environment Agency, insurers, surveyors, materials producers, the legal profession and flood action groups.

It covers assistance for flood victims, small businesses, building standards and certification, and better communication to change behaviour. In all these areas, the report looked to highlight barriers and long-term solutions to better prepare the UK for flooding.

View the press release and download more information

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More than a million homes possible on brownfield land, say CPRE

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says that suitable brownfield sites in England can provide up to 1.4 million new homes.

The CPRE used the Government’s pilot brownfield register scheme to estimate that brownfield sites could provide between 1.1 and 1.4 million new homes.

CPRE looked at the data on suitable sites from 53 councils and estimated that these areas could provide 273,000 homes. Using the latest data available from 2010-2012, it found an 11% increase in the number of homes that could be provided on these sites. Applying his increase across the whole country resulted in a new estimated minimum capacity of 1.1 million homes.

It also used another methodology to extrapolate the figures from the pilot register based on their rural/urban classification. Together with the London Land Commission’s data, this gave a minimum estimate of 1.4 million homes.

View the CPRE’s news story

View the CPRE’s Housing capacity on suitable brownfield land report

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English local authorities paid out nearly £12m in costs over lost planning appeals

Daniel Watney LLP gathered the data from Freedom of Information requests sent to the UK’s 418 principal local authorities.

The property consultancy asked the authorities for the cost of appeal proceedings between 2010/11 and 2015/16. Cornwall Council paid out the highest amount with £981,322 while Poole Council had the most cost decisions made against it.

View the full story on The Planner

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BBC features Heritage Crime

The BBC reported in September on how police forces in England have teamed up with heritage experts to crack down on gangs stealing valuable metal from churches and historic buildings.

The BBC writes:

Officers are working with Historic England to inspect scrapyards where thieves might try to sell lucrative metals such as lead and copper.  They say some dealerships are failing to carry out checks when they are offered metal for sale.  It is estimated that the thefts cost the country as much as £770m a year….

… The Local Government Association estimates metal thefts – of materials including electricity cables, railway lines, war memorials, road signs, children’s playground equipment and church roofs – cost the country as much as £770m a year…

Dealers who operate without a licence face prosecution – with fines of up to £1,000, limits on trading hours and the possibility of being shut down. 

read more….

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IHBC’s ‘Top HESPR tender pick of the week’: HE’s ‘Listed Buildings Owners Survey’ 2016: closing 2 December

HESPR_QAThe IHBC’s commercial conservation services listing, HESPR – the Historic Environment Service Providers Recognition scheme – offers weekly HESPR Bulletins that bring tender opportunities together into one handy place, and the Director’s top pick for IHBC members this week features a survey, funded by Historic England, of owners of listed buildings, with bidding for the work closing on 2 December and no value stated.

IHBC Chair James Caird said: ‘Our weekly Bulletin of current tender notifications to HESPR members is an innovative service that supports commercial conservation businesses that work to the IHBC’s standards and expectations.  These weekly selections offer the wider heritage world a regular insight into the conservation profession that we hope combine good news, sector profile and service inspiration all in one.’ 

Top tender pick of the week:

The IHBC Director’s top pick from the HESPR Bulletin for this week comes from Historic England which is looking to undertake the following work:

‘Survey of listed home owners, the largest group of heritage custodians. Through the survey we hope to understand the challenges owners face and how best the heritage sector can respond to owners’ needs, including assessing owner’s experiences of the planning system, their dealings with insurance, how frequently they undertake maintenance of their property, where they go for advice / the utility of Historic England’s advice, and issues surrounding the buying and selling of their listed property. This year we are also keen to understand the extent to which residential listed properties are used for commercial purposes as well.’

Find out more about the opportunity

For more on HESPR and how to become a HESPR member see

HESPR flyerDownload the HESPR flyer

For a free promotion of your tendering opportunities and work needs to the IHBC’s HESPR members, please send details and links to Joanna at, as soon as possible.

