Last chances for Norwich 2015 – discover the diversity of conservation today!

Norwich QuaysideAny prospective delegates to the IHBC’s 2015 School now have a last chance to book for the Day School, so if you are interested in see what’s happing in conservation today, this will be your best opportunity until 2016 in Worcester!

For details see Norwich 2015

For other attractions that delegates can tie in to the School see also the notice on ‘Francis Bacon and the masters’

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Tweeters, bloggers, Instagrammers + YouTubers – IHBC needs you at the Norwich School and beyond!

If you are an IHBC member who is keen on social networking, and are attending the Norwich annual school, why not volunteer to join in with the digital storytelling activities around the school, documenting your experiences and sharing them; it’s great experience for your profile and even as CPD!

Last year the IHBC piloted digital storytelling at the Edinburgh school, and created resources that shared the outputs of attendees.  This year we plan on doing that too, and more, and would love you to join in.

Alison McCandlish, IHBC’s NewsBlogs consultant will be on hand to help you out during the school, and we would like to share.

Some examples of what you could do include:

  • Tweet something from the conference presentations
  • Use the annual school ‘hashtag’ (#) to comment on your experiences #IHBCNorwich
  • Volunteer to take part in a video, speaking about how you are finding the conference experience
  • Video some of your tours then upload to YouTube or Vine
  • Take photographs whilst exploring Norwich
  • Interview a colleague and post it on Audioboom/ Soundcloud (then perhaps tweet it using #IHBCNorwich, or email the NewsBlog team at so we can share it)
  • Update your LinkedIn profile with conference highlights and join in discussions on IHBC’s LinkedIn group
  • Add to the IHBC’s Facebook Timeline
  • Like and share things which people post online
  • Write a blog about your time at the summer school
  • make new heritage professional connections virtually as well as in person.

For ideas and examples from last year, have a look at the ‘Storify’ summaries containing member contributions from Edinburgh and Orkney.

To take part

If you are interested in taking part, please email or simply join in on the day.

View Storify highlights which IHBC have produced over the last year

Annual school information

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IHBC’s ‘CP20’: Final version for 2015 AGM

On June 3 IHBC trustees adopted the final version of the IHBC’s Corporate Plan for 2015-20 – our ‘CP20’ – for approval at the 2015 AGM in Norwich.

IHBC President Trefor Thorpe, who will chair the AGM on 19 June, said: ‘Detailed drafts of our new corporate plan – CP20 – have been in circulation across the membership and beyond since the December, taking themes that build on the extensive member consultations carried out last year especially, but also before then.’

‘Given the emphasis in CP20 on building on the success of the outgoing corporate plan for 2010-15 – ‘CP10’ – we’re confident that members will be content to adopt this final version as our working document for the next five years.’

IHBC Corporate Plan 2015-20 (‘CP20′) for adoption 19 June 2015

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Churches Conservation Trust wins at Europa Nostra Awards

The Churches Conservation Trust has won Grand Prix laureate recognition at the prestigious Europa Nostra Awards at the ceremony in Oslo this week.

Europa Nostra writes:
The winners of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards 2015 were celebrated this evening during a high-profile event at Oslo City Hall.  The European Heritage Awards Ceremony was co-hosted by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Denis de Kergorlay, Executive President of Europa Nostra, on behalf of the President of the organisation, Placido Domingo, who unfortunately had to cancel his attendance due to family circumstances. The Maestro sent a special message to congratulate the 30 winners.

The event was honoured by the presence of HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway. The Mayor of Oslo Fabian Stang and the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Tine Sundtoft welcomed an audience of 600 heritage professionals, volunteers and supporters from all over Europe. The entire ceremony was live streamed on the Europa Nostra YouTube channel.

During the ceremony, the seven Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner, chosen from among this year’s winning projects, were announced.

