Bath School plan dropped

Sir James Dyson on 7 October scrapped plans for a  £56 million School of Design Innovation in Bath at the old Stothert and Pitt site at South Quays within the City of Bath World Heritage site, which the forthcoming UNESCO/ICOMOS joint mission was to have considered.

The Bath Chronicle reported that Dyson abandoned his plan after the Government’s rejection of a funding proposal and after facing a planning inquiry last August, which was called due to opposition from the Environment Agency.

The school had originally been due to open this autumn. Read full article on the Bath school plans.


Smithfield is Saved!

SAVE Britain’s Heritage is delighted that the Inspector and the Secretary of State have refused consent to demolish the General Market Buildings at Smithfield. The building which is one of a grand procession of market structures designed by the City Surveyor Sir Horace Jones has stood empty for more than a decade. SAVE Britain’s Heritage hopes that the developer Thornfield will now respect the decision and allow a conservation-based scheme to proceed in place of the office block proposed.

Smithfield Market, London

Smithfield Market, London

In recent years the whole area around Smithfield Market has the centre of a revival as vigorous and lively as that of Covent Garden. At the public inquiry SAVE and English Heritage led the fight to save the market buildings. The campaign to save the General Market was launched by SAVE with the publication of Don’t butcher Smithfield in 2004.

Earlier, in the 1980s, SAVE led the successful campaign to prevent the demolition of Old Billingsgate Fish Market, also by Sir Horace Jones which is now a highly successful and popular events venue.

Adam Wilkinson SAVE’s former Secretary who led the SAVE case at the inquiry says ‘This is indication of SAVE’s long-held stance that the demolition of these handsome buildings is a nonsense and that they are well capable of economic re-use. They can contribute so much more to London than yet another office block.

The SAVE team exposed the some of the inaccuracies in the information used to justify the demolition proposals at the inquiry and we were staunch in our defence of these buildings. The City of London must now allow other development teams to come forward with proposals for the buildings, having previously stifled any attempts to find new uses for them’.

Marcus Binney President says ‘This is one of the biggest inquiries SAVE has ever fought, requiring an immense commitment in time and resources. The General Market Buildings have been scandalously neglected by the City Corporation. At the inquiry the City conceded that the market made a significant contribution to the conservation area. The market buildings should now be offered for sale. If they are they can very quickly become as lively, attractive and popular as Borough Market south of the River’.

David Cooper SAVE’s solicitor and lead advocate at the Inquiry says ‘The case put forward by SAVE was compelling in its clarity that none of the works for the railway were urgent enough to outweigh the obvious presumption of the positive contribution that these buildings made to the area. It was difficult to understand why Thornfield pursued their case supported by the City Corporation.’

For more information contact:

William Palin, Secretary at SAVE Britain’s Heritage

Avebury World Heritage Site Residents’ Pack

By Sarah Simmonds, Avebury World Heritage Site Officer

Avebury WHS Residents' Pack

Avebury WHS Residents' Pack

One July evening in 2006 residents of the World Heritage Site were invited to appear in an aerial photograph of the Avebury henge. The evening marked the launch of a project to produce a Residents’ Pack for Avebury and the chance for local people to get involved and say what they would like to see in it. After two years hard work by a wide range of contributors the World Heritage Site Residents’ Pack was launched at the local Avebury Day celebrations on 19th July this year. The pack is the first of its kind produced specifically for those who live within one of the UK’s 27 World Heritage Sites.

The purpose of the Residents’ Pack is to raise awareness and understanding among local residents of the uniquely valuable nature of Avebury World Heritage Site.

It aims to encourage a sense of ownership and responsibility for sustaining the values associated with the site whilst providing residents with the information they need to assist in looking after it.

The pack includes a book, Voices and Values, that consists of a collection of pieces by people with unique personal and professional insight into the area many of whom are local residents. These pieces cover not only the archaeological and historical values of the site but also its ecological, spiritual and social significance. The accompanying leaflets provide practical information for both new and long-standing residents on the roles of the various organisations involved in looking after the World Heritage Site and how to contact them and get involved. The pack has been very well-received with residents keen to get hold of their copies.

The pack was generously sponsored by a number of national and local funders including the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, English Heritage, the National Trust and Kennet District Council.

For further information contact Sarah Simmonds, Avebury World Heritage Site Officer

Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival

27th -28th September 2008

The first The first Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival was held in 2005 and its aim was raise local awareness and appreciation of the unique heritage of the Ironbridge Gorge. ic - DrumsEach year, the Festival has gone from strength to strength and last year several thousand visitors, along with traders and entertainers, came together in the centre of Ironbridge to enjoy the stunning surroundings of the Gorge on a beautiful autumn day.

The 2008 Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Festival will be held in Ironbridge on Saturday 27 –  Sunday 28 September. The weekend is set to be an exciting and enjoyable time for residents, businesses and visitors as we celebrate the area’s unique heritage. Also, this year we have the added attraction of a light show, organised by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, to mark the regional launch of the Cultural Olympiad, and some of you will already have received details of this from IGMT.

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Capturing London’s historic views

Gavin Kingcome/ICOMOS-UK

A Westminster view from St James' Park, photo: Gavin Kingcome/ICOMOS-UK

Over the last decade, London’s skyline has been changing. Many new, tall buildings have been appearing across the heart of London irrevocably changing the historic skyscape of the capital city. In 2006, the ICOMOS-UK Cultural Landscape and Historic Gardens Committee decided to commission a photographic record of these views with particular reference to the two World Heritage sites of Tower of London and Westminster.

A project was initiated in mid-2007 to make a photographic record of the appearance of these World Heritage sites. The London Views Project feature describes some of the background to the project and makes a selection of the photographic record available and geo-referenced via ICOMOS-UK’s photographic website on Flickr. You can also browse the selection of images on ICOMOS-UK’s photo map.

See London Views Project

School in Derbyshire World Heritage site saved

ICOMOS-UK Member and Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Co-ordinator, has recently been very successful with the outcome of an appeal against the redevelopment of an early 19th century school in Belper into 15 dwellings.

The proposal to redevelop the former private school was been rejected after an inspector, Olivia Spencer, found that it makes an important contribution to the area, and therefore formed in key part of the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage site.

The building dates from 1830 and it had subsequently been adapted for manufacturing and retail. Even though the building was not listed, the inspector agreed that it formed part of a group that witnessed incredible changes and innovation in manufacturing and also to economic and social changes during industrialisation which shaped the town in the 19th century.

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Townscape in Focus: challenges and opportunities – Conference

This year, the English Historic Towns Forum‘s Annual Conference and AGM will be on the theme:

‘Townscape in Focus: challenges and opportunities’

It will take place at the George Hotel, Lichfield on 8-10 October 2008

Contact: Dawn West
Tel: 0117 9750459

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