Meeting documents

Venue: Bletchley Park (Drawing Room, The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes MK3 6EB)

No. Item


Election of Chairman




That Mr R Pushman be elected as Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Historic Environment Forum for the ensuing year.


Mr R Pushman in the Chair.



Apologies for Absence / Changes in Membership


Apologies were received from Vanessa McPake, Anne Davies (AVDC), Martin Andrews (WDC), Jo Tiddy (WDC), Sue Polhill, Brenda Jennings and John Horsburgh-Porter.


Emilia Hands attended as substitute for Anne Davies (AVDC)


Declarations of Interest

To declare any personal and prejudicial interests


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 177 KB

of the meeting held on 10 March 2010 to be confirmed


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


Item 7, page 10, paragraph 3, line 2 ‘the Trust had acquired the Parkland’ should read ‘Stowe House Preservation Trust had acquired the Parkland’.


Item 11 (V) page 8, Milton Keynes, paragraph 1, line 2 ‘Bucks Archaeological Register’ should read ‘Heritage at Risk’.


Item 11 (i), page 7, Aylesbury Vale, paragraph 2, ‘Prebendal Park’ should read ‘Prebendal House’.



Matters Arising from the Minutes


Sandy Kidd advised that the proposed event to promote heritage awareness had not taken place.


Historic Environment Services and the Comprehensive Spending Review



Sandy Kidd, introduced the item and said it was important to discuss how the Comprehensive Spending Review may affect the Forum. The Officer said that to discuss the remaining agenda items the Forum needs to consider the type of reports it may like to receive and remain aware of the possible budget constraints. He also said that the Terms of Reference for the Forum was to monitor the provision being made to the meet the historic environment needs of the County. It was highlighted that the County Council would be meeting shortly to look at where money could be saved and that the Forum may consider how it could feed into the process.


During the discussion Members made the following comments:


·         There has and will continue to be a considerable strain on budgets. The Planning, Environment and Development portfolio may have to make cuts equivalent to nearly 50% of the portfolio spend. It was commented that the Historic and Environmental services are not seen as providing an essential service.

·         A Member enquired about the cost of the Forum and if this came out of Mr Kidd’s budget. The Clerk agreed to confirm this.

Action: Clerk

It was also highlighted that there was a cost to the District Councils in relation to Officer time.

  • Members were asked if the future of the Forum should be considered as there was a cost for all Members to attend.
  • It was highlighted that the Forum provided the opportunity for communication, partnership and joint working. It was commented that these areas could be expanded which might put a different remit on the Forum.
  • It was highlighted that the Forum links to a large portion of the voluntary sector as most of the organisations rely on the voluntary sector. It was suggested that the Forum could be a link to the third party sector which forms part of the ‘Big Society’ concept.
  • All Members of the Forum have an interest and reliance on similar topics and policies such as PPS5. It is good to have a body to discuss these issues. The Forum is important.
  • The benefits of the Forum need to be clear.
  • The main contribution to the Forum is Officer time and expenses. Many Councils are questioning whether travel is necessary. If pressed Members of the Forum need to be able to demonstrate the benefits of the Forum.
  • The reports are a benefit of the Forum and provide a method of scrutiny for Councillors.
  • The Forum provides a useful Forum and enables Members to pick up on various issues.
  • It was highlighted that the Bucks Archaeological Society representative and Diocese of Oxford represented the Historic County and that if they were not attending the Bucks Historic Environment Forum it would be a Forum albeit in a different name.
  • The Forum were asked if it would be helpful if there were to make a statement highlighting that they believed it essential that the core work of the Forum be protected,  suggest that the third  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Historic Environment Record: PPS5 and the Future Development pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Report of the Historic Environment Record Officer


Members had received a report from the County Archaeologist and Historic Environment Record Officer.


The Forum was advised that the Historic Environment Record (HER) was the central information source under PPS5 and that the report was to advise on progress on development of the Buckinghamshire HER and for Members to consider options for further development of the HER and its use.


The Officer advised that Appendix 1 of the report summarised the national guidance and how the Buckinghamshire HER performs against the guidance and areas which require further work. Appendix 2 of the report summarised the progress with key outcomes of the HER action plan which was presented to the Forum in March 2008. The summary shows how actions have been moved forward, specific actions still to be taken and timetable of delivery. The Forum was advised that it was not possible to negotiate a Service Level Agreement with the District Councils and that the District Councils as the planning authority are obliged to have this information.

