Local planning authorities generally employ, or retain the services of, a conservation officer. Sometimes this role may be combined with that of archaeological officer, although they are very different, albeit related, functions. The role can also be referred to as Historic buildings inspector.
- Offering pre-application advice on the location, form and character of developments that may affect listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments or other heritage assets.
- Assessing planning applications for new developments that may affect heritage assets and proposing planning conditions that might be imposed on permissions.
- Agreeing inspection cycles.
- Visiting sites and carrying out inspections and surveys.
- Assisting enforcement action.
Managed intelligently the conservation of heritage assets need not disrupt developments. However, this often requires engagement with the local planning authority’s conservation officer as soon as possible if it is suspected that proposals may affect heritage assets. This will help identify the procedures that must be followed and avoid abortive work.
- Maintaining information about heritage assets.
- Surveying assets that are at risk.
- Estimating restoration and conservation costs.
- Advising owners of buildings at risk or redundant buildings.
- Advising on policy measures and controls both locally and nationally.
- Advising on regeneration projects affecting heritage assets.
- Sourcing grants and other funding for conservation work.
- Championing heritage issues in the local authority and the wider community.
- Liaison with Historic England.
- Implementing schemes to conserve heritage assets.
- Advising on the designation of heritage assets.
- Canvassing public opinion and dealing with public enquiries.
- Planning and supervising long-term environmental projects.
- Assisting with enforcement action to protect threatened buildings or conservation areas.
NB. Conservation officers may also be employed by non-departmental public bodies or charitable trusts such as English Nature, the Countryside Agency, English Heritage, Historic England, the National Trust and so on, as well as by central government and by private consultancies.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Archaeological officer.
- Are works to listed buildings demolition or alteration?
- Archaeology and construction.
- Building preservation notice.
- Cautions or formal warnings in relation to potential listed building offences in England and Wales.
- Certificate of immunity.
- Charging for Listed Building Consent pre-application advice.
- Conservation areas.
- Conservation officers in historic towns.
- Conservation practice survey 2016.
- English Heritage.
- Forced entry to listed buildings.
- Historic England.
- Historic Environment Service Provider Recognition.
- How to make conservation areas work.
- Is conservation area policy fit for purpose 50 years on.
- Listed buildings.
- Local authority conservation specialists jobs market 2014.
- Loss of senior conservation staff and posts in England March 2010 to April 2011.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- Negotiating skills for conservation professionals.
- Planning authority duty to provide specialist conservation advice.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Sharing local authority conservation services.
- Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
- The history of conservation areas.
- Tree preservation order.
- Use of direct action in heritage enforcement cases in England.
- What makes a heritage-at-risk officer.
 External references.
The IHBC’s Yearbook for 2019 includes regular IHBC reviews, updates and listings, from IHBC’s HESPR listing to our Recognised Conservation Courses and member directory.
The judges are delighted to confer the 2019 IHBC Marsh Awards for Successful Learning in Heritage Skills and Community Contribution (Retired Member).
CPRE shows there is enough suitable brownfield land available in England for more than 1 million homes across over 18,000 sites and over 26,000 hectares.
BBC News has reported on how, across the world, destruction of cultural attractions causes a specific sort of communal grief.
The Brick Development Association (BDA) has highlighted the opportunity to compete at the industry’s highest level and be recognised by top-tier trade and national press.
The 2019 STBA-SPAB Conference & Expo will look at the current situation of regulations and initiatives, as well as the skills training that enable our built environment to include a wealth of healthy buildings with heritage and aesthetic value.
The former Fisons warehouse in Bramford, near Ipswich, was the victim on another fire affecting our heritage. Listed Grade II and dating back to 1858 the building was destroyed by a fire thought to be arson.
A mile-long stretch of canal in Gloucestershire that disappeared more than half a century ago is closer to being restored, thanks to £4 million of funding from Highways England.
MPs vote on proposals for Houses of Parliament refurbishment, as the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster reaches a major milestone.
Open Culture has featured the Venice Backstage exploration of Venice and how, when the tourists leave the city, 60,000 year-round residents stay behind.