Bristol Heritage Forum, Fri 27 Oct 2017

Bristol 1873

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of conservation areas, a concept introduced by the Civic Amenities Act in 1967. In many respects the Act was a response to the public’s concerns that post war planning was destroying the country’s most historic places and eroding the special character of places.

The first conservation area in Bristol was designated in 1970. The city now has 33 designated conservation areas covering about one third of the city. But how have these designations helped to define our city?

“Designating a conservation area should not be seen as an end in itself: we live in a changing world and for the historic environment to survive and continue to be cherished it needs to be positively managed. We want communities across the country to come together and say ‘My Conservation Area Matters’”. Civic Voice.

This day conference aims to look back at some issues that conservation areas have faced in the city over the last 50 years and look ahead to address questions for their future such as:

  • Has designation made a difference and is it continuing to do so?
  • Have the correct areas been protected?
  • Have the designations promoted regeneration that is heritage led?
  • Should we be considering new models for celebrating our historic neighbourhoods that ensure that distinctive places are cherished for the future?

The day will include:

  • Visits to historic parts of the city.
  • A workshop session to explore future opportunities for our historic places.
  • A key note speech from Historic England’s former Director of Planning Chris Smith OBE. Chris had worked at Historic England since 1994 having previously worked as a Conservation Officer in Bristol and the North East. He brings a wealth of experience to be able to provide an overview of the subject matter, both form his time in Bristol and from a national perspective.

This is the second Heritage Forum conference and is supported by the Bristol Heritage Forum executives Historic England, Bristol Civic Society, Bristol City Council, The Churches Conservation Trust, JLL and the Neighbourhood Planning Network.

To find out more about Bristol’s conservation areas visit and the latest news from Historic England.

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