Appendix 3 of the report summarises by each District the number of Buckinghamshire HER records for historic buildings. The Officer commented that there are a number of records within the HER where there is more detailed information than was required but that this highlights the importance of using HER in the planning process. Appendix 4 of the report brings together a number of areas of possible development for the HER. The Officer asked for Members input regarding prioritisation of the proposals.


A Member commented that the HER is a superb database and said that the Officers should be congratulated, especially on the work carried out to obtain grants for the HER.


Following discussion of the proposals it was suggested that the cost analysis benefit be added to the document and that the Officer would then circulate the document to Members for an indication of prioritisation.


Action: Julia Wise


A Member suggested that Parish Councils could be written to, to see if they hold any information or photos which may be beneficial. A Member advised that the County Museum did an exhibition in 1990 and that they had photos. A Member suggested liaising with the Bucks Association of Local Councils (BALC) which also covers Milton Keynes. It was further highlighted that Bucks Free Press also has an archive of photos and that there are approximately 23,000 photos on the public website.


A Member commented that English Heritage is mentioned on the document but that the National Trust was not. It was suggested that the Officer and the National Trust representative liaise to see how they could work together.


Action: Gary Marshall/Julia Wise


Milton Keynes Archaeological Officer's Report pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Report of the Senior Archaeological Officer, Conservation and Archaeology

Additional documents:


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


The Officer advised of the fieldwork projects undertaken in the Milton Keynes areas between January and June 2010 and said that at Manor Farm Quarry, Old Wolverton excavations revealed a further third cursus monument. Bronze age field system and small segmented hengiform monument. He also advised that within the last month there was evidence of in situ Upper Palaeolithic refitted flint from this site. The area was currently being investigated and Officers should know more about it shortly. The Officer commented that this was the first recorded evidence of human activity of this period from the north of the County.



The HER remains steady in terms of consultations. The Milton Keynes HER data has featured in 58343 search requests between February and 31 July. Of these 5330 returned results from the Milton Keynes HER. Searches have led to 827 results page views and 881 individual records viewed.


The MKi Observatory Heritage Theme main page had 228 unique views between 1 January and 30 June 2010.


The Officer advised that an additional Conservation Officer has been recruited to the team and that planning for Archaeology Day 2010 is underway and will be held on Saturday 13 November in MK Central Library.



The Forum NOTED the report





Buckinghamshire County Archaeologist's Report pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Report of the County Archaeologist


Appendix A – to be tabled.


Additional documents:


Sandy Kidd, County Archaeologist, gave the following report:


Use of the Historic Environment Record (HER) for non-commercial purposes has dropped off in the first half of 2010, probably as online access has improved. Volunteers are continuing to make inroads into the remaining collections backlog. Members were advised that the performance indicators are on page 18 of the agenda.


Mr Kidd provided a summary of projects with a strategic, conservation and/or interpretation nature. The Buckinghamshire Historic Towns Project is contributing to Townscape Character Studies being undertaken by Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils in support of their Local Development Frameworks. The project is due to be completed in autumn 2011.


The launch of the Chiltern Conservation Board and English Heritage sponsored Chiltern Historic Landscape Characterisation Report is to be held on 13 October 2010.


At Quarrendon Leas sources of funding are being investigated for conservation of the church ruin with a linked educational project. The Ernst Cook Trust has agreed to provide funding for the education aspect and funding has also been secured from the Bucks Historic Buildings Trust.  





High Speed Two (HS2) pdf icon PDF 31 KB

Report of the County Archaeologist.


Members had received the report of the County Archaeologist. The Officer advised that the report was to alert members to the potential implication of the proposed HS2 project for Buckinghamshire’s historic environment. The officer advised that the previous government had published the preferred route options and that the Coalition government has also announced that it is committed to the principle of high speed rail.


Buckinghamshire and the District Council have recently jointly hosted the HS2 Stakeholder Summit that concentrated on the overall Business Case for HS2. Another summit is being organised for 15 October 2010 to examine the potential environmental impacts of the HS2 proposals.


The Officer provided an enlarged map of route 3 which is the preferred route. The map plotted known heritage such as scheduled monuments, conservation areas, archaeological notification areas and registered historic parks. The Officer talked through the impact of the route and said that south of the county the route is in tunnel along the M25, it then remains in tunnel until Amersham. The main impact on this section relates to construction particularly tunnel vents. From Amersham the run then runs through Shardloes Park and along the A413 it was commented that this will have a major impact as there will be excavation through a historic park. Members might consider lobbying for a different approach such as cut and cover. Trains will come out of tunnel near Great Missenden and then passes Wendover and runs along the existing railway/bypass. The route then continues to Stoke Mandeville and runs through the old church. The worse impact is probably on Hartwell Park where the route is to go onto a viaduct. A 19th century listed building will have to be demolished or moved. There is also the Hartwell brick pit which is a type site for fossils.


