Call for Entries: Planning Awards 2014

The 2014 Planning Awards are now open for entry, with a deadline for submissions of 22 September.

Twenty categories are available, relating to developments on the ground and best practice in built environment employment (with categories such as team of the year).

Planning writes:
The Planning Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in planning work by local authorities, consultants, developers, lawyers, voluntary and neighbourhood groups and all the other key players in the planning system.

View details of the awards and how to enter on the Planning Awards website

View other opportunities and awards at IHBC Awards etc

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Design Council launch inclusive Design Hub for the Built Environment

A new searchable web resource has recently been launched by The Design Council, which is also calling for case studies and design guidance examples to feature in the hub.

The Design Council writes:
While progress is being made, inclusive design in the built environment is still not common practice. Often the bare minimum to meet standards and regulations is all that is asked for and delivered.

Design Council is keen to work with others to address this problem in the built environment and in the wider design world. Building on previous CABE work we hope this resource hub will be helpful for built environment professionals. It covers buildings and outdoor spaces, in all phases of development including planning, design and construction, right through to the management of those buildings and places. It is a collection of resources and we do not promote the use of one over the other.

Explore the Inclusive Design hub

Find out more about the Hub and how to submit case studies at Design Council Projects

IHBC newsblogs on equalities and diversity

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Seaside funding success for 10 coastal towns

New funding for projects will help create and safeguard nearly 1,400 jobs and help with winter storm repairs.

UK Government writes:
Ten coastal towns received new funding for projects that will help create and safeguard nearly 1,400 jobs and help with essential repairs in areas affected by the winter storms.

A lido, Victorian arches and a coastal path are some of the schemes to benefit from money that will help with restoration.

More than £8.5 million is being distributed to towns around England for schemes that will create tourist attractions, regenerate historic sites and provide new flood defences.

The money is being made available from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and will attract a further £6.2 million from other private and public bodies.

The Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also announced an extra £3 million for the fund to encourage growth and create jobs in coastal towns.

Seaside towns have untapped potential to create vibrant economies and are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan to boost jobs and businesses around the country.

Coastal Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt said: ‘Our Coastal Communities Fund is bringing about some really innovative projects around the country and schemes that will make a big difference to those towns affected by the winter storms.’

‘Seaside towns are a strong part of this country’s heritage and have huge potential to create new businesses that provide jobs.  They are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan and we are determined to help these communities reach their true potential.’

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said: ‘The Coastal Communities Fund is already making a real difference to our coastal towns and helping communities regenerate their local economy. So far the scheme has already supported over 7,500 jobs and 1,400 training places up and down the country.  I am delighted to announce an additional £8.5 million for coastal projects across the country, this will help communities build a sustainable future for themselves and also benefit visitors to these seaside towns over the years to come.’

The Coastal Communities Fund was launched in 2012 to invest in seaside towns and villages, helping them achieve their economic potential, reduce unemployment and create new opportunities for young people in their local area.

It is helping seaside towns make the most of their potential by diversifying their economies and industries so they become year-round success stories. The fund has to date already spent £54 million, supporting around 7,500 jobs around the UK, more than 300 new business start-ups and 1,400 training places.

The 10 projects are:

Jubilee Pool Lido – Penzance, Cornwall – £1,950,000
Funds will repair and relaunch the Grade II Listed ‘Jubilee Pool’ (Lido) to create an all year round attraction. Penzance was badly hit by coastal storms in early 2014 which caused serious damage to the pool. Restoration will make it a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the local area and the town as a whole. It will provide a springboard for developing a social enterprise led restaurant and health and well-being spa on the site. It will safeguard and create 38 jobs and apprenticeships. 

