Restored to their former glory – housing in the Boulevard, Hull.

These old buildings do not belong to us only... We are only trustees for those who come after us. — William Morris

Historic buildings and areas specialist.

I am a Town Planner with specialist qualifications in the conservation of historic buildings and areas and 35 years experience as a planner and conservation officer in local government, in Edinburgh and Hull. Since I left local government in 2008, I have been a self-employed conservation adviser on projects including:

  • Advising on Townscape Heritage grant schemes in inner city Hull, finding suitable repair firms and assessing work on site for compliance with conservation conditions; 
  • drawing up a Method Statement for repair work to Georgian Norwood House [Grade 1] in Beverley;
  • up dating a Conservation Area Character Appraisal for Beverley Road Conservation Area in Hull;
  • producing the Heritage Statements for community wind turbine applications in the Yorkshire Wolds;
  • advising on extensions and alterations to Listed buildings in several areas of the country to overcome potential conflicts with conservation requirements;
  • giving talks and guided tours.

I’m involved as a volunteer with several local projects including preserving the remains of the National Picture Theatre, a World War 2 bombed cinema in Hull. I have also been an active member of my local Friends of the Earth group for many years and am particularly interested in reconciling the requirements of renewable energy and heritage conservation.

Old buildings — sustainable futures.

To have a sustainable future most buildings need to be able to earn their keep, or at least be able to draw on an income from activities close by. So if you are the ‘trustee’ for a heritage asset how do you decide what you can or can’t do? Well, you will almost certainly need to talk to the Conservation Officer at your local authority, but they are [sadly] a scarce resource with limited time. It is likely that they will require you to have done some research and have a thorough understanding of the significance of your building or site. I might be able to help.

Finding suitable craftspeople, builders and architects is part of the service.

What I do...

Finding new uses for redundant historic buildings.

  • Pre-purchase advice for Heritage buildings : What changes of use and conversion works are likely to be acceptable? Possible alterations and likely planning requirements. New buildings in heritage surroundings: ‘fit in’ or contrast? Preserving an appropriate setting. Buildings ‘At Risk’ due to neglect or past alterations: what can be done?
  • Researching the ‘story’. What exactly is it that makes this building or area ‘special’?
  • Finding an appropriate architect/ builders/materials.

A prepared Heritage Statement for Dilston Chapel Cottage, Dilston Hall, Corbridge, Northumberland

  • Helping to put together suitable Planning and Listed Building Consent applications; negotiations with Local Authority Conservation Officer, Planners, Building Inspectors and Historic England. Representing your views at Committee or Public Inquiry.
  • Preparing Documents for submission: Heritage Statement, Conservation Plan, Method Statement for Repairs etc.
  • Reconciling conflicting requirements: Heritage conservation with Nature conservation, energy efficiency etc.

The bombed out ruins of the National Picture Theatre, Beverley Road, Hull

  • Helping to find funding, advice on grant applications, making the best use of resources.
  • Organising public consultations; inspecting work on site to ensure compliance with conservation requirements. Advice on suitable repair techniques and materials. Finding special materials and matching features.
  • Conservation Areas: appraising, defining boundaries, preparing Designation documents, Character Appraisals etc. Public participation.
  • Publicity, presenting ‘the story’, Heritage Open Days, Guided tours.

Townscape Heritage Grant Scheme in the Boulevard, Hull – before.

Townscape Heritage Grant Scheme in the Boulevard, Hull – after.

Norwood House Beverley; – method statement for repairs.

Contact details...

The first consultation, preferably on site, will be free within 20 miles of Hull. [Beyond that, I will charge travel expenses]. I should be able to give you an idea of whether I can help further. I will then prepare a summary of the work I expect to be able to do and the estimated cost. You can then decide whether you want to commission me.

For an informal chat about your project contact me:

Hilary Byers MRTPI, DipBldgCons[RICS], IHBC

T: 01482 445747

M: 0781 3979039


Hilary(_AT_)amskaya.karoo.co.uk?subject=enquiry from website


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