Meeting documents

Venue: Mezzanine Room 2, County Hall, Aylesbury. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence / Changes in Membership


Apologies were received from Brenda Jennings and Hugh McCarthy.


Declarations of Interest

To declare any personal and prejudicial interests


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 170 KB

of the meeting held on 30 September 2009 to be confirmed


The minutes of the meeting held on the 10 March 2010 were confirmed subject to the following change:


Page 4, Agenda Item 9, The Archaeological Service in Milton Keynes has changed its name to the Conservation & Archaeology Team and therefore line 1 should read "Members received a report from the Conservation and Archaeology Team, Milton Keynes".


Matters Arising from the Minutes


Members were advised that in relation to the Heritage Protection Reform a project review meeting had been arranged for April 2010. The Officer also informed the Forum that the current position for Planning Policy Statement 15: Consultation could be published around Easter but that there was uncertainty due to the General Election.


The ‘Illustrated History of Early Buckinghamshire’ book was circulated at the meeting for Members and it was commented that this was a positive piece of work.


Mr Kidd highlighted that he may put forward the ruin Church in Quarrendon as a site at risk.


Conservation Area Policy

Report of the Aylesbury Vale Conservation Areas Officer

Additional documents:


Members had received a report from Emilia Hands, Conservation Officer, Aylesbury Vale District Council.


The AVDC Conservation Areas Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been prepared to provide additional guidance to parties about the interpretation and application of the Council’s Conservation Area policies.  The Conservation Area SPD explains the policy framework for this guidance and summarises the process by which Conservation Area within Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) are designated, appraised, monitored and managed.


The draft supplementary planning document is available on the AVDC website or can be accessed via the following link:

The SPD forms part of the emerging AVDC Local Development Framework, (LDF) and acts as an important linking document between the LDF policies and AVDC’s Conservation Area Appraisals, Management Plans and associated documents.

The Conservation Area Management Plan - District Wide Strategy is a document produced by consultants for AVDC.

The Officer informed the Forum that there is a District wide Conservation Management Plan which has been produced by consultants on behalf of AVDC and said it is a working document that provides short, medium and long term programmes for addressing generic management issues in the Conservation Areas throughout the district. The document informs the Conservation Area Supplementary Planning Document and will inform the individual Conservation Area Management Plans which will be produced for each of the Conservation Areas within the district. AVDC received a grant from English Heritage. The Officer said Members should contact her if they required a paper copy of the document.

A Member asked if there was a similar process in other Council’s and the Officer advised that she was not aware of any although all Council’s have Local Delivery Frameworks.  She stressed that AVDC had fought hard for conservation.  Milton Keynes did have a couple of area actions plans but said that these were cut for the core strategy and said that they did not have a linking document.

A Member asked if appraisals are underneath SPD as they had difficulty in getting a reference to conservation in their District Core Strategy.

The Forum supported the document and congratulated those involved in the initiative.


Promoting Heritage Awareness with Policy Makers pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Report of the County Archaeologist

Additional documents:


Sandy Kidd, County Archaeologist, gave the following update:


Promotion of awareness amongst key decision-makers of heritage issues relating to both the historic environment and museums was discussed at the last meeting.  An idea is for an event to be held at the County Museum to coincide with the museum’s ‘Human’ exhibition to showcase the public value of heritage, and debate future heritage policy.  There would be several speakers with a regional or national profile.


An event in mid June has been proposed and the Officer said he had been speaking with Sarah Gray, Bucks County Museum to try and co-ordinate this. 


The Officer said it would be helpful for Members of the Forum to identify other opportunities for engaging with decision-makers and highlighted that The County Archaeology Services is to hold a training event for the Chiltern HLC Project with the Chiltern AONB as well as a series of promotional events for the Buckinghamshire Historic Towns Project which are being jointly organised with the District Councils.


The Forum was advised that the Milton Keynes Archaeology Day is to be held on Saturday 13 November 2010 10am-4pm, Milton Keynes Central Library.

It was commented that the aim is to try to attract high earners to Milton Keynes and that leaflets have been distributed to new developers and large employers with the aim to made contact with local businesses and gain support for Heritage.        


