Heritage and the Changing High Street

Featuring Timothy Crawshaw HTVF Board member, and Vanessa Gregory, long-standing HTVF supporter...
Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 9:30AM - 4:00PM    
St Albans City and District Council Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, AL1 3JE eastofengland@rtpi.org.uk
The East of England is blessed with an abundance of historic market towns, listed buildings and a rich urban heritage. This event will focus on the changing face of the High Street, maintaining the vitality of town centres and strategies aimed at breathing new life into heritage buildings at risk. There will be an opportunity to discuss the topics with colleagues across the region.
Confirmed Speakers:-
  • Tracy Harvey, St Albans City and District Council Head of Planning and Building Control - “Welcome to St Albans”
  • Timothy Crawshaw, Historic Towns & Villages Forum - Retail, the high street and the revival of historic cores
  • Jason Clemons, Savills - Is Heritage the future for our High Streets?
  • Edward James, Historic England - ‘New life for old streets: Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zones’
  • Vanessa Gregory, Look! St Albans - How collaborative planning is helping to keep our city centre from becoming St Anywhere!
  • Paul Clement, Savills Director & Head of Place Shaping and British BIDs Director.  Town Centres – The Return To History
  • Bill Grimsey, - The Vanishing High Street
See https://www.rtpi.org.uk/events/events-calendar/2019/may/heritage-and-the-changing-high-street/

Placemaking into the Future
Organised by HTVF member Look! St Albans

As part of SusFestival19 Look! St Albans will be hosting its first Placemaking event on Monday 20th May 2019 at the Octagon Room, St Peter’s Church, St Peter’s Street, St Albans AL1 3HG starting at 18:45 and finishing at 21:30. We hope to hold similar events on a regular basis.

Dr Susan Parham, Head of Urbanism and Planning at The University of Hertfordshire will give a talk followed by a discussion on “Placemaking into the future: can we get past 'business as usual' approaches to new places?

This talk will explore some existing and planned examples of placemaking that finds ways to avoid bog standard approaches to making new places. It will explore examples from Hertfordshire and beyond that show how places can be sustainable across a range of themes: housing, streets, food, movement and walkability, energy use, water and air quality, services and infrastructure, and employment and social life. The talk will reflect on how to get there - with a focus on engagement methods to help create these sustainable places.

Starting at 6:45pm with drinks, Look! St Albans will hold its AGM at 7pm to be finished as expeditiously as possible to allow our speaker to start at 7:30pm ending at 9:30pm. All are welcome!

BREAKING NEWS: Look! St Albans has been shortlisted for the Planning Awards for the ‘Award for community-led placemaking’  https://www.planningawards.com/finalists/oak-tree-gardens-heritage-project//






Looking for our publications to download? 

While we carry out some website maintenance, these can be accessed via our archived website: http://www.historictownsforum.org/publications


HTVF invites applicants to join Board

Are you a senior local authority officer with responsibilities for conservation and design?  The Historic Towns and Villages Forum is interested to hear from members who have local authority experience to join its Board and contribute to the further development of its influence and activities.  The HTVF is now constituted as a not for profit limited company, and the Board meets around four times per year. Directors are expected to take responsibility for elements within the range of the Forum’s activities and promote greater interest in the benefits of membership, and greater participation in the services it offers.  

Now in its 33rd year, the HTVF is developing a refreshed programme of events, reflecting its broader membership and the opportunities and challenges presented to those who wish to protect and enhance the features of historic settlements.  It will continue to provide better practice guidance and undertake research to support those who care for and manage change in historic places. We aim also to build stronger relationships with partner organisations that have complementary interests.  For more information, see our website www.htvf.org

If you are interested, please send your details to the Chair of the HTVF Steven Bee steven.bee@urbancounsel.co.uk by Monday 4th March 2019.

Annual General Meeting 2019

Annual General Meeting 2019

Our AGM was held on 31 January 2019, and was very kindly hosted by Bircham Dyson Bell LLP, at 50 Broadway London SW1H 0BL.

You can download the following relevant documents here:

Congratulations to HTVF Board member Sara Crofts for her appointment as Chief Executive of ICON (The Institute of Conservation) from January 2019.

Sara was formerly at the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)  as Head of Historic Environment for the last three years.

Coming up: ICOMOS Xmas Lecture
Keep up with news from the heritage sector with the ICOMOS newsletter available from admin@icomos-uk.org

Thrive & Revive Place

Have you seen the latest issue of Thrive & Revive's Place magazine? Follow this link for more on how to support our town centres https://reviveandthrive.co.uk/revive-thrive-place-magazine/.


Check out the new details on our events planned in September and October at http://www.htvf.org/page/


Conservation & Urban Design

Available now and free to download - the special issue of the Urban Design Group's quarterly journal Urban Design featuring articles on different ways of valuing, counting, seeing and saving our heritage:


We are interested in receiving book reviews on recent publications, and are delighted to publish our inaugural review...

The Village News, the truth behind England’s rural idyll, by Tom Fort, Simon and Schuster, 2017 £14.99 HB £8.99 PB
ISBN 978-1-4711-5109-5
According to Tom Fort, there is no such thing as a typical English village. Most are determined by their geography, as manifested partly by their local building materials, others by history. Fort’s cycle rides take him from the Durham coalfields, to picturesque Devon and Cornwall and most counties in between. Many villages are ancient, though some, like his own of Sonning Common, are a mere 100 years old. Those spawned by the Industrial Revolution were thrown up rapidly and cheaply, while others grew in a slow, organic fashion. Yet what links them over a 1,500 year period is that their raison d’être was to work the land, whether on or below the surface.
Fort confirms that the English village is still alive, but barely kicking. Indeed, despite the Black Death, industrialisation, parliamentary enclosures and other losses undermining village life, it managed to survive, until the late 19th century. Then what we now call gentrification and suburbanisation engulfed Bourne near Farnham, as Surrey succumbed. More recently it has been  prosperity (for some) in the form of holiday homes, visited once or twice a year, that  has sucked the communal life from villages further afield, driven its young away to find low-cost housing, and often killed off the civic institutions that kept them alive. The last straw was the mechanisation of agriculture brought about by the two world wars. With agriculture died the crafts and trades associated with rural life, though TV programmes like the Victorian Farm series suggest many people are reviving or still practising old crafts.
Fort delves into the history of each place, often finding a piece of literature, like Sturt’s Change in the Village, Lee’s Cider with Rosie or a written local history like The History of Myddle to compare past with present.  He also talks to the locals, to take the measure of its communal spirit.
Heritage professionals will deplore many of his conclusions. He would like a bonfire of conservation policies like AONBs and Conservation Areas. He castigates the National Trust for preserving picturesque villages at the expense of housing locals in new buildings. But he rightly abhors the volume housebuilders with their dull and derivative designs, while he recommends de-suburbanisation by building at higher densities and the use of local building materials - essential to preserve the variety and character of an area. ‘The best of England is a village’, but that is only true if you can find a beautiful and thriving one.
Dr Linda Hall, Heritage Champion and Councillor, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council