The seven Grand Prix laureates, selected by independent juries and entitled to receive €10,000 each, are:

  • Category Conservation?? Liszt Academy Of Music In Budapest, Hungary?? Salt Valley Of Añana, Basque Country, Spain?? Armenian Church Of St. Giragos In Diyarbakir, Turkey
  • Category Research And Digitization ?? Wonders Of Venice: Virtual Online Treasures In St. Mark’s Area, Italy?Category Dedicated Service ?? Rundling Association, Jameln, Germany?? Churches Conservation Trust, London, United Kingdom
  • Category Education, Training And Awareness-Raising ?? Programme For Owners Of Rural Buildings In Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia

The Public Choice Award, chosen in an online poll conducted by Europa Nostra, goes to the conservation of the Nuragic Sculptures of Monte Prama in Sardinia, Italy.

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards was presented to 28 winners from 15 countries taking part in the EU Creative Europe programme. Europa Nostra Awards were also given to two projects from European countries not taking part in that programme, namely Armenia and Russia.

In his special message for the laureates of the awards Europa Nostra’s President Placido Domingo stated: ‘We celebrate your talents and skills and we honour your vision and courage. Each of you has made a real difference! Each of you has shown the way to be followed by others across Europe, and indeed across the globe.’ He added: ‘The time has come for Europe – both for the European Union and the Council of Europe – to develop hand in hand an ambitious strategy for Cultural Heritage, in close partnership wíth and active participation of civil society. It is our shared goal to continue building the policy momentum for heritage in Europe. 2018 will – we all hope – be the European Year of Cultural Heritage.’

EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics stated: ‘Since 2002, with the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, the European Commission and Europa Nostra have celebrated exceptional examples of conservation, research, education, training and awareness-raising of Europe’s cultural heritage. This year the choice was particularly challenging. The quality and diversity of the projects highlight once more the high levels of skills and dedication which characterise Europe’s heritage sector. The value of heritage is not only symbolic; it has a positive impact on economic growth, social cohesion and the quality of life in our regions and cities. We should therefore keep supporting the heritage sector, also for the benefit of future generations. I congratulate all the winners, and especially the Grand Prix laureates and the Public Choice Award winner.’

IHBC Awards etc 

View the full press release including judges comments 

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Getting Houses Built – CPRE investigates land banking

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has released a new report this week which aims to investigate the land banking of sites, the research concludes that the ‘nine largest housing developers have 314,000 housing plots in strategic land banks’ and suggests that Local Authorities are given more powers to address this.

CPRE writes:
A new research paper from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) argues that giving local authorities greater powers could greatly increase the number of suitable housing sites being brought forward for development.

The paper, Getting houses built, argues that the focus on profitability within the current housebuilding sector, dominated by a small number of volume builders, is dictating supply but not meeting need. This focus has adversely affected the location and build-out rates of new housing. Greenfield land is being targeted for its ease and lower risk, while suitable brownfield land nearby remains unused and too few affordable homes are built.

In analysing the sector, the report finds that the nine largest volume housebuilders have long-term strategic land banks of 314,000 housing plots . CPRE acknowledges that private developers have a duty to their shareholders over national housing targets, but this figure indicates the need to reform the current system to accelerate the supply of homes in the right places.

Following the recent Government announcements on the Right to Build and a new register of brownfield sites, the paper suggests a number of options that could empower local authorities to accelerate house building. It suggests that authorities could be given ‘use it or lose it’ measures if permissioned land is not developed quickly; that authorities could learn from European land acquisition models and use reformed Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to acquire land suitable for housing at existing use value; and that authorities could levy council tax on housing that is unfinished two years after the granting of planning permission.

In further recommendations, the paper suggests that smaller sites, often on brownfield land, must be more regularly identified, as currently just eight per cent of sites securing planning permission are smaller developments. All land (including that held ‘in option’, or strategic banks) should also be compulsorily registered. 

Getting houses built is the fourth paper in the Housing Foresight series for CPRE.

Luke Burroughs, author and research and policy advisor at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), comments: ‘The need for volume builders to seek high levels of profitability limits the amount of new housing. It also delays the delivery of new houses and increases the likelihood of new housing being built in less suitable locations. Large scale greenfield sites are forced through the planning system with new housing slowly drip-fed onto the market, while suitable brownfield land remains undeveloped. This leaves our countryside under threat and urban areas in need of regeneration.