Victorian Arches, Portsmouth, Hampshire – £1,755,000
This will revitalise the Victorian Arches at the heart of Point Battery, central Old Portsmouth. Located between a historic 15th century Square and the Round Towers (Portsmouth’s historic fortifications), the Arches have been used informally by artists since the 1960s but are neglected. The project will refurbish the Arches as part of an ‘ARTches’ project to provide affordable workspace and exhibition space in attractive surroundings. This will support the council’s drive to strengthen Portsmouth’s visitor attractions. It will create a centrally located ‘creative hub’ with leisure and catering attractions within a historic setting and give a boost to nearby shops and services. It will create more than 105 jobs. 

Waldringfield Flood Defence, Suffolk – £633,000
Funds will help pay for the construction of a system of flood defences for homes and businesses in the flood area on the River Deben Estuary. The recent tidal surges had a big impact on homes and local businesses and if flooding of this scale were to happen again many local businesses would struggle to meet the costs of repair work, effecting the local economy and employment. This project is also being used by the Environment Agency as a ‘pilot’ scheme to demonstrate the benefits of working in partnership with private, public and voluntary organisations and they will be sharing their experiences at a local and national level. This project will create and safeguard 51 jobs. 

Maltings Building – Wells-next-the-Sea, near Cromer, Norfolk – £610,000
Wells Maltings Trust aims to transform a dilapidated 19th century Maltings building into an integrated arts, heritage and learning space with auditorium, café and tourist information point. It will create and safeguard around 95 jobs and provide space for learning as well as an attractive all year round tourist destination.

South West Coastal Path – Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset – £1,114,000
This project will repair, improve and promote the South West Coastal Path. Funds will help with 32 urgent repair works to the path, information boards and signage, and marketing. This will create and safeguard around 782 jobs from construction, management and tourism generated by the path.

RSPB Nature Reserve, Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire – £452,000
Funding will enhance the facilities at the reserve, improve the visitor experience and create year-round revenues to further develop wildlife conservation work. The project will extend and upgrade the coastal nature reserve’s facilities to attract a further 10,000 visitors per year. This will increase visitor spend, new jobs and volunteering opportunities for local people. This project integrates into East Yorkshire’s ‘Nature Triangle’ and links well with other nature related visitor attractions. It will safeguard and create around 14 jobs and 30 volunteer places.

Yorkshire WildlifeTrust, Spurn Point – £498,000
The project includes the restoration of the iconic Matthew’s Lighthouse and nearby gun emplacement on the Point, the creation of a visitor centre with café, and the development of sustainable transport links to replace access lost in the December 2013 storm surge. It will address seasonality in local tourism sector and promote the area as a destination for nature tourism. The Humberside area boasts salt marshes, chalk cliffs and freshwater lakes. The lighthouse will be restored and converted into a heritage/visitor centre providing accommodation over 6 floors telling the story of Spurn’s maritime heritage, strategic defence role and military history. The project will create and safeguard around 77 jobs. 

Historic Fruit Market – Kingston upon Hull – £800,000
This project will continue regeneration of the historic ‘Fruit Market’ area of Hull and improvements to pathways, street furniture and other public realm works ahead of the city being UK City of Culture in 2017. The area has been identified as a growth opportunity for independent businesses working in the creative industries and will support and safeguard around 100 jobs.

Park View 4 U, near Lytham St Annes, Lancashire – £395,000
This will turn a derelict site into a new visitor attraction with a state of the art sand and water play area. The area will be landscaped in a seaside theme and will used to deliver school education and activities about the natural surroundings of the coast, along with a café. This will create 11 jobs. 

Youth Hostels – Brighton, East Sussex and Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire – £401,000
Funding will help establish a new hostel in Brighton and redevelop an existing youth hostel in on the North Yorkshire coast. These will provide new and improved holiday accommodation in two popular coastal towns. This will boost tourism numbers and help create a new café for both locals and visitors. This project will create and support around 76 jobs.

UK Gov news

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Whale jawbone leaves Edinburgh for repair & bid

A gateway over Edinburgh’s Meadows has been removed for the first time in more than a century as experts begin a bid to save a famous whale jawbone 

Edinburgh’s Jawbone Arch has withstood all weathers since being donated to the city in 1887, when it became a gateway to the Meadows following an appearance at the International Exhibition of Science and Art.