Tenders can also be advertised for a fee with IHBC Jobs etc, including a targeted email to 1700 recipients as well as full coverage on our Newsblog alerts and social platforms (membership and followers c.14,000) and websites with 250,000 visits a month. Contact Joanna at

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Heritage Counts 2016 surveys the state of play in England’s heritage care… with IHBC’s help: LBCs rise but HE staffing doesn’t – so now more than 10 years of decline in HE services

heritagecounts2016Indicators in the latest Heritage Counts survey of England’s Historic Environment show that Listed Building Consent (LBC) applications are an increasing proportion of all applications submitted while, using data collected by the IHBC among others, overall local authority historic environment staff capacity continues to decline.

Graphs courtesy Historic England, Heritage Counts 2016

The latest indicators provide an insight into the state of the historic environment over more than 10 years, giving irrefutable trend data that documents the decline in conservation and archaeology services.

Data is organised by the five strategic priorities of Heritage 2020 and is accompanied by easy-to-use statistics in Excel spreadsheets showing year-on-year changes in the historic environment to be tracked at national, regional and (where possible) local level. There are spreadsheets for Discovery, identification and understanding; Constructive conservation and sustainable management; Public engagement; Capacity building; and Helping things to happen.

The key findings for 2016 include:

  • Listed Building Consent applications are an increasing proportion of all applications submitted to planning authorities
  • Local Authority historic environment staff capacity continues to decline
  • Historic properties continue to attract large numbers of visitors
  • Membership to heritage organisations has grown considerably in the past year
  • Heritage is becoming more inclusive.

View the indicator data

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IHBC update for trustees on Year 1 of ‘CP20’: our Corporate Plan for 2015-20

The IHBC is making available to members the National Office report to trustees on progress in delivering the current Corporate Plan, ‘CP20’, at the end of the first of its five-year life.

IHBC Chair James Caird said: ‘It’s important that members of the Institute are able to see the progress that is being made on their behalf. Our ARM (‘Action – Report – Monitor’) helps trustees deliver what we said we would in the Corporate Plan adopted at our AGM in 2015.’

‘It has been a challenging year with substantial changes in personnel, including staff and as well as volunteers, but I am delighted to see considerable success, including the appointment of our Support Officer, Carla Pianese and her invaluable work with IHBC Branches and events.’

‘One important focus in the coming year is to address delays in the planned measure of the IHBC’s impact on the sector, our ‘20-20 Survey’, which should be resolved in the coming months.’

IHBC Director Seán O’Reilly said: ‘Of course the simple design and succinct summaries in the update is mostly about offering high-level oversight on progress on CP20 to trustees at their regular, two-monthly or so meetings.  So please do recognise the need for acronyms and brevity in these circumstances.’

‘If you really want to see what your institute is doing for you on the ground, all you need do is keep up to date on what’s happening through our NewsBlogs service.’

Download the Year 1 update on CP20

For the AGM adoption of CP20 see the NewsBlogs

For regular background and updates on progress see the IHBC’s NewsBlog service and sign up for a free membership taster, of 6 months of IHBC NewsBlogs

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Government rejects calls from HOL Select Committee for a Chief Built Environment Adviser and community right of appeal

Recommendations, by the House of Lords (HOL) Select Committee on the Built Environment, for the creation of Chief Built Environment Adviser and a community right of appeal have been rejected by the Government.

The recommendations were part of a Select Committee report that considered the development and implementation of national policy for the built environment.

The House of Lords Select Committee had said that one of the critical elements missing from national policy for the built environment was the urgent need for much greater co-ordination and integration across the multiple built environment-related Government departments.

The Committee had said that the built environment cut across a number of central Government departments but had found that an integrated policy was missing. It recommended the appointment of a Chief Built Environment Adviser to deliver long-term coordination across central Government departments, to act as a champion for higher standards and to promote good practice across and beyond Government.

However, the Government said that strong policy co-ordination already existed, some of which was covered by the Chief Planner (although it would consider looking at developing this role rather than creating a new senior position).

Another recommendation was for the introduction of a community right of appeal in certain specified circumstances (such as when a planning decision conflicts with an emerging neighbourhood plan) as this would discourage speculative or unsustainable development.