‘If we are to reach targets of 200,000 homes per annum or more, local authorities must be empowered in the development process. Improving transparency in land ownership and viability assessments would greatly boost residential development. Local authorities can also help small-scale builders develop suitable smaller sites by doing more to identify and earmark these sites for development.’

Download the report

View the news release

IHBC newsblogs on housing

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Local lighting discussions in Fife

The opinions of a planning committee on historic lighting columns has been the subject of debate at a recent meeting of Fife Council recently, with the local newspaper (the Courier) has reported on the committee decisions.

The retention of historic lamp posts and lighting was considered important by the committee members, 9 objections were received, and an application for new columns was refused contrary to officer recommendation.

The committee report minutes state:
(the committee) requested that Transportation & Environment Services consult with community representatives and local ward members on styles of lighting columns for future replacement programmes (source: application 15/00499/FULL report page 79)

View details of other historic lighting projects which Fife Council have carried out (funded by HLF, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and the Council)

View the Courier newspaper article

View the committee report and minutes

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Durham CC in judicial review over development plan

Durham County Council (CC) has lodged Judicial Review papers at Leeds High Court over the judgement made against County Durham Plan.

Durham County Council writes:
Statement from Ian Thompson, corporate director of regeneration and economic development: ‘Following a constructive meeting with the Planning Inspectorate we had hoped there would be further examination in public hearing sessions to explore the points we referred to in our letter to the inspector.

‘Consequently, it came as a disappointment that the Planning Inspector has now declined to reopen the examination so that our concerns can be fully explored in the public domain. The impartial advice we have received since the inspector’s report was published supports our commitment to the soundness of the Plan’s forecasts for job creation and homes. We maintain the Plan offers the best prospect for economic growth and a once in a generation opportunity to see our county deliver on its potential to safeguard the sort of life we want every resident to have the opportunity to strive for.

‘We have explored every option and opportunity in our efforts to demonstrate this, which has included employing independent planning experts to review our business-backed predictions for growth.

‘We now have no choice but to pursue this matter through the courts by way of a Judicial Review. This is not a decision we take lightly. This is not the position we hoped to be in.’

View the statement and associated documents 

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WG Seeks nominations for High Street heroes

The Welsh Government (WG) asks if you know of a business in Wales that which offers outstanding professional services, or carries out excellent community services as, if so, nominations are now open for the High Street Heroes awards, with a deadline of 10 August.

The Welsh Government writes:
People across Wales are encouraged to celebrate the businesses and individuals which make the biggest contribution to their vibrant local high streets by nominating them for a prestigious new national award. 

The High Street Heroes awards are part of the Support Your High Street campaign, which showcases the vast range of shops and services available on Wales’ diverse high streets and town centres.

Businesses and services can be nominated in one or more of six categories: food & drink; fashion, health & beauty; leisure, home & garden; professional & financial services; eating out on the high street; and community service provider.  People are also encouraged to nominate their overall High Street Hero – an individual deserving recognition for their outstanding contribution to their local high street and community.

Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, launched this year’s campaign and the new awards at Princes Café in Pontypridd, which has been in the Gambarini family for over 60 years and is now run by twin brothers David and Joe.

Lesley Griffiths said:  ‘High streets are the heart of our local communities. They offer access to vital services, support our economy and provide opportunities for people to come together to socialise.  Our High Street Heroes awards recognise the hard work and dedication of people and businesses up and down the country which are providing high-quality services and boosting their local communities.  We want to celebrate the achievements of local traders, like the Princes Café here in Pontypridd, which make an outstanding contribution to their town centres. I encourage everybody to vote for their favourites!’

