Conservation practice survey 2016
A joint survey between the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Historic Towns Forum (HTF) into current issues in conservation practice from January to February 2016 elicited responses from 103 people from a wide range of backgrounds and professional areas.
A series of statements were given and respondents were asked to say how much they agreed with the statement. The respondents agreed very strongly with statements such as;
- Managing and enabling appropriate change is fundamental to conservation practice.
- Heritage protection requires an understanding of traditional building construction.
- Professional conservation practice is about reconciling ‘significance’ or special architectural interest’ with using and adapting heritage buildings and places.
In general most statements suggested were agreed with by respondents. The only one generating any major disagreement was ‘Historic environment legislation and procedures can be an impediment to growth’. The other statement that generated a degree of disagreement was ‘Heritage conservation is mainly about understanding significance’.
- Shortage of professional skills and capacity in local government.
- Lack of technical and craft skills in the construction sector.
- Lack of political support and understanding in local government.
- Inflexible application of health, highways, building and other legislation and standards.
- Misconceptions that heritage is a barrier to growth.
- Vagueness of the term ‘harm’ in the National Planning Policy Framework in England.
- Differing legal interpretations of the term ‘significance’ in policy, guidance and practice.
Funding and economics:
Dave Chetwyn, HTF Chair and IHBC past Chair said: ‘The survey demonstrates the wide and complex context against which conservation professionals operate. The overwhelming consensus appears to be that heritage is a positive force for delivering growth, not a barrier, as is often portrayed.’
IHBC Director Sean O’Reilly said: ‘Clearly there are serious failings in the current heritage landscape, as it should be about helping to integrate conservation practice and policy into an accessible and coherent process suitable for public use and scrutiny. Instead the evidence seems to suggest that practice and policy are increasingly going down separate paths. This can only make the entire process of heritage care, management and change even more challenging for all players: practitioners, clients, users and stakeholders.’
Fiona Newton, IHBC’s Projects Officer, said: ‘Respondents from all professional backgrounds agreed that lack of suitable skills in both local government and construction and lack of funding were key challenges for building conservation practice’.
--Institute of Historic Building Conservation 11:56, 21 Jun 2016 (BST)
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Archaeology and construction.
- Archaeological officer.
- Charging for Listed Building Consent pre-application advice.
- CIAT shares IHBC research into LA conservation service capacity.
- Conservation area.
- Conservation officer.
- Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and listed buildings.
- Heritage partnership agreement.
- Historic England.
- How to make conservation areas work.
- Impact of heritage sector local authority funding cuts in south west England.
- Implementing the Heritage Protection Reforms.
- Institute of Historic Building Conservation.
- Is conservation area policy fit for purpose 50 years on.
- Listed buildings.
- Local Authority Conservation Staffing Resources in England 2020.
- Loss of senior conservation staff and posts in England March 2010 to April 2011.
- Planning authority duty to provide specialist conservation advice.
- Sharing local authority conservation services.
Ireland’s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, announced a new funding stream to support Local Authorities (LAs) to purchase vacant buildings that could be converted and developed for community use.
Eleven pubs across England have been recognised for their historic or unusual interiors, as they have been listed, upgraded or relisted.
The Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, developed by the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) with the support of Historic England, has been launched.
An ‘All-Island’ commitment to Ireland’s vernacular heritage has been established with the signing of the North South Agreement on Vernacular Heritage, supporting traditional buildings etc.
Canons House, a landmark building on Bristol Harbourside, has been awarded Grade II (GII) listed status having been built as a regional headquarters for Lloyds Bank between 1988 and 1991 (Arup)
The Building Research Establishment (BRE) has announced a new project with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to improve and modernise the home energy rating scheme used to measure the energy and environmental performance of UK homes.
Sector lead the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) has recognised the IHBC’s professional accreditation and support (CPD etc.) in awarding its PQP (Professionally Qualified Person) cards.
Work to repair a fire-hit medieval hotel in Gloucester is underway as crews have started work to strip back some of the modern trappings and reveal the historic framework.
The Secretariat to the European Heritage Heads Forum has has coordinated its declaration of solidarity and support for Ukraine’s cultural heritage institutions.
2022 will see the IHBC mark a quarter of a century since our incorporation as a professional body supporting and accrediting built and historic environment conservation specialists. We’re kick-starting it by inviting your ideas on how to mark this special year!