However, the Government said it believed that the current system, combined with a new provision (that a local planning authority needed to demonstrate it had considered any conflict between a recommendation and the neighbourhood plan), provided sufficient opportunity for communities to contribute to planning decisions

View the Government’s full response

View the Planning Portal news story

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Parliamentary review: Call for Evidence – Basement Development

A call for evidence on basement developments has been issued as part of the parliamentary review of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (closing date of 16 December).

The Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCLG) writes:

In response to further concerns raised during parliamentary consideration of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, the government committed to a ‘review of the planning law and regulations which relate to basement developments’.

This Call for Evidence takes forward this commitment. It seeks evidence on the number of basement developments being taken forward: how these developments are currently dealt with through the planning system; and whether any adverse impacts of such developments could be further mitigated through the planning process.

View the call for evidence and see more details on how to respond

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World’s first flow assembly line to be transformed with £2m HLF grant

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded initial support of £2m, including development funding of £161,200, to revitalise ‘The Long Shop’ and transform the site into a beacon of industrial heritage.

Museums and Heritage writes:

The Long Shop in Leiston was established in 1853 for the manufacture of portable steam engines and its assembly line area was called ‘The Long Shop’ on account of its length. It put into motion a process now used by industries across the globe, and the building is a hidden gem in the heart of East Suffolk, which has survived in its near original condition for 163 years.

Now, as part of a planned restoration project, fresh life will be breathed into the Victorian factory buildings as part of an overall project to showcase the museum’s unique collections, improve facilities and thereby attract new audiences and visitors from within and beyond the region.

Alongside vital repairs, the project will help provide an enhanced visitor experience with new activities: the creation of a reminiscence café; a community hub; and a Youth Shed where young people can gain basic engineering skills and find inspiration in the achievements of manufacturer Richard Garrett, his descendants and those who worked at the site.

New displays will feature the Museum’s own extensive collections – from sickles to steam engines – and draw on the Garrett Archive at Suffolk Record Office to explore the history of industry and science, tell the stories of the workers and reveal more about the lives of the Garrett family – including Elizabeth Garrett who became the first woman in Britain to qualify as a doctor.

‘Repairing, restoring and renewing the Long Shop will unlock its unrealised potential as a unique and brilliant place which continues to generate interest, understanding and pride in our industrial and engineering heritage amongst people of all ages and from all walks of life,’ said Anna Mercer, Curator at the Long Shop Museum, which was recently awarded the Family Friendly Museum of the Year’ at the Suffolk Museum of the Year Awards.

read more….

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Solar farm rejected due to impact on local character and appearance

Communities Secretary says the five megawatt solar power farm in Lincolnshire would represent ‘substantial harm to the character and appearance of the countryside, both alone and cumulatively’.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid has dismissed an appeal over a development for ground-mounted photovoltaic solar arrays near Spalding.

In addition to affecting the character and appearance of the countryside, other reasons include the impact on the local landscape, that it should be seen in conjunction with another nearby solar farm and the impact on the heritage significance of the nearby Grade II Listed farm and house (even though there would only be a minor impact).

The decision said the Secretary of State paid special regard to the ‘desirability of preserving those listed buildings potentially affected by the appeal scheme or their settings or any features of special architectural or historic interest which they may possess.’

View the decision letter

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Tower of London’s heritage status at risk from City towers: Historic Royal Palaces

Building magazine reports that Historic Royal Palaces is ‘extremely alarmed’ at the impact of tall buildings planned for the area around the Tower and that the site’s World Heritage status increasingly under threat.

Building writes:

The charity responsible for the Tower of London, Historic Royal Palaces, has said it is increasingly concerned about the number of skyscrapers planned for the City of London’s Leadenhall area.

The area contains the Cheesegrater and Gherkin buildings and the nearby Heron Tower, with at least four others planned, including the 310m tall 1 Undershaft tower that will be the City’s tallest.

