Building Conservation

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

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Pincher admits he 'misspoke' after claiming yet-to-be-decided bell foundry scheme had been refused

Pincher admits he 'misspoke' after claiming yet-to-be-decided bell foundry scheme had been refused

Housing minister Christopher Pincher has admitted that he "misspoke" when he mistakenly told MPs that a yet-to-be-decided application to redevelop a historic bell foundry in east London had been refused by the secretary of state.

Why a Supreme Court ruling is likely to reduce the range of heritage items that can be listed

Why a Supreme Court ruling is likely to reduce the range of heritage items that can be listed

A Supreme Court judgment on a pair of listed urns calls into question whether some heritage items on statutory lists can actually be categorised as 'buildings' and are therefore eligible for inclusion. Experts say the ruling means that some currently-listed items may therefore be potentially vulnerable to removal.

Council 'invites' Oxford college to seek planning consent to remove Rhodes statue

Council 'invites' Oxford college to seek planning consent to remove Rhodes statue

The leader of Oxford City Council has urged the city's Oriel College to apply for planning permission to remove a controversial statue of a Victorian imperialist within its grounds, as local authorities around the country announce plans to look into the future of such structures.

Jenrick approves 1,210-home Devon urban extension despite heritage harm

Jenrick approves 1,210-home Devon urban extension despite heritage harm

Plans for a 1,210 home urban extension to the south of Newton Abbott in Devon have been approved by the housing secretary on appeal after he concluded that the scheme's benefits outweighed the likely harm to a nearby Grade-I listed church.

Go-ahead for conversion of Grade I listed former TfL headquarters into hotel

Go-ahead for conversion of Grade I listed former TfL headquarters into hotel

Plans have been approved for the conversion of the Grade I listed former headquarters of mayoral agency Transport for London (TfL) into a luxury hotel, after planners advised that the change of use "complements the design and character of the building".

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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.