Building Conservation

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

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Jenrick overturns enforcement notice preventing conversion of London homes into museum for Indian 'national hero'

Jenrick overturns enforcement notice preventing conversion of London homes into museum for Indian 'national hero'

A London borough's enforcement efforts to block the conversion of two homes into a museum dedicated to one of India's 'most revered and important historical figures' has been overturned by the secretary of state.

High Court upholds minister's refusal of 32-storey west London tower on heritage grounds

High Court upholds minister's refusal of 32-storey west London tower on heritage grounds

The High Court has upheld the former housing secretary's refusal - against an inspector's recommendation - for a 32-storey mixed-use tower in west London, ruling that the minister was entitled to reach a different conclusion from the inspector in assessing the scheme's harm to nearby heritage assets, including Kew Gardens.

Councils should use 3D modelling to inform tall buildings policies, says revised Historic England advice

Councils should use 3D modelling to inform tall buildings policies, says revised Historic England advice

Local authorities should use 3D modelling to identify suitable sites for tall buildings when preparing local plans, while applicants should also use such technology to assess the impacts of their proposals, according to new draft advice from Historic England.

Inspector rejects 'aggressive' east London housing scheme despite land supply deficit

Inspector rejects 'aggressive' east London housing scheme despite land supply deficit

Plans for a 15-storey housing development in east London have been rejected at appeal after an inspector judged the proposals to be "overbearing" and "aggressive" in their scale, despite the local authority's lack of a five-year housing land supply.

Go-ahead for 37-storey 'super slender' Birmingham tower

Go-ahead for 37-storey 'super slender' Birmingham tower

Plans have been approved for a 37-storey "super slender" tower in Birmingham city centre just nine-and-a-half metres wide, in line with a recommendation from planners who advised that the scheme's benefits would outweigh "less than substantial harm" to heritage assets.

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Building Conservation In Depth

How we did it: Creating new role to protect local heritage

How we did it: Creating new role to protect local heritage

Adopting a more proactive role in protecting heritage led Sefton Council to create a new post to take on the task, Mark Wilding reports.

The lessons from a council's chastening High Court heritage defeat

The lessons from a council's chastening High Court heritage defeat

The overturning of Liverpool City Council's consent for a 51-home redevelopment of a Grade II listed building shows that some planning officers are struggling with conservation considerations, say observers.

Why a court ruling will force ministers to explain decisions

Why a court ruling will force ministers to explain decisions

A Court of Appeal ruling over the controversial Paddington Cube scheme in central London should boost transparency around government call-in decisions, say observers.

What appeal court ruling on heritage means for planners

What appeal court ruling on heritage means for planners

A judgment allowing new homes near a grade I listed country house in Derbyshire confirms that planners and inspectors should take a broader view when assessing heritage impacts and not just consider the visual effects, say commentators.


Building Conservation Comment

The perils of prioritising tourism, by Cliff Hague

The perils of prioritising tourism, by Cliff Hague

Venice, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Edinburgh. These are places identified by the website CNN Travel as hotspots for "overtourism". Last year the Oxford English Dictionary made overtourism one of its words of the year. So what does it mean for planning, placemaking and urban conservation?

Legal Viewpoint: When historic use weighs heavier than appearance

Legal Viewpoint: When historic use weighs heavier than appearance

A High Court judgment this summer raised a key issue over the relevance of character and appearance when assessing the impact of proposed development on conservation areas.

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.