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Report published on Localism and Heritage in Bristol
Release date: Fri, 20/07/2012
The report is now published on a Bristol City Council and English Heritage Conference on the potential benefits and impacts of Localism on Heritage.
On March 7, the council's City Design Group, in partnership with English Heritage, held a conference, Localism and Heritage: Working Together, at the Council House in Bristol. It attracted 180 delegates from a variety of organisations and disciplines including councillors, heritage professionals and members of community groups.
The full conference report and video extracts from the morning session can be viewed at http://designbristol.ning.com/profiles/blogs/localism-and-heritage-conference-report
The event comprised two distinct sessions:
The morning session ‘New Approaches and New Partnerships’ was chaired by Professor John Punter of the Bristol Urban Design Forum. It set the wider national and regional context and moved on to focus on local government initiatives supporting local placemaking in a time of significant change in the sector. The audience listened to presentations from local authority officers from Bristol, Cheltenham and Oxford before taking part in a workshop to explore some of the key themes of localism and how it links to heritage.
The afternoon session ‘ Local Placemaking’ was chaired by Steve Pearce of the Greater Brislington Neighbourhood Partnership and focussed on the experience of local groups in Bristol and how their plans aim to harness the value of the local historic environment.
There are big changes afoot in the planning world. The new Localism Act seeks to make the planning system clearer, more democratic and more effective and to place more influence in the hands of local people. This, together with the proposed National Planning Policy Framework and the end of regional planning, has created an unprecedented level of public interest and debate about planning
At the same time, there are cuts to both budgets and staff in local government. Councils are having to cope with reduced resources while also developing new ways of working with communities to conserve heritage and to create new, high quality, developments.
Councillor Negus, the Heritage Champion for Bristol City Council who opened the conference, said: “As a city we've become very good at working together to achieve the best for Bristol. The high level of enthusiasm around the Carriageworks consultation and the buzz around Stokes Croft demonstrates the appetite for localism within our communities. The conference was designed as an opportunity to skill up on the new laws so that residents and interest groups can use the new powers effectively, and work with the council and English Heritage on enhancing and protecting the city's unique historic buildings and conservation areas.
Andrew Vines, English Heritage Planning Director for the South West, said: “Localism presents us with a positive new opportunity for English Heritage to offer our expert advice and work even more closely with Bristol City Council and with local communities and to maximise the contribution of the historic environment to create high quality places.”