Four Towns @ 50 Conference 50th anniversary of the Government’s “Four Studies in Conservation”

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Government’s “Four Studies in Conservation” looking at Bath, Chester, Chichester and York, a national conference will be held in Chichester on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th October.

The hosts are the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CCAAC) which was set up by Chichester District Council in 1976 to advise the council on planning within the city centre conservation area.

The Civic Amenities Act (1967) required planning authorities to designate conservation areas for all areas of historic interest, and the Government selected four historic towns for special study ‘to discover how to reconcile our old towns with the 20th century without actually knocking them down’.

Despite being far smaller than the other three cities, Chichester was one of the four chosen due largely to the enthusiasm of the city council’s town clerk Eric Banks. These Studies in Conservation, published in 1969, led the way for conservation areas nationally.

The Friday conference sessions will be held at the Assembly Room, North Street, Chichester, from 10am to 5pm. Professor John Gold of Oxford Brookes University, will start by giving an overview of the four studies. He will then be followed by speakers from each of the cities who will explain the effects the studies have had on their own areas.

A light buffet lunch will be served, and the day’s proceedings will close with a keynote address on the state of conservation areas nationally; given by Joan Humble, Chair of Civic Voice.

Saturday will be devoted to a series of morning and afternoon themed walks around the city centre including an examination of the Pallants area which was examined in detail by the Chichester study, and a look at a range of 20th and 21st century buildings.

Alan Green, Chairman of the CCAAC said: ‘this conference, which is being publicised nationally, is not to be missed! The four towns have come together to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal moment in their conservation, and to reflect what has happened since.’

Tickets for the conference are priced £40 (which includes both days) and are available from the Chichester Box Office at the Novium Museum, Tower Street, Chichester PO19 1QH. They can be collected in person or booked online here or by phoning 01243 816525. Please be sure to give your name, address and email when you book.