Work of the Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns

WHY WAS THE ALLIANCE CREATED?

The setting up of Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns (ACT) reflected the fact that civic societies in a number of cathedral cities and historic towns had becoming increasingly concerned about the tension between the conservation of the historic city/town and varying degrees of population, housing and economic growth. At the same time a number of other groups were highlighting the need to protect and enhance historic cities and towns, which have enormous economic, as well as cultural and social value to the country. These bodies included the Kenwood House Group (which published “Cathedral Cities & Historic Towns“), the Historic Towns Forum and Historic England, which in 2014 commissioned Green Balance to produce a report entitled “The Sustainable Growth of Cathedral Cities and Historic Towns” (plus Appendix relating to Canterbury) which highlighted some of the problems.

The Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns was established in 2015 by a group of civic societies in cathedral cities, under the umbrella of Civic Voice, the national body for civic societies across England. The Alliance was launched at the Civic Voice Annual Conference in Bristol in October 2015. Since then there has been a presentation of its work at the Civic Voice Conference in Chester in 2016 and a further presentation is scheduled for the Civic Voice Conference in Wakefield in 2017.

WHAT HAS THE ALLIANCE DONE?

When  ACT was set up it was known that many civic societies were concerned about the pressure on historic cities and towns. However, the nature and extent of their concerns were not known. This led to the carrying out of a survey which involved a questionnaire to be completed by the representatives of civic societies across England – thanks are due to all those who responded to the ACT survey and the staff at Civic Voice who collated the answers.

OUTCOME OF THE RESEARCH TO BE AVAILABLE LATE NOVEMBER

Over the past few months the results of the survey have been analysed and written up and a detailed report on the research will be presented at a special workshop at the Wakefield Conference on Saturday 21ST November. Copies of the report will be available for those attending the workshop. There will also be discussion about the plans for the work of ACT over the coming months, and we hope that delegates to the Conference will come along to give us their views and suggestions.

WHAT NEXT?

The research carried out by ACT has already been presented in draft to Historic England and this has led on to two suggestions for further work, both focused on the concerns of civic societies.

First, it was suggested that the results of the research had implications for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It was suggested that ACT could draw on the research, and on the experience of civic societies, to propose amendments to the NPPF. The DCLG are in the process of reviewing the NPPF. As a result the ACT Steering Group have recently written to the Planning Minister with a number of proposed amendments to the NPPF which, if adopted, would provide more positive planning guidance for historic cathedral cities and towns facing pressures for growth. These recommendations will be presented at the ACT workshop on 21st October.

Secondly, there is the possibility of further research. This would focus on the types of growth and change which can either sustain the character of historic cities and towns – or can damage these places. Historic England have indicated that there is a need for further research into these issues and the ACT Steering Group is currently working on a research proposal which we hope to submit to Historic England for consideration in the near future. This proposal, too, will be presented at the workshop in Wakefield, and comments on it will be welcome.

The ACT workshop takes place at the Civic Voice Conference on 21st October. If  interested in getting more involved with ACT and/or taking part in its work contact John Pahl (Chair Canterbury Society) at J.M.Pahl@kent.ac.uk

Acknowledgements: To John Pahl (Chair Canterbury Society) from the ACT Steering Group who provided this background information on the ACT

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Cathedral Cities in Peril‘ This report published in March 2015 was the result of reflections and debates held by Foster + Partners, English Heritage and Terence O’Rourke MBE, which took place in the context set by the Kenwood House Group. It was prepared to help inform the debate about the expansion of our cathedral cities and historic towns, mainly prompted by the need to significantly increase housing stock.