Six craftswomen – three from Shetland, three from Fair Isle – operated in relays on the 19th century Shetland and Fair Isle Knitters stand it was a part of, demonstrating dyeing, spinning and knitting with the backing of the then-Sheriff and Vice-Admiral of the County of Zetland.

Originally formed as two pairs, the arch eventually became the only single, four-legged structure of its kind in the northern hemisphere, overlooking the urban expanse where it had originally been presented.

This festival season, though, the whalebone – which has been closed off to the public due to its level of disrepair – will be taken into storage for drying, allowing experts to assess its condition in a project partly funded by the current proceeds of a £60,000 appeal launched last year.

A bleach-free tissue membrane, overlaid with a latex membrane, will protect the structure, with a set of specially-designed stainless steel braces fitting the contours of each jawbone when they are lifted.

‘Conservation work is essential if we want the Jawbone Arch to survive and be enjoyed by future generations,’ says Adam Wilkinson, the Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, which has provided more than half of the fundraising target. 

‘Several places around the world have whalebone archways, but Edinburgh’s was a gift from the knitters of Shetland and Fair Isle, and is a rare example formed of two pairs together.

‘The response to the fundraising appeal has been very encouraging, but we need even greater generosity from the people and companies of Edinburgh to ensure the Jawbone Arch’s future.’

Organisers are £20,000 short of the total, with the current conservation project expected to cost around £49,000.

‘It is great that at last the bones are to be removed and will be in the care of an expert conservator who will undertake the dismantling, repair, conservation and re-installation of the Arch,’ says Heather Goodare, the Convener of the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links.

‘This means that the footpath underneath the Arch will once again be accessible, in time for the festival, after the months when it has been fenced off owing to safety considerations. This really will be a cause for celebration.

Donations can be made at or by post (marked ‘Jawbone’) to Edinburgh World Heritage, 5 Bakehouse Close, 146 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DD. Visit Save the Jawbone Arch on Facebook.

Culture 24 article

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Call for entries: Competition for redesign of Wimbledon Town Centre

A competition to redesign Wimbledon Town Centre has been launched by the Design Council, Love Wimbledon BID and Merton Council with a deadline for entries of 15 September 2014.

Two categories are available (‘rising stars’ for those starting out in the built environment and ‘creative communities’ for the local community and other creative practitioners).

The Design Council writes:
Future Wimbledon (is an) open competition to envisage what Wimbledon town centre could look like in the next 15 years and contribute to a masterplan that will shape the town’s future.  Your submission can take the form of any format you want, whether it is a poem, song, abstract sketch or scale plans and 3D animations.

With the potential arrival of Crossrail 2, this could mean a commute from Wimbledon to London’s West End could take just 12 minutes, encouraging more people to choose to live and work there. Ideas should focus around the area of Wimbledon station and show a balance for the community, the place, the people and local businesses. What would make it a fantastic place to live and work?

Design Council brief

View other opportunities and awards at IHBC Awards etc

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Milestone of 200+ cases for IHBC’s LB Prosecutions Database

BK Prosecution commentary

Recent additions to the IHBC’s Listed Building (LB) prosecutions database have taken the number of cases to over 200.

IHBC’s Research Consultant Bob Kindred, who developed and maintains the list, writes:
‘It was in 1996 that the Institute’s predecessor the Association of Conservation Officers established a database to assist a local authority in the successful criminal prosecution of an errant Member of Parliament.

IHBC continues to maintain the National Database of Listed Building Prosecutions which has been accessible online since 2012.

The cases recently added have come to light almost by accident and this suggests that some authorities are still not notifying IHBC of the outcomes of cases.  There is no obligation to notify the Institute as the database is compiled on the basis of volunteered information, but additional entries are always gratefully received (irrespective of the degree of success of the outcome).