An Officer made the suggestion of opening the event invitation to be held at Bucks County Museum to key businesses.


A Member suggested that the invite be extended to members of the Historic Churches Trust.


A Member asked how people are going to be targeted apart from the invitation and it was suggested that support may be needed from the Districts.


A Member asked if Chiltern Museum could contribute to Bucks Museum. In response an Officer commented that Bucks County Museum has contacts and commented that Chiltern Museum is private and that joint working was difficult as Chiltern Museum is a museum of buildings. 


A Member commented that Bucks County Museum is difficult to find.  He went on to say that there should be a signpost in town and that promotion of the Museum’s existence was needed.


An Officer asked if the Forum was happy with the proposal and asked if Members would consider helping out at a stall.


The Forum AGREED the proposal.


Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer's Report pdf icon PDF 13 KB

Report of the Archaeological Officer, Design and Conservation

Additional documents:


Members had received a report from Nick Crank, Archaeological Officer, Milton Keynes Council.


The Officer drew Members to the Archaeological events in Milton Keynes from July to December 2009


Members were informed that there had been 84 consultations in respect of archaeological matters between 1 July and 31 December 2009.


The Historic Environment Record was consulted by external researchers 13 times between July and December 2009.


In November a Heritage Theme was launched on the MKi Observatory website.  This digital mapping resource includes Historic Landscape Characterisation, Viatores routes, historic fields and woodlands alongside building, monument and event data:



The Forum NOTED the report


Buckinghamshire County Archaeologist's Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Report of the County Archaeologist

Additional documents:


Sandy Kidd, County Archaeologist, gave the following report:


Use of the Historic Environment Record (HER) by direct enquiries remains at a modest level. Volunteers are continuing to make inroads into the remaining collections backlog.


A grant has been obtained from English Heritage to make Historic Environment Record (HER) information available across the national Heritage Gateway portal whilst at the same time the UBP website will be migrated to the new software compatible with that system. 


English Heritage in partnership with the Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers id developing a strategy for HPR compliant HERs. It is envisaged that implementation of this strategy will take place between 2010 and 2015, subject to funding. In 2010/11 English Heritage are intending to invest a sum of £400k in assist HERs move towards full HPR compliance in England. The scheme opened for project proposals on the 15th February with a deadline of the 15th April 2010.


Members were advised that guidance has been issued and he talked Members through an extract of the guidance.


The Officer said that there are a number of possible projects and said that he would produce a report by February 2011 but that the focus would be on improving people’s understanding and that it would be a desk based exercise.

The Officer said he would be approaching the Chiltern AONB for support for the proposal.


The Officer invited comments on the proposal and Members made the following points:


A Member suggested that the Farmers Union should be approached for support in advance.


A Member then asked if the Forum needs to see any published outcome and the Officer said that there needs to be consideration about what can be achieved.  There would have to be a report and a summary would also be desirable as the project must enhance the HER.


The Officer was asked if Milton Keynes could feed in to the evidence base barn and he responded that it might be possible to include Milton Keynes in this or to look at the possibility of a joint bid. The Officer said he would discuss with the Milton Keynes Archaeology Officer.


Action: Nick Crank to confirm with Sandy Kidd


The Officer advised the Forum that the scheme is sufficiently interesting to be of appeal to English Heritage as it is using established methodology. A Member asked if it would be better to target the project more and the Officer advised that this had been considered but that it was felt better not to keep it wider. 


A Member asked if it would be more appealing to reach some agreement with Milton Keynes and in response the Officer advised that Milton Keynes have been unable to reach an agreement as present. The Officer said he would need to speak to English Heritage to see if they have been penalised or not regarding whether a different HER is required or if it is acceptable to be different  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


County Museum Report pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Reports of the Keeper of Archaeology and Finds Liaison Officer


Members had received the report of Ros Tyrell, Finds Liaison Officer and Brett Thorn, Keeper of Archaeology.


The new exhibition Human will feature at the County Museum from the 6 March until the 11 July 2010.  Human tells the story of Bucks from the Ice Age to the Tudors through the people and objects left behind.