Chichester BID Open Meeting and the aim to increase visitors to Chi

The Chichester Business Improvement District ran an open meeting on 12 October where the future direction of BID was outlined as were the plans for the 2017 Christmas Campaign for Chichester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colin Hicks, the Chair of Chichester BID (shown speaking  above) explained the changes in the BID’s organisation and the new focus for the BID Team on driving footfall and leading efforts to improve the dwell-times of visitors to the City. The BID area is funded by the businesses themselves and several BID members have responded to calls to propose ideas to promote the City, three of which will be trialled in the Xmas period. Plans include several nights of mulled wine, mince pies and chestnuts at The Cross and various choristers and performances. The Christmas Lights Switch On (sponsored by Bray Associates) and Firework display (sponsored by Woodland Crafts Events Management) is on November 23  from 5pm.

The BID Team now also enjoy an improving relationship with both public and private partners and is consulted about wider issues of importance to members, such as the Chichester Vision, and tourism and transport policies that are relevant to the City Centre.

Analysis of footfall is undertaken using mobile data. Chichester BID has dedicated footfall cameras along with fourteen sensors that count mobile phones passing in the area within the City centre. These allow us to monitor what brings people into Chichester and where these people go. The sensors have been designed from the ground-up specifically to prevent personal data from being collected. The data is collected by Springboard UK & Noggin.

Cllr Roger Barrow, cabinet member for Chichester District Council, presented a trial ‘Against Litter’ Campaign that he is leading, which will begin in a month’s time. The leaflet to be used can be viewed here.

Janet Tuckett was introduced, who had previously worked for Chichester BID and returns as the members’ part-time Ambassador. This is a new role which involves working with BID area businesses to keep them informed about what is happening in the City and help promote their special events or promotional offers. Janet will also be very much the BID area’s eyes and ears, on hand to assist with any issues businesses may have, as they arise and ensuring these are taken up quickly and dealt with. This will include leading the BID Team in the pursuit of these concerns with the local Councils or other relevant agencies.

Further information about Chichester BID can be found at their website.

Damage continues due to large lorries in Conservation Area

This is the result of damage caused by a brewery lorry backing down from North Pallant at the end of September.

Severe damage to brickwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When queried via our Twitter account about the lack of a protective bollard West Sussex Highways replied ‘The bollards that are currently in place are historical and unlikely to be replaced if damaged. Bollard replacements are subject to prioritisation (Based on safety needs) and budgetary constraints. West Pallant junction does not provide enough footway space to install a bollard and allow pedestrian access ie: pushchair, wheelchair users‘.

Some existing bollards are shown below:

Two protective bollards in North Pallant  where one might do?
Bollard at top of Theatre Lane at exit end of one way street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The bollard at the top of Theatre Lane is at the exit end of a one way street, so lorries can’t back down and it is very unlikely that an exiting vehicle could damage the adjoining building.

New Park Court St Pancras PO19 7SB

17/02050/FUL New Park Court St Pancras PO19 7SB

Replacement windows and frames.

Objection. This application is impossible to determine due to poor documentation, with no detail drawings of the windows and should not have been validated. It is completely unclear what “laminated windows with latest spec glazing” means. It is also noted that this application has been sent to irrelevant consultees (14.09.17).

7 Franklin Place PO19 1BL

17/02030/DOM and 17/02031/LBC 7 Franklin Place 

Proposed rear extension and internal alterations.

Objection. While the external appearance of these alterations seems acceptable, the roof layout of the extension is not shown on the proposed first floor plan. Similarly, the colour and materials of the roof glazing framing and the rear French doors and sidelights are not given. We consider that this application should not have been validated and that the Historic Buildings Advisor should be involved to judge whether historic building fabric will be unacceptably lost. (already submitted prior to meeting due to early closing date)

117 St Pancras PO19 7LH

17/01707/DOM and 17/01708/LBC 117 St Pancras PO19 7LH

Replacement doors and windows and internal alterations.

Objection. The committee cannot determine this application due to insufficient information. Design & Access and Heritage statements have not been provided. There is no detail regarding the ‘Georgian style’ timber bifold doors or ‘frameless ‘balustrade around the veranda. We do, however, commend the replacement of plastic rainwater goods with cast iron.