The art deco café is a landmark in the town and is as popular with customers today as ever. Jo Gambarini, co-owner of the Princes Café said:  ‘We’re delighted to host the launch of the ‘Support Your High Streets’ campaign at The Princes, here in Pontypridd. It’s well known that the high streets have had to fight very hard over the last few years with increased competition, but people do want their local towns to do well and with a strong business community supported by local and national government, towns can survive and prosper.’

The café is just one of the excellent local businesses contributing to the vibrant local high street in Pontypridd, where much work is underway to regenerate the town centre. With support from the Welsh Government, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is working with building owners and businesses to deliver high quality premises in the town and enabling owners to renovate and lease empty floorspace above commercial premises to provide new homes in the town centre.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning, Cllr Robert Bevan, said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Minister to Rhondda Cynon Taf to launch this year’s Support Your High Street campaign and the High Street Heroes Awards.  Over recent years the Council has successfully attracted significant funding to regenerate our town centres and we continue to work closely with town centre businesses and traders to support and promote the wide variety of shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and much more that they each have to offer.  Last year the Council was able to fund free parking at all of our town centre car parks throughout December to support traders in the run up to Christmas and we are delighted to be extending this initiative to include free town centre parking for this year’s Support Your High Street Week in September. This will provide a further boost to town centre businesses during this important week which will raise the profile of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s unique high streets and town centres.’

Federation of Small Businesses Wales Policy Chair, Janet Jones, said: ‘High streets are at the heart of our communities, providing essential local services and creating valuable local employment.  At FSB Wales we know there are some really great businesses based on our high streets, and we hope these awards will highlight some of the excellent businesses out there and the exceptional service they provide.  There are special businesses in every town and we would urge everyone to support their local high streets and local traders.’

Voting for the High Street Heroes awards is online via the Support Your High Street Facebook page and entries close on 10 August 2015.

A shortlist of Heroes from across Wales will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will select the overall High Street Hero winner, with the winners in the business categories decided by popular vote. The winners will be announced during High Street Week, which is taking place 19-26 September 2015.

For IHBC Awards etc

Welsh Government news

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SG planning reforms?

New plans to consult on planning reform have been indicated by the Scottish Government (SG).

The Scottish Government writes:
The time is right for further improvements to the nation’s planning system, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil will underline at a planning conference in Edinburgh…

10 years since planning reform began with the publication of a white paper, Mr Neil will soon announce plans to consult on further reforms to the planning system.  The Scottish Government wants to improve and streamline development planning and housing delivery and this is expected to be a focus of a national discussion in the coming year.

New advice to improve planning for infrastructure and housing across Scotland is set to be unveiled towards the end of the year.

Delivering the keynote address at the Scottish Planning Policy Conference, Mr Neil will say: ‘Modern planning policy can make a real difference to the places where people live and work. Much has been achieved in the past 10 years, which has seen major changes, for the better, in the planning system.  But I recognise that more needs to be done to deliver on our aspirations for a high performing planning system. The vision of a truly inclusive planning system is best served by continuous improvement of existing procedure and systems, led by innovative approaches to stakeholder engagement.  I will work with all those involved in the planning system to develop proposals for further reforms in more detail, later this year.’

View the news release

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Adam’s Athlone House plans thrown out – again

House in Highgate have been rejected by a planning inspector. The inspector said the plan to replace the Victorian villa with a new, classically inspired eight-bedroom mega-mansion would have been out of place with other buildings in the area.

Architects Journal article

Planning Portal Blog

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House the Nation – radical new approach proposed

Two organisations (TCPA and APSE) have authored a joint report on meeting housing needs in a Local Authority context, calling for a new approach by the government towards investing in social housing. 

The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) writes:
APSE and the TCPA have called for a radical new approach to renew the quality and availability of social housing in the UK. Following publication of a joint research report ‘Housing the Nation: Ensuring councils can deliver more and better homes’ they argue that by investing in social housing the new Government can help to convert housing benefits into bricks; create a new basis for social housing renewal, and bring jobs, skills and regeneration to local communities.

Whilst in the post war years the public and private sector achieved the delivery of over 300,000 new homes per year, with around 90,000 of those homes being built by local councils, since the late 1970’s figures have dramatically declined. In 2013 just over 2000 new council homes were delivered with only a 1,000 of those new council houses being built in England. The report also finds that over four decades successive governments have had to meet increasingly larger bills for housing benefit payments, whilst neglecting to address the root cause of rent increases, which is the lack of supply of social housing.

The research also found that 53% of local authorities surveyed from across England identified the viability test in the National Planning Policy Framework as negatively impacting on their ability to deliver affordable and social homes, compared with just 14% who felt the viability test helped. These figures suggest that the UK Government should reframe the viability test in a more balance way. Over two thirds of council’s surveyed also stated that their dominant model of delivering social and affordable housing is currently through the planning process via developer contributions which raises serious questions for the new Government about whether the developer-contribution model of funding social and affordable housing, via planning obligations, remains a policy objective, and if not, where is the replacement investment going to come from.

Speaking at the launch of the report, which explored housing issues on a UK wide basis Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of APSE said ‘We should not underestimate the impact of lack of supply of social housing on market rents. This adds pressure to both local and central government finances. To rebalance the social housing market we need an ambitious programme of bringing new social housing schemes to fruition. Local councils need to be at the heart of delivering new high quality and affordable homes for rent. It is possible to achieve this but we need Westminster to share that ambition.’

Kate Henderson, Chief executive of the TCPA added ‘The new Government has an enormous opportunity to help ensure councils can once again play a full and active role in planning, delivering and managing social and affordable homes. This will require strong political leadership, a progressive planning framework, genuinely empowering local authorities, reversing recent deregulatory changes, and enabling councils to borrow to build.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations including:-

  • A call on the UK Government to forge a lasting cross-party consensus that local authorities are a key part of the solution to the housing crisis, providing clear leadership to encourage councillors, and their authorities, to think boldly and in the long term and for local councils to ensure that social and affordable housing is included in the Local Plan process.
  • Councils should play a stronger role in co-ordinating land assembly and planning, acting as lead developer, to drive delivery. Where councils own land they should explore creative opportunities to bring it forward and when releasing public sector land, Government should coordinate between Government departments and agencies and empower councils to decide how best to facilitate development in their area.
  • The expansion of combined authorities in England is a major opportunity to recreate effective strategic planning for housing.  Government should play a role in this process by ensuring combined authorities can adopt strategic spatial plans with statutory weight and that the scope, timescales and content of such plans allows them to best support local planning and coordinate cross border relationships with other city regions and combined authorities.
  • The UK Government must amend the viability test in the National Planning Policy Framework ensuring it is more balanced and allows for the consideration of economic data on the cost and benefits to the public sector and the wider economy of new social and affordable housing and should reverse the central deregulation of permitted development.
  • The UK Government should reverse the recent changes which exempt developments of 10 homes or less from section 106 affordable housing contributions and cancel the recently introduced Vacant Building Credit.
  • Councils should seize the have an opportunity to become the ‘landlord of choice’ ensuring that they ‘build, maintain, improve’ local housing and coordinate housing services with other council services such as health, education and social care.
  • The UK Government should lift the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap which would significantly increase local authorities’ ability to deliver new social and affordable homes and re-visit the issue as to whether investment in housing should be part of the public sector borrowing requirement (PSBR). As APSE has consistently called for and the Association of Retained Council Housing and National Federation of ALMOs highlight ‘there is a strong case for reforming public borrowing rules to classify such borrowing separately, as is the practice elsewhere in Europe as well as by the IMF, and exempting it from the deficit reduction strategy.’
  • Government should review the overall Right to Buy policy so that Right to Buy enables councils, ALMOs and Registered Providers/ Housing Associations to genuinely invest in one-for-one replacement of social housing. Alongside this measure the UK Government should review the New Homes Bonus scheme.
  • The Government needs to support the expansion of the construction industry, recognising the current capacity constraints on delivery due to factors such as the availability of skilled and unskilled workers, equipment and raw materials.  Local authorities can also play an important role in expanding the sector through apprenticeships. 

