Sunday 20 November 2016

Rudyard and Oakamoor Conservation Area Appraisals

Appraisals for new Conservation Area designations in the Staffordshire Moorlands published in 2016.

Here are links to the appraisals which combined new designations with Article 4 Directions. Copy and paste them into your browser:’s-heritage


This week I have been learning all about Lincrusta-Walton, Cameoid, Lignomur, Anaglypta from the experts ( and and looking at ways to keep and restore panels as the rollers were melted down and destroyed for the war effort! 

Watch this space....

Deep relief Anaglypta (ca. 1926)

Limecrete (Sublime) Floor

My first Sublime (TM) -limecrete floor - it's the way to go!

Thursday 13 October 2016

Edward Kemp at Birkdale

Edward Kemp's publication on "How to Lay Out a Garden", first published in 1850 and entitled "How to Lay Out a Small Garden", was published in several editions and was one of the most popular gardening books of its time.  A kind lady (thank you Ann) recently pointed out to me that his 1864 edition had a drawing for a garden in Birkdale Park, one of Kemp's early creations.  I was so surprised to find out that it is our site (the subject of a Conservation Management Plan), as I had read an earlier edition in which it is not mentioned - the moral being don't forget later editions! A stroke of luck.......

garden plan proposed in 1864

It's not the same garden design, but his descriptions of sea-side gardens are very detailed and useful:
"The mode of arrangement which I have found most satisfactory under such circumstances, is to give great prominence to grass in a garden, and, by banks of varied form and height, to secure some degree of diversity, obtaining shelter also by depressing certain parts of the lawn". 
His prescriptive approach to gardening means that we have a strong guide for restoration in the spirit of Kemp, as well as the limitations of gardening along the exposed west sea-front, reclaimed from the extensive sand dunes running along this section of the coast, which plants he favoured and how the circumstances of having to suppress wind-blown sand, created a simplicity to the design, with the lawn and 'grass banks'  having pride of place (made feasible and practical by the invention of the lawn mower in 1830), laid out in what he describes as "the shape of a sunk panel". From his detailed description we can identify that the wych elm, poplar and sycamore are probably daughters of the original planting, even if not the original trees.

1891 - garden as implemented

Saturday 16 July 2016

New Standard Works - Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

Just thought I would post this photo from one of the taller four-storey buildings, in the JQ, which has to have one of the best views of the City of Birmingham! Just completing a Conservation Plan for this grade II listed building. The window falls within a workshop known colloquially in the Jewellery Quarter as "shopping".

Monday 9 May 2016

Inquiry decisions - setting of listed buildings and conservation areas

We have been successful in representing two local planning authorities for proposed housing sites which affect the character and appearance (and setting) of conservation areas and the setting of listed buildings in Derbyshire. 

1. Woodhead Road Heritage and Landscape Appraisal 
High Peak Local Plan - Site allocations on farmland initially identified in the Local Plan for 121 dwellings at Woodhead Road, Glossop, were scrutinised by our team (with landscape and historic buildings and areas expertise) at the request of Historic England and our evidence base and assessment of significance and levels of harm has been found to be robust by the Local Plan inspector.  

Old Glossop

Key considerations were:
  • Cumulative impact on heritage assets
  • Key views towards the heritage assets 
The inspector stated: 
"the cumulative impact of development in this location on the various heritage assets and their settings, particularly in relation to the Conservation Area, is such that it would give rise to harm to their significance. For the above reasons, while I have found that the overall harm would be less than substantial, it would nonetheless be material.
The Woodhead Road allocation sites for housing in the Local Plan have as a result been removed because of the harm to the heritage assets - the plan was approved with these omissions in April 2016.
The Inspector's decision can be seen at this link, paragraphs 189-200:

2. Wingfield Manor and South Wingfield -  acting as expert witness in January on behalf of the local planning authority, Mel Morris provided advice in dealing with heritage matters for a housing application for 90 dwellings at Inns Lane by Gladman Developments Ltd.   This affected the setting of the Grade I Wingfield Manor and the South Wingfield Conservation Area.  Despite lack of a 5-year housing supply, the Inspector concluded that the "adverse impacts are too high a price to pay."  
Wingfield Manor Derbyshire
View from the High Tower towards South Wingfield

He stated:
The character and appearance of the South Wingfield Conservation Area would not be preserved or enhanced and the significance of the Grade I listed Wingfield Manor would be diminished through harm to its setting. The level of harm to heritage significance would be ‘less than substantial’ in terms of the NPPF, but attracts considerable weight and importance in the balance. Moreover, the scheme would be suburban in layout and would extend existing ribbon development in Inns Lane into the countryside in a conspicuous and disproportionate way, in conflict with the pattern of existing development in the village and unduly assertive in its siting. The character and appearance of the area generally would be markedly adversely affected." 
The Inspector's decision to dismiss the appeal can be read on the Planning Portal under this PINS reference: APP/M1005/W/15/3006136
see also this link:

Conservation Plan - Standard Works Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

Described by English Heritage as "one of the best examples of a flatted factory," work starts this month on the development of a Conservation Plan for Standard Works, in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter for the Ruskin Mill Land Trust.  I shall be working closely with the architect at Purcell to identify how best to preserve the significance of the 1879 building and reveal its hidden history.  This builds upon our work last year for Nexus Heritage, funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, to produce a detailed analysis of the building. 

Unusual cast-iron ground floor window bays with integral
massive cast-iron pilasters decorated to simulate joinery
Basement with cast iron columns and iron beams supporting load-bearing engineered brick
walls and open courtyards above. Much of the jack-arched construction to the courtyard bays
was removed during 20th century adaptation  

Greenbank Hall - Chester

Many thanks to Neil Hutchinson of Owen Ellis Architects for the latest photograph of the finished Greenbank, complete with newly-planted pleached hornbeams.  The Conservation Management Plan we produced has been used by the developer in conjunction with their legal team to scope out individual leases.