November proved to be a very productive month and got off to a very pleasing start.
My first essay discussing the theory behind conservation was awarded a distinction! Doing well at university is crucial if I am to eventually land a career in the field. Jobs in this area, although improving, are still thin on the ground. If things continue at this rate then I’ll be on track to pass the course with first class honours, a year of THI experience under my belt and an eager, motivated and positive attitude. All that of course is a long way off.
A great start to November with a mark of distinction
The Prescot Planning Guide has been reviewed internally and I am due to make some final alterations in the next few days. I have been learning more about the importance of Supplementary Planning Documents and how they relate to a Council’s Local Plan and their wider context within the National Policy Planning Framework and ultimately, Acts of Parliament. Such documents are extremely useful on a local level and can really help guide the shape of things to come.
The draft of the Prescot Planning Guide has been internally reviewed
I recently accompanied the THI Officer on a visit to Liverpool University where he was scheduled to give a talk to planning students on legal matters in heritage and conservation. It was a shocking presentation (the content not the delivery) featuring some awfully horrific examples of homeowners flouting the law. Owen included a case study which he was involved with during his time with Harrogate Borough Council.
The THI Officer Owen gave a talk to Liverpool University’s planning students
In 2012, the 18th century Copt Hewick Hall in North Yorkshire was the victim of some truly horrendous alterations which paid no regard to the building’s listed status. The nightmare only concluded when the homeowner and contractor were handed down fairly substantial fines in court. The talk really highlighted the importance of strong law enforcement within the heritage sector and the risks our historic buildings face at the hands of some of the more ignorant or downright unscrupulous developers.
Some of the damage done to Copt Hewick Hall, courtesy of Dean Knight Partnership Ltd
I also gave a presentation this week, but mine was to my fellow students at the University of Central Lancashire. As part of our module on Urban Regeneration we were required to produce a case study of a regeneration project of our choice. Naturally I chose Prescot and I put together a short presentation focusing on the work of the THI. My presentation was marked for the quality of my investigation and research, my assessment of Prescot’s problems, my appraisal of the THI’s adopted solutions and my suggested alternative interventions. I always get a little nervous before giving talks but I think it went well. Hopefully I’ll get some official feedback in the near future.
Another presentation, this time at the University of Central Lancashire
In a few weeks time we have our so- called Christmas Break, where I’ll be finishing a project on the architecture of Chester, completing a project on the development of Birkenhead Park, reading up for my dissertation topic and revising for exams and working on some more publishing commitments I foolishly made earlier in the year. I think they may need to be rescheduled, perhaps over a mince pie.
Once that is out the way 2016 will feature work on a brand new conservation area appraisal, tackling planning breaches and the chance to take on other tasks to help improve my experience within the heritage sector.
Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!