View the news release and download the report

IHBC newsblogs on housing

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Street parties, fun and games: new funding + neighbourhood play

Following last week’s newsblog on Civic Day events, members may be interested to know that ‘playful community’ events are also in the news, with The Scottish Government announcing funding to support community events such as street parties, and the Guardian reports on ‘chalk our streets’ and giant aqua play slides.

The Scottish Government writes:
A project that last year encouraged over 400,000 Scottish people to share lunch with their neighbours has been awarded Scottish Government funding to help more communities be involved in this year’s events.

Big Lunch Scotland will receive almost £50,000 to give communities the chance to apply for a grant that could go towards food, insurance, outdoor games or furniture to host their own get-together.

From now until September, communities who may have faced barriers to taking part in the past will be able to apply for grants of up to £150.  The Big Lunch is the Eden Project’s annual UK-wide event aimed at building community spirit and getting neighbours talking. While events kick off on June 7, communities are encouraged to run events throughout the summer.  In addition, the Scottish Government funding will also offer grants of up to £500 to help support participants of the Big Lunch Extra Programme develop ideas in their community such as cookery classes, babysitting services or community cinemas.

Minister for Community Empowerment Marco Biagi met with Edinburgh and Midlothian Big Lunch organisers and their neighbours to officially open the new funding schemes.

He said: ‘Around 400,000 Scottish people – including me – took part in The Big Lunch last year, and I hope the Scottish Government’s funding boost of nearly £50,000 will make it possible for even more people to take part over the summer.  We’re often guilty of not making enough time to get to know the people who live next door to us, never mind the ones who live down the street. The Big Lunch is a simple way to reconnect with our neighbours and is having a powerful impact on communities.  From the people I’ve met who have attended Big Lunches in the past it’s clear to see the benefits of this annual event. People feel more involved their community, they have a stronger sense of community spirit and they feel less isolated.  The Scottish Government recognises the importance of empowering communities and giving them the confidence to shape their own futures. These grants will remove financial barriers and will make sure everyone has an opportunity to be involved in The Big Lunch.’

Feedback from the 2014 Big Lunch found that 97 per cent of people who took part would recommend the event to their friends, and 84 per cent said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood.

Emily Watts, Campaign Manager for The Big Lunch in Scotland, said: ‘We always say that you don’t need much money to hold a Big lunch when everyone brings something to the table and that is still true – but there are times when a small amount of help can mean the difference between your community getting involved and not.

‘To be eligible you need to be able to tell us how you would use the grant to enable your community or street to take part, and what barriers it would help to overcome. For existing Big Lunch participants, you must be able to tell us how you will engage a new section of the community with the grant.’

View the Scottish Government news article

View more information on the UK wide ‘Big Lunch’ event

View the Guardian article on ‘playable cities’

Guardian news on ‘chalkify your city’

IHBC newsblogs article on Civic day

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RTPI bursaries for ‘future planners’

The RTPI has developed a new bursary scheme to help the planners of tomorrow, which will help those who wish to study planning at Masters level

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) writes:
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is launching a Future Planners bursary scheme, initially with 16 universities from across the UK and Ireland, to encourage more students, particularly from related subjects such as law and geography, to study planning at Masters level. The scheme is also generously supported by a number of employers.

For 2015, students can apply for a bursary worth £1,000, co-funded by the RTPI and the participating university, and sponsored by a number of leading employers of planning graduates, including Atkins, Bilfinger GVA and Quod. More universities and sponsors are expected to join the scheme.

A recent survey by the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that 71.3% of architecture, planning and building graduates find work within six months of graduating, making it the fourth most successful degree subject for finding work after completion.

Janet Askew, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute(RTPI) said  ‘Planning is a multi-faceted and rewarding career. Having lectured and worked internationally, I know that British planning schools and the planners they educate are well respected around the world and held in high professional esteem.  RTPI accredited planning schools offer high quality education which stands their graduates in good stead to work anywhere in the world. There has never been a better time to become a planner with its exciting and challenging issues.’

