Building Conservation

News, analysis and discussion of urban heritage and building conservation issues for town planners.

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High Court quashes approval of 400 homes at Derbyshire hall

High Court quashes approval of 400 homes at Derbyshire hall

An inspector's decision to allow plans for up to 400 new homes close to a historic mansion in Derbyshire has been overturned by the High Court, after a judge found that he had taken an 'artificially narrow approach' in assessing harm to the setting of heritage assets.

Historic England invites proposals for new heritage zones with 'particular focus' on housing

Historic England invites proposals for new heritage zones with 'particular focus' on housing

Heritage body Historic England is to roll out its Heritage Action Zones initiative and has asked for partnerships across the country to come forward with proposals for new designations with 'a particular focus' on housing.

Court of Appeal overturns Welsh wind turbine approval

Court of Appeal overturns Welsh wind turbine approval

The Court of Appeal has overturned a planning permission for a single wind turbine on a farm in Wales, after ruling that its impact on a nearby listed church had been ignored.

Judge backs new visitor facilities at York heritage site

Judge backs new visitor facilities at York heritage site

Controversial plans to improve visitor facilities at a heritage site in York have won the backing of a High Court judge.

Go-ahead for 607-home Leeds scheme

Go-ahead for 607-home Leeds scheme

Plans have been approved for up to 607 apartments in Leeds after planners concluded that 'considerable public benefits' of the repair and conversion of a former railway viaduct into a park justified a relaxation of the council's affordable housing policy.

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How We Did It: Drawing up a local heritage list

How We Did It: Drawing up a local heritage list

Volunteers in Kent have helped prepare a local list protecting heritage assets for their district council, reports David Dewar

How we did it: Winning a battle to revive a Thames wharf

How we did it: Winning a battle to revive a Thames wharf

Close cooperation between public and private partners has saved a London wharf from redevelopment plans, David Dewar reports.

Why changes to St Paul's backdrop were not stopped by planning rules

Why changes to St Paul's backdrop were not stopped by planning rules

A row has erupted over the construction of a tower which campaigners say has harmed a protected view of St Paul's Cathedral, but experts say that is not clear whether a failure of planning guidance is to blame.

Why a London borough is removing permitted development rights from two-thirds of the pubs within its boundaries

Why a London borough is removing permitted development rights from two-thirds of the pubs within its boundaries

Wandsworth Council is pressing ahead with plans to use an article 4 direction to safeguard 120 of its pubs and bars, despite recent legislative changes that have removed permitted development rights from public houses listed as community assets.


Building Conservation Comment

Legal Viewpoint: Court issues interpretation of heritage assets policy

Legal Viewpoint: Court issues interpretation of heritage assets policy

In a recent case from Gloucestershire, the High Court considered the interaction between the presumption in favour of sustainable development in paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the restriction on development affecting heritage assets in paragraph 134.

Legal Viewpoint: Joining the dots on heritage duties in committee reports

Legal Viewpoint: Joining the dots on heritage duties in committee reports

Planning should be about creative judgement and common sense. A recent High Court case on the conversion of a pub next to a north London nightclub into housing highlights the need to get the basics right.

Czechs' chequered history offers examples for heritage conservation, by Cliff Hague

Czechs' chequered history offers examples for heritage conservation, by Cliff Hague

Heritage conservation is increasingly a headache in austerity Britain, with rationalisations of space use, absentee landlords, the continued problem of VAT on repairs and maintenance and the squeeze on conservation skills in local government all threatening historic townscapes.

Prepare to resume old battles, by John Gummer

Prepare to resume old battles, by John Gummer

The planning system is a crucial environmental tool. However, like any other instrument, it's not always effective and, uniquely, its failures are clear for all to see.


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