Cases can continue to be forwarded by e-mail to either or preferably with at least the baseline information as set out in the main on-line Table.

For the online listing see the relevant tabs HERE

Listed Buildings Prosecution DB Commentary

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IHBC reminder to LPA members: Are your local authority web pages up to date?

Following recent research work, the IHBC is keen to alert members in Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) that a number of council websites in England do not yet reflect recent changes under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Act 2014 as, for example, some websites continue to refer to the circumstances under which Conservation Area Consent would be required although it is now abolished.

As part of our ongoing research into Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) the IHBC frequently accesses local planning authority web page content, and is concerned at the extent to which problems may be generated by out-dated guidance.

The IHBC is keen to remind members in LPAs to keep their web resources up to date, or to formally notify the officer responsible internally if the information carried on the website is out of date.

For details on the changes in the ERR Act see UK Gov Legislation

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IHBC Members with Benefits: RICS-SPAB conservation school discount

RICS and SPAB are presenting a hands-on introduction to building conservation course, at Cirencester from 7-11 Sep 2014, with an IHBC member discount available for those booking the 3 day course.

RICS writes:
One in five buildings in the UK date from before 1914, meaning that surveyors of all disciplines are more than likely to encounter such buildings as part of their daily work. Advising clients on traditional and listed buildings can no longer be dismissed as a niche area but is instead becoming a part of surveyors’ mainstream practice. It is essential therefore that you fully understand building conservation and surveying techniques for historic and listed properties to allow you to meet the demands of his changing market and ensure you are able to operate with due care and diligence.

Now in its tenth year, this unique hands on programme, designed by the RICS Building Conservation Forum in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), gives attendees a vital introduction to building conservation, with a view to ensuring that those that conserve our nation’s heritage will have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to ensure its protection.

Spanning five days, this event aims to reinforce undergraduate and graduate training in traditional buildings, construction techniques and materials, as well as support new surveyors and other specialists in this field. The course also provides essential continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities.

  • Benefit from a choice of lectures, case studies and practical workshops with unprecedented access to leading experts in the field. By attending you will have a greater understanding of building conservation philosophy and techniques, as well as new skills to use within the workplace.
  • Examine how historic buildings can be repaired, altered and updated without losing their character with in-depth sessions on a variety of topics, including:
    •  Building defects and the architectural timeline
    • Solid wall construction
    • Timber decay and repair
    • Structural diagnosis and repair
    • Historic building control
    • Roof coverings and timber framed buildings
    • Stone decay and methods of repair
    • Plain glass and glazing
    • Building in brick
    • Conservation and restoration of period interior woodwork
    • Learn from a hands on one day practical workshop focusing on lime mortars, plastering and pointing.
    • Students participate in a day trip to nearby incomplete 19th century gothic masterpiece, Woodchester Mansion, where they will have the opportunity to put into practice some of the aspects learnt throughout the school.

IHBC members, when booking the 3 day course, can get the RICS member rate by using voucher code: VHR0000192.

Find out more and book by following the links from

View other opportunities and awards at IHBC Awards etc

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Farrell Review: Progress Report out

Following the conclusion of the Farrell Review, Sir Terry Farrell has released an update on recent progress in its work.

Sir Terry Farrell writes:
A little over three months ago, I concluded a broad and independent review of how we plan and design our future built environment. The Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment (FAR) was over a year in the making and sought contributions from government, institutions, agencies, industry and the public. It made over 60 recommendations spanning early education in schools,professional education, adult outreach, skilling up decision makers, proactive planning and design quality, cultural heritage, economic benefits and built environment policy.

However, its publication was only the beginning.  The Farrell Review was a call to action – for policymakers, local government and industry. I have been overwhelmed with the energy and enthusiasm with which the Review has been welcomed and am greatly encouraged by the progress that has already been made.

This document is designed to keep you up to date with that progress, and is the first of what will be a series of regular progress updates on the implementation and evolution of the Farrell Review.