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:  ‘Planning is a hugely important area, spanning from protecting our heritage buildings and wonderful countryside, to providing for current and future housing and business needs, supporting growth and promoting great design. Right across the country planners work at the cutting edge of shaping how the country will look in future.  This is why we need to keep encouraging talent into the planning profession, which can only ever be as good as the people who work in it. I warmly welcome the RTPI’s introduction of their bursary scheme, which will draw some of the best and brightest graduates to continuing their studies into planning at master’s degree level.’

Joanne Farrar from Atkins, a leading planning, engineering and environmental consultancy and scheme sponsor said:   ‘Atkins is very pleased to support the RTPI bursary scheme this year. We are committed to making our dynamic and diverse profession an attractive career option to current and future generations.   We are also passionate about helping to provide exciting employment opportunities for the UK’s young people so we can continue to attract the best talent to the profession and help plan the communities of the future.’

Nick Harrison, Director and Graduate Champion at Bilfinger GVA, one of the largest commercial property advisers operating throughout the UK and Ireland said:  ‘Education is the bedrock of social progress and economic development. By encouraging the best graduates to pursue a career in planning the profession will be better equipped to ensure sustainable economic development and a better environment. As the UK economy continues to recover the opportunities for planners will become even more diverse, and competition to recruit talented graduates will only intensify.  Career prospects for new planners are now better than ever, but this needs to be highlighted if UK planning schools are to continue to attract top graduates in the face of stiff competition from other courses. Bilfinger GVA is delighted to support the Future Planners Bursary Scheme as part of our wider commitment to nurturing talent and enhancing the reputation of the planning profession.’

Sue Willcox, Director of Quod, a planning consultancy and scheme sponsor said: ‘Quod is pleased to support the RTPI in nurturing the next generation of talented planners. Skills and knowledge are crucial to the quality of our industry. The profession is becoming attractive to young people who recognise that it is a creative and rewarding way to make a difference to society. We hope that the bursary scheme will help to attract students from a broad academic background to enter planning, to contribute to the diversity of our profession.’

Professor Nick Gallent, Head of the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London said:  ‘This is an important initiative by the RTPI and the Bartlett School of Planning is pleased to be working together with the Institute to support new planners at the very beginning of their careers.’

The following universities have signed up to the scheme: University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Cardiff University, Heriot-Watt University, Leeds Beckett University, London South Bank University, Manchester University, Newcastle University, Oxford Brookes University, Plymouth University, Queen’s Belfast University, Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University, University College Cork, University College London, University of the West of England.

Students starting on RTPI fully accredited Masters in 2015 may be eligible for a bursary if they have a first or upper second degree at undergraduate level in any discipline and demonstrate an interest in planning and a career in planning.

For more information about becoming a partner in the scheme and how to apply for a bursary visit

IHBC newsblogs on education

RTPI news

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IHBC at Leicester Skills Symposium

Leics image

Heritage CPD Symposium, Leicester

The IHBC is to contribute to thinking about heritage skills development  through its participation in a University of Leicester Heritage CPD Symposium that will take place on 8 July, as Roy Lewis presents on behalf of the Institute, while all members and colleagues are invited to attend this free event.

The University of Leicester writes:
The aim of this event is to discuss future workforce skills needs across professions working in the historic environment. The audience and participants will predominantly be from organisations and professional bodies who work in the historic environment sector. Scene setting will come from Historic England and TV Historian Michael Wood and ‘Snapshots’ on skills issues will be provided from the Planning, Archaeology, Developer, Architecture & Conservation professions.

Organisations attending will include:

  • National Trust
  • Historic England
  • Institute of Historic Building Conservation
  • Montagu Evans
  • Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Please ensure that you book your place by Friday 3 July.

Discussion points will be recorded and fed into the Heritage Practice Training Programme provided by the University of Leicester in partnership with Historic England.

