Planning and the Historic Environment - 17 May 2002

Agenda for the 21st century

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education in association with

The Institute of Field Archaeologists

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Click on links below to view papers, PDF files also availible to download. These are large files, please be patient as they download.

  1. Introduction - Eddie Booth and Deborah Porter
  2. Shared outlooks and common ground - Sir Neil Cossons (PDF)
  3. A common grounding ? Principles, standards and training - John Preston (PDF)
  4. Resourcing historic environment services - is less really more ? - Gill Chitty (PDF)
  5. The role of the amenity societies - Matthew Saunders (PDF)
  6. Working imaginatively to engage ethnic minorities - Judy Ling Wong (PDF)
  7. Adjusting vertical and horizontal hold: the real joined-upness - David Baker (PDF)
  8. Information flows in the digital age - Nigel Clubb (PDF)
  9. Sound in conception and effective in operation - Kate Clark (PDF)

Readers are invited to download, print out and disseminate any of these papers. There are no plans for hard-copy publishing. Citations should be referenced:

name / paper / PATHE 2002 / IFA & IHBC 2002

Planning and the Historic Environment: Agenda for the 21st century

Oxford University Department for Continuing Education in association with

The Institute of Field Archaeologists

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation

The term ‘historic environment sector’ is as much aspirational as actual. It has taken nearly two decades to achieve significant engagement between the two professional Institutes; the extent to which they share a common outlook has yet to be explored.

This slim digital volume originated in frustrations felt by David Baker (MIFA & IHBC) and John Preston (IHBC & MRTPI) over what they perceived (rightly or wrongly) as unhelpfully particularist intra-sectoral manoeuvring preceding the 2001 General Election. Their response - to try and organise a conference and hope that enough of the people that ought to confer could find the time to attend - was an act of faith. Who could be persuaded to say what ? Where could an informed but neutral facilitator be found ? Happily, Malcolm Airs, President of IHBC and no stranger to matters archaeological, lassoed the proposal for his 2002 OUDCE conference on ‘Planning and the Historic Environment’, a respected series whose pedigree stretches back to the heady days and green shoots of the 1970s.

A small group found little difficulty in assembling a bilateral slate of speakers, and on 17 May 2002 we had the pleasure of chairing the morning and afternoon sessions respectively. The papers are essential reading for coming to terms with times that are changing, times filled with difficulties and opportunities in about equal measure.

Compulsory reading is Sir Neil Cossons’ keynote paper, giving a clear and authoritative message that occupants of distributed silos will ignore at their peril.

What unites us and what divides us was tackled with an emphasis on education and training by John Preston, and by David Baker through a model of the historic environment stressing the linkages between its users, content and processes.

The professionals exist to serve the rest of humanity. Linkages too easily forgotten were rehearsed in Matthew Saunders’s account of the role of the national Amenity Societies. Judy Ling Wong challengingly and imaginatively mapped out routes towards engaging all minorities in the enjoyment of their historic environments.

Gill Chitty reported on recent work charting the decline of resources available for conserving and explaining aspects of the historic environment, especially through local government. Nigel Clubb reviewed progress with developing and managing the information systems that must underpin those activities, locally, regionally, nationally and virtually through ‘portals’. Kate Clark concluded the conference by focusing us on imminent realities, relating the agenda of ‘Informed Conservation’, that affect all activity in the historic environment sector, to imminent reviews of PPGs 15 and 16.

Eddie Booth, Chair, Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Deborah Porter, Chair, Institute of Field Archaeologists

16 July 2002