Farrel Review news


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Mayor seeks design team for cultural ‘Olympicopolis’

London Mayor Boris Johnson is seeking an international design team to design ‘Olympicopolis’, a world-class new cultural and educational quarter at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with the Victoria and Albert Museum, University College London and Sadler’s Wells all to be part of the project

The Mayor’s Office writes:
The Mayor Boris Johnson today announced new measures to accelerate the economic, social and cultural potential of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford and East London.

As the second anniversary of London’s Games approaches, plans for a world class education and cultural quarter on the Park are to be brought to life through an international design competition to find a team to design ‘Olympicopolis’.

This new quarter on Stratford waterfront at the gateway to the site will bring together outstanding organisations to showcase exceptional art, dance, history, craft, science, technology and cutting edge design. Internationally renowned institutions, The Victoria and Albert Museum and Sadler’s Wells are planning to occupy the new development with University College London planning a move to a neighbouring site south of Anish Kapoor’s Orbit sculpture.

The Mayor is looking to find an exceptional team of architects, master planners, place makers, engineers and landscape designers to help create this ambitious project. Paul Finch, Programme Director of World Architecture Festival and former chair of both the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the Design Council, will be the competition jury chairman along with a team of experts.

The Mayor’s vision for ‘Olympicopolis’ takes its inspiration from the achievements of Prince Albert, who used the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition to create ‘Albertopolis’ – the 86 acre site around Exhibition Road in South Kensington that is today considered one of the world’s pre-eminent scientific, educational, artistic and cultural hubs.

Alongside the competition, the Mayor has also announced that to maximise the unique potential of the Olympicopolis initiative and wider strategic plans for regeneration and growth at Stratford, he has asked Transport for London to ‘re-zone’ the three Stratford stations (Stratford, Stratford International and Stratford High Street) from zone 3 to zone 2/3 effective from January 2016, at a net cost to TfL of about £7m annually. The move will benefit commuters and visitors travelling to the stations at a lower cost, boosting the commercial attractiveness of the area for which the Mayor is responsible through the London Legacy Development Corporation, for workers, businesses and residents.

Search Planning Portal 

London Mayor press release

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CMS Committee inquiry into UK tourism

The Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Commons Select Committee has announced an inquiry into tourism, with submissions to be received by Monday 29 September 2014.

The CMS Committee writes:
In 2013, there were 32.8 million visits to the UK by people living abroad; 39% of these were as part of a holiday. In the same year, UK residents paid almost twice as many – 58.5 million – visits abroad. While tourism in the devolved administrations is directly a matter for them, there is a shared interest in promoting a thriving tourist industry throughout the United Kingdom. One estimate puts the value of tourism to the UK economy (in 2011) at £53 billion.

All parts of the United Kingdom have much to offer tourists, foreign and domestic alike. An overarching theme of our inquiry is to examine ways in which this potential can be developed for the benefit of both local economies and the country as a whole.  Among the issues we have identified are the following:

  • Encouraging tourism outside London and the few other heavily visited cities to other parts of the United Kingdom
  • Consolidating and building on London’s success as a tourist destination
  • Reversing a long-term decline in seaside destinations
  • Reducing regulatory burdens on business
  • The application of taxes and fees to visitors from overseas, for example in relation to VAT, Air Passenger Duty, visa and other costs
  • Visa and border arrangements
  • Improving the competitiveness of hotel accommodation in comparison to other countries
  • Increasing skills and training within the domestic tourism sector
  • Assessing the success of campaigns such as ‘GREAT’ Britain
  • Structural arrangements for tourism promotion, including public funding for and the roles of local enterprise partnerships, VisitBritain, VisitEngland and similar organisations in the rest of the UK

The Committee invites written evidence from those who wish to contribute to the inquiry.

Written submissions should be sent online via the ‘Tourism’ inquiry page of our website. This web portal will be open for submissions from Thursday 24 July.


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