Book tickets and find out more

Information on the Leicester Heritage Practice Training Courses

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WG Consultation- Developments of National Significance

The Welsh Government (WG) is consulting on the proposals relating to the introduction of a new category of application type (developments of national significance) with a closing date for responses of 12 August.

The Welsh Government writes:
This consultation seeks views on detailed proposals to establish a new system for the Welsh Ministers to process ‘Developments of National Significance’ (DNS). This is a new category of planning application. 

This consultation paper seeks views on:

  • the thresholds and criteria of what qualifies as an application for DNS
  • which secondary consents may be submitted for consideration and determination alongside an application for DNS
  • our proposals as to how pre-application notification, advice and consultation is undertaken
  • the procedure for considering and determining an application for DNS
  • our proposed fee structure for DNS applications
  • the role of local planning authorities throughout the process.

View more information on the proposals and how to respond

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Help needed – NRCN Rural crime issues survey (including heritage)

With issues surrounding heritage crime affecting the condition and maintenance of our historic building stock, you may like to consider taking part in the latest National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) project, who have has launched a nationwide survey to assess views on policing in rural areas, with a closing date of 24 June.

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) write:
The largest ever survey into crime and anti-social Behaviour (ASB) in rural areas has been launched in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to find out how the police can better serve rural communities. The survey, launched by the National Rural Crime Network, is calling for people who work or live in rural areas to come forward and give their views on policing in their community, the impact crime and ASB has on  them and their neighbours and to ultimately help shape the future of crime prevention and rural policing.

Anyone living or working in rural areas is being encouraged to take part in the survey to help build a picture of what is a widespread but often misunderstood issue.  You don’t need to have been a victim of crime to have a view on how the police work.  You may be concerned about police visibility or response, see incidents that go unreported, or you may have a local officer who is engaged and proactive.

Against a backdrop of policing budget reductions and a growing focus on higher crime areas, the new survey will assess how crime and ASB, as well as the threat of potential crime, affects individuals, both financially and emotionally. It will also shed light on the human implications of crime and the fear of crime seeking to explore the impact not just on individual victims, but also communities as a whole.

Any crime that happens in an urban area can, and does, happen in rural areas too, and how policing is delivered affects everyone living and working there.  Traditional farm-related incidents such as fuel theft and sheep rustling make up just one part of the problem; we need to understand all the other issues that affect people in our remoter areas, as well as in market towns, villages and the countryside more generally.

Chair of the NRCN, Julia Mulligan, who is also North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, commented: ‘The full scale of crime in rural areas has never before been assessed. Whilst official figures show rural crime, like crime in general, is decreasing, we are concerned about the wider implications on people and communities. The fear of crime can be as detrimental to people’s wellbeing as crimes themselves, so we are keen to find out more through this survey. Our aim is to build a clear picture of the issue to shape future delivery of services locally and nationally. By completing the survey, people can really have their say on how crime affects them and what they expect from local police and their partners involved in community safety.’

The survey, which is taking place with support from the Home Office, aims to build a body of information to improve national awareness of crime in rural areas as well as provide a clearer picture of attitudes towards crime to help inform government and local policy.  The findings will be important to ensure the human costs such as psychological impacts of crime are taken into account and police funding is spent where it is most needed, rather than simply being channelled to urban conurbations. The ultimate aim is to make rural communities safer.

While the survey will aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the scale and financial cost of crime and anti-social behaviour, it will also measure the emotional impact of crime in rural areas by asking how incidents made victims feel and the longer term effects on confidence and security.

Mulligan continued: ‘While average crime rates do tend to be higher in urban areas, tackling rural crime comes with its own specific challenges whether that be the ability of police forces to respond quickly or the scale of crimes which may go unreported. This survey is an important step towards delivering a better service to communities and making the countryside a safer place to live and work.’

The National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) is supported by 29 Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces across England and Wales. The Network, established in July 2014, includes a wide range of organisations with an interest in community safety and rural affairs such as the National Farmers Union, Historic England, Neighbourhood Watch and Crimestoppers.

View the press release and access the survey

IHBC NewsBlogs on heritage crime

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