The Chairman congratulated the team for the wonderful exhibition and the very thorough survey of that period.


National Trust Report pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Report of the Regional Archaeologist


Members had received the report from Gary Marshall, National Trust Archaeologist, Thames & Solent Region.


Stowe New Inn

Contractors are currently on site with restoration works scheduled to commence in early March 2010 with a completion date for the 6th June 2011.  Demolition work has to be done before the restoration and reconstruction can start.


Stowe Gardens

There have been a number of minor ‘interventions’ into the gardens at Stowe, including digging of about 40 tree pits and excavation of a series of drainage trenches.  Watching briefs are being maintained over all such excavations as they can reveal valuable information about the development of the gardens. 


Boarstall Tower excavations

The archaeological report on the excavations undertaken in July 2008 has been sent to HER and is due for publication in March 2010.


25 High Street, High Wycombe

This building requires some improvements to bring it up to standards for a 21st century commercial tenancy.  Improvements are required not only to the provision of services (water, electric, drainage) but also to ensure that the building achieves the best possible environmental standards.  The Trust usually maintains a watching brief over such works, and in this case the work has revealed changes to fireplaces and window openings.


Buckingham Chantry Chapel

Works have recently been carried out to allow for the installation of a toilet in the building.  The building has been taken back in hand by the Trust and is now run as a second-hand bookshop and café.



Have been doing a conservation plan process which is due for completion end of March/beginning of April.


A Member enquired what the National Trust’s interest was in Hartwell House. In response the Members was advised that the National Trust is the owner of the lease.


An Officer asked what the emerging proposals for the golf club at Stowe were. In response the Forum was advised that the Trust had acquired the Parkland and that the golf course was to be moved from the garden to the park landscape.  He said that the plans of design had not been drawn up as yet.  The Trust feels that the golf course is detrimental to the garden.


Conservation Officers' Reports


Aylesbury Vale


The following was reported:


The number of planning applications being received has dropped off but listed building applications have increased.


Work has started again in Prebendal Park.




The following was reported:


With regards to conservation areas, the planning process takes into account the high proportion of green belt and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).


South Bucks


The following was reported:


The conservation area review process is continuing. Part of Farnham Royal has been declared a new conservation area and becomes the latest of 19 conservation areas in the District. South Bucks District Council has designated the area around Church Road to help protect its distinctive character and to celebrate the history of the village where life revolved around the parish church and manor farm.


It is hoped that the community of Stoke Poges can be encouraged to join in the process of the review.


Kingsmill cottage is to be included on the Buildings at Risk register.





The following was reported:


A timber war memorial at Wheeler End Common has been added to the list.  It is one of very few memorials made of wood.


Malcolm Blanksbe has been appointed as Heritage Manager.


Work is being carried out on the High Wycombe conservation area appraisal.


A Member asked if restoration of the Brunel shed had been agreed. The Officer advised that this has been agreed and said that there are a number of leases to sort out but it is hoped that work will commence this year.


Milton Keynes


The following was reported:



Milton Keynes has recently appointed as full time conservation office that shall be responsible for the Bucks Archaeological Register


Conservation area reviews are ongoing


There are spare funds for Bletchley Park from English Heritage


The planning projects at Wolverton Park are about to be completed.  There are two listed buildings which has resulted in a major re-generation scheme


Vanessa McPake advised that Milton Keynes Council are to invest money into their own Council owned Grade II listed buildings.





Emergency Recording Fund

Report of the Treasurer


Members received the report of the County Archaeologist/Treasurer and were asked to review the operation of the emergency recording fund.


It was highlighted that the current balance of the fund was £8250 and that no contributions for 2010/11 financial year were therefore required.


Members NOTED the current status of the fund


Any Other Business


Roger Evans, Oxford Diocese, apologised for being unable to present a Diocesan report but said that he hoped to provide an update for the September meeting.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Forum is to be held on Wednesday 22 September, 2.30pm, Mezzanine Room 1, County Hall, Aylesbury





The next meeting of the Forum is to be held on Wednesday 22 September, 2.30pm, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes.