I have recently joined Bristol’s Conservation Advisory Panel, representing the Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network. As one of my passions is old buildings, our heritage and the need to develop exciting, innovative and modern ways of taking listed buildings and conservation areas forward this seemed like a great fit. Whilst not a ‘conservation’ expert by any means I bring a slightly different set of skills to the Panel – that of a professional currently working in the development industry that has experience of balancing the juxtaposition of new architecture and new uses for listed buildings, older buildings and sites within conservation areas.

The Panel does divide opinion, but the purpose is to advise owners, applicants, developers, architects and other professionals within the development industry on the merits or otherwise of development involving our heritage assets. It’s not a forum for purely critiquing, it’s a forum for lively and stimulating debate and providing guidance. But it’s not afraid to tell an applicant to think again about a scheme’s impact on heritage issues.

The Panel provides advice at both pre app and application stage. Obviously it’s more helpful if the Panel can provide an applicant with feedback at an early stage, as opposed to a formal consultation response once an application is proceeding through the determination process. So, if you have a scheme in Bristol that involves a listed building, a building of merit in a conservation area or development in a conservation area then please think seriously about getting some feedback and guidance on your scheme at an early stage with us. Feel free to contact Quentin Alder, the Panel’s chair, on mail@quentinalder.co.uk.