The Chairman said that the Forum needs to formulate a strategy and commented that route 2.5 is equally as disastrous. The Officer said that this item was for information at this point and that following confirmation of the consultation for the route further discussions may be necessary. He suggested that the Forum considers the issue at its next meeting. It was further suggested that Members could meet as a working party to look at the key issues jointly with the Natural Environment Team, possibly in the New Year if there is interest.


Action: Sandy Kidd


County Museum Report

Reports of the Keeper of Archaeology and Finds Liaison Officer

Additional documents:


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


The intention to deposit 42 site archives has been notified to the County Museum, more than twice the amount in the previous 6 months.


A large part of the focus of the museum’s archaeological work this year has been around the HUMAN: half a million years of life in Bucks exhibition, which was very well received. The schools learning team have also created new education sessions, based around the exhibition and the exhibition saw a series of twilight lectures.


The number of projects is reverting back to the previous peak and the Officer mentioned the ‘Romans in the Hambleden Valley’ and ‘arts for Health’ schemes.


The Officer said that they had been able to find all funds for treasure finds.


National Trust Report

Report of the Regional Archaeologist

Additional documents:


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


The Officer informed the Forum that the National Trust, Thames & Solent region had merged with the Thames Valley area. He highlighted that the Trust is currently going through a process of re-organisation to reduce a number of regions from 11 to 8. There will be a freelance Archaeologist for cover. The Officer highlighted that the Trust is designing an internal consultancy structure with the provision of conservation services, details will be announced internally on October 11 2010.


The Officer then talked Members through his report and highlighted the following points:


Stowe New Inn

Major building restoration works are now underway with a view to completion and opening in June 2011. Some interesting wall papers have been discovered.


Stowe Garden restoration

A series of explanatory trenches are currently being excavated to locate the original gravel paths on the north side of the Eleven Acre lake, with a view to their re-instatement.  


Conservation Officers' Reports


Aylesbury Vale


The following was reported:


  • 95% of the Buildings at Risk survey has been completed.  
  • The following conservation areas are currently being reviewed.

·         Brill

·         Great Horwood

·         Grendon Underwood

·         Padbury

·         Waddesdon

·         Wendover

·         Whitchurch

·         Wingrave

  • A planning application has been received by the District in relation to Brook House, Wendover. The application is for demolition and for 5 houses to be built on the land.
  • The Council requested permission from the Secretary of State to withdraw the core strategy from the examination process. This does not mean the Conservation Area Supplementary planning document will disappear. A Cabinet Member decision in relation to this issue is expected late November 2010.




Nothing to report


South Bucks


The following was reported:


  • The draft Conservation Area appraisal has been completed. Stoke Poges West and part of Wexham are being considered for designation.
  • Conservation and Design Officer Marion Miller has left the authority. At present there are plans to find a replacement for this post. Due to pressures on the Council to make savings a temporary post may also not be extended. This may result in the Conservation Area review processing coming to a halt.
  • Work at Dropmore is still at a standstill.
  • Work at Stoke Poges is near completion.






Wycombe pdf icon PDF 244 KB


Members received a written report ‘Local list of buildings of architectural and historical importance’(attached to the minutes).



Milton Keynes


The following was reported:


  • The Conservation Area review programme is continuing and the following areas are being reviewed;
    • Newport Pagnell
    • Stony Stratford
    • Bletchley


  • The MK shopping centre is now a Grade II listed building.
  • Partnership working between conservation officers and Bletchley Park is ongoing. Funding was secured and plans to develop the site need to be progressed.


Emergency Recording Fund pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Report of the Treasurer


Members received the report of the County Archaeologist/Treasurer and Members were asked to endorse the allocation of £1000 to the National Trust for the investigation at 40 Church Street, West Wycombe.


Members agreed to the allocation and commented that there were some unusual burial practices that they felt would be of significant importance. A Member also commented that the County Council needs a human remains policy. It was suggested that the outcome of the results regarding the dating be received prior to making a decision.


Any Other Business


There was none.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

Provisional dates to be agreed:


Wednesday 16 March, 2.30pm, Mezzanine Room 3, County Hall, Aylesbury

Wednesday 21 September, 2.30pm, Mezzanine Room 3





The next meeting of the Forum is to be held on Wednesday 16 March, 2.30pm, Mezzanine Room 3, County Hall, Aylesbury


The Chairman thanked Bletchley Park for kindly hosting the meeting and providing Members with a tour.