Key People
The Historic Towns and Villages Forum is run largely by volunteers, and the core of the HTVF’s Board comprises:

Click on the name for background, click to close

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Chair – Steven Bee

Principal of Steven Bee Urban Counsel, providing critical, creative and strategic advice and guidance to all involved in planning and development. Former CABE Enabler and Planning Advisory Committee member, former Chair of the Academy of Urbanism, previously Director of Planning and Development at English Heritage, Chief Development Officer and Director of Development Services at Winchester City Council, and Technical Director at Llewelyn-Davies.
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Treasurer – Richard Tuffrey

Responsible for all heritage-related advice across High Peak Borough Council in Derbyshire and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, and with a leading role in the heritage-led regeneration programme for Buxton. A town planner and urban designer with 35+ years’ experience as specialist heritage advisor and practitioner; Member of the OPUN Design Review Panel; Academician at the Academy of Urbanism; Author of HTF publication Investing in heritage – financing small town regeneration and co-authored Conservation Area Management - a practical guide.
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David Warburton

Commercial Project Manager, City of York Council, leading the delivery of York’s historic Guildhall complex. Previously Head of Design, Conservation and Sustainable Development at City of York Council, and County Design and Conservation team leader, Durham County Council.

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Prue Smith

An architect by profession, Prue worked in private practice for some years in Kent and Norfolk, before joining Norwich City Council as Conservation and Design Officer, when she first became involved with the English Historic Towns Forum. She was Chair of the EHTF Built Environment Working Group, updating the Good Practice Guide to Managing Conservation Areas and producing guidance such as Making Better Planning Applications and Making Better Applications for Building Listed Consent. She now runs a consultancy providing advice on historic built environment matters for public bodies. She is a council member of the Norwich Forum for the Construction Industry and Secretary of the East Anglia Branch of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

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Director – Louise Thomas

An urban designer and architect by training, Louise joined the HTVF as its Director in 2017. Louise has a passion for the built environment, urban design, development and regeneration processes, and the public’s involvement in shaping places. She has run her independent consultancy TDRC Ltd since 2004, working for a variety of clients, including local planning authorities and councils on town centre projects and neighbourhood planning. Louise is also the co-editor of the quarterly journal Urban Design, and a module leader for the Master’s degree programme in Urban Design at the University of Westminster. Previously Technical Director for Masterplanning & Urban Design at consultancy Scott Wilson (now AECOM), and Associate Urban Designer at David Lock Associates.
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Sarah Crofts

Head of Historic Environment, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
Sara studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art where she specialised in historic building conservation and subsequently worked for a number of architectural practices focusing on the repair and conservation of historic buildings in both Edinburgh and Cumbria. She most recently spent 11 years working for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) where she was Deputy Director and Head of Casework. She also ran the SPAB's Faith in Maintenance project – a five-year HLF-funded programme to provide training and support for those who maintain historic places of worship. Sara joined the HLF in June 2015 as Head of Historic Environment and has a particular interest in architecture, building conservation, archaeology and place-making.

Herbert Lane Trust Representatives

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Professor Malcom Airs

Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment, Oxford University. Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, Member of the Advisory Committee of Historic England, Associate Member of the Design Advice Forum of the National Trust, Trustee of Oxfordshire Churches Trust, Vice-President of Oxford Preservation Trust, Former Trustee of the Landmark Trust, Past President of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, and Past President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

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John Alexander

John is Chairman of the Herbert Lane Trust (formerly the Association of Small Historic Towns & Villages).  John has spent most of his career in investment banking.  He is a member of the Executive Committee of CPRE Oxford Branch and has been involved in the restoration of a number of historic buildings.  He is a director of several companies in the UK and abroad.

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Michael Coupe


With a career mainly in the public sector at a strategic level, Michael is a planner and chartered surveyor, and was formerly Head of Land Use Planning and Regeneration at English Heritage. He continues to represent the interests of the historic environment, is a former Vice Chair of the National Planning Forum, erstwhile adviser to the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, and was Vice President of the Association of Small Historic Towns and Villages (ASHTAV). He has contributed directly to the Forum’s research programmes and published guidance.

New Board Members
We are delighted to be welcoming new Board members to the HTVF in 2018, and growing our Working Groups activity too.  Details of those will follow in 2018.