Summary of RTPI / CIfA joint heritage seminar held on 6 March 2019


The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has established a good working relationship over a number of years. The two organisations work together on policy, built environment sector initiatives and on joint projects that create mutual benefit for members, other stakeholders and the public.

An example of this type of collaborative working is the joint RTPI - CIfA seminar held on Wednesday, 6 March 2019 in Manchester.

Kindly hosted and sponsored by Shoosmiths, this seminar looked at the Planning for Historic Places.

Katie Wray – Assistant Director at Deloitte and Events Co-coordinator for IHBC North West –introduced the seminar and Mike Nevell – Head of Archaeology at the University of Salford –
Acted as chair.

Dave Chetwyn – Planning Consultant and Managing Director at Urban Vision Enterprise – spoke about planning for heritage, giving examples ranging from Liverpool to Swale and Lowestoft to Blandford Forum. Dave talked about understanding heritage in the context of national policy and local economies, usage and condition, character and viability. He described Liverpool in the 1980s and the potential for managed decline and the listing of the Albert Dock as an example of heritage as a catalyst for urban regeneration. Dave emphasised that it’s not just major initiatives that make a difference and that small, incremental improvements can be made to local areas through careful heritage planning.

Katie Wray followed Dave and talked in detail about the NOMA project in Manchester to highlight the importance of collaboration across the professions to aid great heritage planning. This includes collaboration between planners, contractors and developers, archaeologists, architects, landscape and creative professionals. Collaboration has resulted in a forward-thinking, neighbourhood-led approach to placemaking at this 4 million sq. ft mixed-use development to the north of city centre. It clear that the archaeology and industrial heritage undercover during redevelopment and restoration at NOMA provided a fantastic opportunity to share the site’s history with people visiting, living and working in the area. A significant amount of research led to a strategy for sharing knowledge through physical and digital storytelling to educational, cultural and technical audiences.

Peter Hinton – Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists – spoke about the importance of team engagement at the earliest stage of the planning process. Peter highlighted the importance of having a staged approach to informing decisions and managing risks and opportunities and he went into detail about NPPF and archaeology. Using case studies including Taylor Wimpey’s Buntingfield and Morley Carr Farm developments and ABLE UK at East Halton, Peter made the point that significance can potentially be enhanced through investigation, by converting the archaeological interest of the fabric into the historical interest generated from new knowledge and understanding. He also underlined that the purpose of archaeology is not to decontaminate a site of problems, so that development can go ahead, but to add value to development and communities. Peter went on to talk about CIfA’s role, that of Heritage 2020 and essential role of the archaeology advisor to planning authorities.

The final speaker was Norman Redhead – Heritage Management Director at the University of Salford. Norman’s talk focused on public engagement through archaeology. Norman also referenced the NPPF and case studies such as the Beetham Tower in Manchester, Pendleton Old Hall in Salford and Ashbury’s Rail Carriage and Iron Foundry in Gorton, to show there is a duty to tell the story of a site and that communicating with local people is critical. Norman used examples of exhibitions and open days, information boards and the role of local museums to show how heritage can be commemorated and the public engaged. Other examples include inviting local volunteers to work on archaeological excavations, not in place of professional archaeologists, but alongside them - often providing specialist local knowledge

About CIfA
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) is the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. Its members are professionally accredited and skilled in the study and care of the historic environment. They sign up to a rigorous Code of conduct, CPD schemes and complaints procedures to uphold competence and standards in archaeology. CIfA champions professionalism in archaeology, which is good for practitioners, clients and protects the public. CIfA does this by setting standards, improving careers and promoting best practice.

About RTPI
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is the UK's leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning and is the largest planning institute in Europe with over 25,000 members. RTPI’s campaigning activity raise the profile of the planning profession and generate awareness of the contribution planners make to building sustainable communities and helping to drive economic wealth. RTPI works in partnership with others to promote the professional development of planning professionals. The North West region is one of the largest, with over 2,000 members.

About Shoosmiths
Shoosmiths is a major UK law firm with a turnover of over £128m and a network of offices working together as one national team. Clients appreciate Shoosmiths’ people, because of the way they work and the results they deliver for them. Shoosmiths works to a simple formula: a can do ethos, values that are much more than words on paper, and the agility to find the best way for each individual client - whether that's ways of working, pricing structures or just innovative ideas that make a real commercial difference.

Registration is now open, please see here

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
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