Building magazine quotes a Historic Royal Palaces’ letter commenting on plans for 1 Leadenhall Street that was sent to City of London planners, which said ‘[Our] principal concern regarding tall buildings in the vicinity of the Tower of London World Heritage Site is their potential visual impact on the wider setting of the WHS and, particularly, on protected views of the Tower. Historic Royal Palaces is extremely alarmed by the steady build-up in both density and height of the Eastern Quarter to which the proposed development at 1 Leadenhall Street would contribute.’

read more….. (paid content)

Read more at bdonline

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Practice opinion update: The ‘useless’ requirements of ‘CE’ marking

In a presentation to the Men of Stones group, Maurice Rogers talks about stone testing and takes issue with the regimes required by ‘CE’ marking, CE being the abbreviation of the French phrase ‘Conformité Européene’, or ‘European Conformity’, a declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European health, safety and environmental protection legislation.

CE Marking for stone became a legal obligation in the UK and throughout Europe from 1 July 2013. However, Rogers believes that the current regime of testing for CE marking, and how the results are presented, may mislead architects and their clients.

View the full Stone Specialist story

View the BRE’s ‘Guide to testing and CE Marking requirements for natural stone’

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Harlech Castle shortlisted for civil engineering award: Voting closes 30 November

The Visitor Centre and Footbridge project at Harlech Castle has been nominated to become the UK’s most popular civil engineering project, with voting closing on 30 November.

Winner of the Institution of Civil Engineers Wales Cymru’s Heritage Award, the project is one of 12 schemes available for the Institution’s People’s Choice Award. The winning project will be announced in January 2017.

The new visitor centre and apartments at the 13th century Castle were created by restoring, conserving and extending the Victorian building and linking it to the castle gatehouse via a pedestrian footbridge.

See the full story

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Leith ‘banana flats’ could be listed

Made famous in Irvine Welsh’s ‘Trainspotting’ book, Edinburgh’s so-called ‘banana flats’ could receive ‘listed’ status.

Cables Wynd House (known as the ‘banana flats’ due to their curved shape) and the neighbouring Linksview House are both largely owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. A proposal to consider the properties for listing has found that they may meet the criteria to be category A listed, however Historic Environment Scotland wants to consult with residents as part of the process.

Historic Environment Scotland’s Deputy Head of Listing, Dawn McDowell said: ‘A key aim of listing is to recognise the special architectural importance of these buildings as well as celebrating and sharing their wider social and cultural role.’

View the full story

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IHBC NI Branch Chair’s 2016 ‘Yearbook’ article, on the heritage ‘nudge’, now on IHBC’s Conservation Wiki

built_heritage_at_risk_niThe IHBC 2016 Yearbook article on ‘Nudge theory’ by IHBC Northern Ireland (NI) Branch Chair Andrew McClelland, is featured on the IHBC’s Conservation Wiki platform, again helping extend the reach of your institute’s heritage-related advocacy into mainstream construction work and practice.

(Image courtesty of Andrew McClelland)

Extracts from Andrew McClelland’s Yearbook article include:

The publication of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness’, in 2008 popularised nudging as a policy tool. In 2010 the UK coalition government established the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), colloquially known as the ‘Nudge Unit’, within the Cabinet Office to apply the theory to public policy and services (see www.behaviouralinsights. Backed by political leaders such as David Cameron and Barack Obama, similar initiatives have been undertaken in the US, mainland Europe and elsewhere, indicating widespread interest in innovative approaches to governance in a constrained financial climate….

For non-governmental organisations, for example, the sustained focus of the BIT on giving and social action may provide lessons on improving fundraising in a difficult financial climate. Other examples might include brokering ‘neighbourhood agreements’ with local residents to increase participation in conservation area management, encouraging owners of historic buildings to avoid major repair bills by carrying out essential maintenance, and promoting the use of appropriate materials and skills. Nonetheless, these could be considered relatively ‘soft’ interventions compared to the daily activities of conservation officers, particularly in local authorities where enforcement and other planning functions are retained….’

You can help populate the IHBC’s Conservation wiki resource by registering and contributing your knowledge and experience to the service simply by signing in, after you have registered,  and submitting your content, just like Wikipedia.

See the full article

Find out more about the IHBCs 2016 Yearbook and the Yearbook publications

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