Newsletter, June 2015

It’s been a while since we issued our last newsletter and we are delighted to report that we have been keeping busy working with great clients and consultants on a number of fantastic projects. Alongside our project work, from the 1st July 2015 we will also have a new home on St Edward’s passage in central Cambridge; Castle Park has served us well,  but we are excited about setting up home for the longer term just a stone’s throw from Kings College Chapel.


To give you an idea of what we have been up to since our last newsletter we have set out details of a few projects we have been working on over the last year which you will hopefully find as interesting as we do! If you have any queries or would like to know more about any of the projects please do not hesitate to contact us.

Maison Dieu, Dover, Outline Business Case

In 2014 we were delighted to be appointed by Dover District Council alongside Rena Pitsilli-Graham Architects and Haverstock Architects to develop an outline business case for the Maison Dieu in Dover. The Maison Dieu (or Dover Town Hall as it is known locally) is a grade II* listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument situated in the heart of Dover town centre.

The Maison Dieu (God’s House) was probably founded in 1203 by Hubert de Burgh to provide accommodation for pilgrims travelling predominantly to Canterbury to visit Thomas Becket’s shrine. It was also used as an early hospital to care for the sick. From the 16th century the building was taken over by the Crown as a victualling yard providing vital supplies for the navy. During the 19th century the building was sold to the Town Council, extended and extensively remodelled by two of the most prominent Victorian architects; Ambrose Poynter and William Burges. The remodelling saw the introduction of an exquisite meeting hall, courtroom and gaol, all in the gothic revival style which is still in evidence today throughout the building. During the 1970’s the Maison Dieu’s ownership passed to Dover District Council and since that time it has been used as a venue for a wide range of community events, activities and local government functions. (Information taken from ‘Maison Dieu Dover: A History of Dover Town Hall’ by Derek Leach, Dover Society, 2013.)

Due to a number of issues relating to access and the layout of the building elements have become under used or vacant. At the same time the physical fabric of the building has become tired and in places requires repair and restoration. We were commissioned to develop the business case and initial options for the restoration and regeneration of the building. Alongside the business case the architects are developing a Statement of Significance for the building, that will ensure that any options that are developed are based on a sound understanding of the building and it’s heritage.  We have undertaken extensive research, reviewed local socio-economics, policy, property market and comparable projects to inform the business case. Alongside this we worked with the District Council, Town Council, Dover Society, local stakeholders and existing users to identify realistic and deliverable options for the building and test these financially and non-financially. We have also identified potential funding sources for the any proposals to ensure deliverability.

 Heydon Estate Strategy  

We are truly delighted to have worked with the Heydon Estate to prepare a strategy for its future.  The roots of the Estate date back to the 15th century; today it is one of the most beautiful and enigmatic country estates in England.  Heydon comprises a grade I Elizabethan hall, formal grade II* registered parkland, a timeless village which remains in the ownership of the Estate as well as a range of other wonderful historic buildings and landscapes.  The Estate remains deeply connected to agriculture and the environment with a large farm growing a mixture of crops and livestock.

We worked directly with the Principal of the Estate to help define a vision for Heydon’s future and established a number of strategic objectives and key projects.  The portfolio of projects we developed provide a balanced mix of heritage conservation, environmental improvement and the re-use of redundant buildings.  They were designed specifically to create a series of self-funding phases where the first phase could help to facilitate the second and third phases, and combined they would help to generate a lasting and sustainable mix of income streams.

 Brackley Town Hall Restoration

In mid-2014 we were very pleased to learn that the round one Heritage Grant application for the Brackley Town Hall Restoration project was approved by the HLF’s national board of trustees. Over the last year we have worked with a specialist team of consultants ranging from geologists, archaeologists, interior specialists to architects and engineers to develop the second round application. The development phase enabled the Town Council, local community and project team to learn a great deal more about this beautiful grade II* listed building although the identity of the 1704 architect remains tantalizingly elusive!  The second round application was successfully submitted ahead of schedule and we eagerly await the result in the next month.

 Neighbourhood Planning 
Ross Ingham was invited by Broadland District Council in early 2015 to give a seminar entitled ‘What can a Neighbourhood Plan achieve for your community?’ at a Neighbourhood Planning workshop held at Carrow Road. Alongside Ross, seminars were given by: Richard Squires, Community Development & Liasion Officer at Broadland District Council; Mick Duggan from the Department for Communities and Local Government and a number of Town and Parish Councils who have progressed plans and been successful at referendum. Broadland provide support and expertise to groups wishing to progress Neighbourhood Plans and are currently one of the hot spots for successful Neighbourhood Plans.

A few days after the seminar we were very pleased that the Acle Neighbourhood Plan was the subject of a successful referendum.  85% of the ballot voted in favour of approving the plan.  This is the second Neighbourhood Plan we have been involved with to successfully make it through the referendum stage.  We are particularly delighted for all of the volunteers who spared so much time to pull the document together and for the community of Acle going forward for whom we hope the Plan can make a positive difference.

We have been working with Brundall Parish Council and local community for the last year to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for the village situated on the edge of the Broads. The Plan was recently submitted to Broadland District Council and the Broads Authority and will shortly be going out to the pre-examination consultation.

University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education - Historic Building Conservation
We were delighted to hear recently that Kate Pinnock has been accepted on to University of Cambridge's ICE Historic Building Conservation course starting in October 2015. The course is run jointly by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education and Historic England.  The course comprises evening tutorials and weekend site visits over a two year period and covers: the development of the philosophy and ethics of conservation and the legislation and policy that protect the historic environment; surveying, recording and analysing the development of historic buildings through the examination of their materials, construction and style; learning practical techniques for conservation, repair and restoration; and; conservation issues affecting historic buildings..

Conservation Areas At Risk Seminar

In February this year we were invited by Historic England to give a seminar at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, to a group of students undertaking the Undergraduate Certificate in Historic Building Conservation. The seminar examined Conservation Areas at Risk and the strategies that can be employed to help regenerate them and in doing so support and enhance the built heritage and local communities.

Office relocation
From the 1st July 2015 our new address will be: Suite 2B, 10c St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ
We look forward to welcoming you.
If you would like further information on any of the projects above please contact either Ross Ingham or Kate Pinnock via email or or via telephone on 07827 240 059 or 0797 436 3991.

Copyright © 2015 Ingham Pinnock Associates, All rights reserved.

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