Building Conservation

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

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Latest Building Conservation News

Jenrick overrules inspector to allow 1,500-home east London appeal

Jenrick overrules inspector to allow 1,500-home east London appeal

The housing secretary has allowed an appeal for a 1,500-home development in Tower Hamlets, rejecting a government inspector's conclusion that the scheme's benefits were outweighed by its harmful impact on nearby heritage assets, including Tower Bridge.

Westminster blocks 47,694 sq m office-led scheme on design and heritage grounds

Westminster blocks 47,694 sq m office-led scheme on design and heritage grounds

A London council has rejected plans for an 18-storey mixed-use scheme after planners advised that they were not convinced that the public benefits of the scheme "could not be delivered with a building of lesser visual impact".

High Court backs Herts council over six-storey car park consent in conservation area

High Court backs Herts council over six-storey car park consent in conservation area

The High Court has backed a Hertfordshire council's planning consent for a six-storey car park in a conservation area, rejecting a claim that the authority had failed to "grasp the intellectual nettle" of apparently conflicting advice contained in two separate planning reports.

High Court blocks plans to redevelop Grade I listed mansion site with up to 250 homes

High Court blocks plans to redevelop Grade I listed mansion site with up to 250 homes

Plans to build hundreds of new homes in the grounds of a 17th-century Grade I listed mansion in the Hampshire countryside have been blocked by a High Court judge, who backed an inspector's rejections of the proposals on grounds that included harm to the area's character and appearance.

Jenrick issues holding direction blocking east London bell foundry revamp approval

Jenrick issues holding direction blocking east London bell foundry revamp approval

The housing secretary has issued a holding direction preventing an east London council from issuing a final consent for the redevelopment of a historic former bell foundry into a mixed-use workplace scheme.

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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.