High on the list of topics discussed was conservation areas. The concept of conservation areas was introduced in England, Wales and Scotland by the Civic Amenities Act 1967 through a private members bill led by Lord Duncan Sandys.
Today there are over 10,000 conservation areas in the UK (approximately 9,300 in England, 500 in Wales, 650 in Scotland and 60 in Northern Ireland) reflecting the popularity of this legislative tool in identifying and protecting our most valued historic places. In St Albans district we have 18 such designated areas http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/Images/Conservation%20Areas%20list%20and%20designation%20dates%20at%202014.pdf
The conservation area theme was continued with "My Conservation Area Matters" discussed at the Civic Voice Annual Convention 2017 held in Wakefield between 19th and 20th October. Two representatives from Look! St Albans took part in the packed programme designed with the committed civic minded delegates attending from all around the county. Delegates heard from, amongst many more Trevor Mitchell (Regional Director, Historic England) on their latest research on the continuing decline in historic advice specialists in local authorities. https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/ninth-report-la-staff-resources/ and Laura Sandys (Civic Voice Vice-president) daughter of Lord Duncan Sandys who carries on her father’s work championing Conservation Areas and the civic movement.
If you want to learn more about Civic Voice’s Conservation Conversation please click here http://www.civicvoice.org.uk/campaigns/the-big-conservation-conversation/
Earlier this year our Chair Vanessa Gregory was asked to contribute to the autumn edition of Urban Design publication which features six articles under the heading ‘Conservation Gap: Skills deficit or urban opportunity’. The publication (144) will appear here http://www.udg.org.uk/publications/journal in the next month or so. In this Vanessa details the history and work of Look! and encourages other groups to become proactive in their areas. The BIMBY toolkit https://www.bimby.org.uk/ remains a wealth of information on how to go about ensuring new homes in YOUR area ‘fit in’ locally and very importantly, after the tragic events in London earlier this year, quality of design and build are indistinguishable between tenure.
Below a copy of Vanessa’s contribution to Urban Design with kind permission of the Urban Design Group. The article is for reading only.