NEWPORT & DISTRICT CIVIC SOCIETY PRESENTS THE INAUGURAL ANNUAL NEWPORT LECTURE by Les Sparks OBE

DipArch DipTP RIBA MRTPI HonDDes FRSA
Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands Committee,
the West Midlands Regional Design Review Panel &
the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site Steering Group

PEOPLE AND PLACES
Keeping Newport different

Our towns are in danger of becoming more like each other and less like themselves.
Volume housebuilders pay little regard to local distinctiveness, national retailers want instantly recognisable shopfronts on every high street.
Heritage features and settings are often ignored and road markings and traffic signs are universal.
Does this matter, and if we think it does, can we do anything about it?
Are our planning controls relevant and what role can Civic Societies and other voluntary and citizen groups play?
Come and hear what distinguished architect and planner Les Sparks has to say on the subject and share your own thoughts in a lively debate.
Everyone – of all ages – is welcome
Tuesday October 20 2015
At 7.30pm
Newport Girls High School
Refreshments available
SPEAKER BACKGROUND :
Les Sparks OBE DipArch DipTP RIBA MRTPI HonDDes FRSA
Les Sparks is an architect and town planner. He was Director of Planning and Architecture at Birmingham City Council from 1991 to 1999, Director of Environmental Services at Bath City Council from 1980 to 1991 and previously Severn Gorge Projects Manager for Telford Development Corporation. He worked part time as a Planning Inspector from 1999 to 2002. In his professional career he has specialised in urban design and conservation and was awarded the OBE in 1997 for his services to Urban Regeneration.
He currently chairs the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for the West Midlands, the West Midlands Regional Design Review Panel and the Ironbridge World Heritage Site Steering Group.
In 1999 he was appointed as one of the founding Commissioners of CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. He led the Commission’s early work in setting up regional networking, and chaired the Design Review Panel from 2004 until his term as a Commissioner ended in 2006. He was made a CABE Fellow in 2008 and subsequently chaired the CABE Thames Tideway Tunnel and Crossrail Design Review Panels. He
continues to chair occasional Design Review Panels for CABE at the Design Council
He was a Commissioner of English Heritage from 2001 – 2008, where he chaired the former Advisory Committee on the Historic Built Environment (HBEAC), and was Deputy Chairman of the English Heritage Advisory Committee (EHAC) from 2004 to 2010. He was a member from January 2000 to December 2010 of the EH/CABE Urban Panel, and its Chairman from 2003.
Whilst at Bath he was instrumental in establishing the Historic Towns Forum of which he is now an Honorary Life Member. He was appointed to the MOD Historic Buildings Advisory Group in 1994. He chaired the Expert Panel on Historic Buildings & Land for the Heritage Lottery Fund, from 1999-2001. He also chaired the Plymouth and Nottingham Design Panels, and from, 2004 t0 2014 the Urban Regeneration Panel set up by Bath & North East Somerset Council
He was an advisor to the Crown Estates Commissioners and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (from 1999 to 2007). He was a Visiting Professor at the University of West of England, Bristol from 1999 t0 2007, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Design. He was a patron of the Urban Design Group, and on the Steering Committee of the Urban Villages Forum. He was a Trustee of Birmingham Conservation Trust from 2000 to 2012 and a board member of Groundwork Birmingham. He has chaired design competition juries, including those for Old Market Square and Trinity Square in Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent Public Realm, Hereford Buttermarket and Kings Square Gloucester.
He has been a member of many government steering groups and sounding boards. He was a member of the DCMS Steering Group for the Heritage Protection Review, and carried out research and prepared advice for the Householder Development Consents Review undertaken by ODPM/CLG. He is the author of “Constructive Talk”, the Planning Advisory Service’s guidance on Pre-application discussions.

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