Heritage Partnership Board and the City Centre Strategic Vision
Members of the Heritage Strategy Partnership Board, set up to oversee delivery of the city’s Heritage Strategy, have now held an initial meeting with the City Council, in the shape of Cllr Mazher Iqbal and the heads of Planning and of Property and Regeneration Services. This was at the Board’s request, to discuss further the comments it had made on the Council’s consultation paper on its Strategic Vision for the City Centre (CCSV). By the time the meeting was held events had moved on; the Council had already met to consider consultation responses and had endorsed a slightly amended version. This was some improvement on the draft, in that it paid a little more attention to heritage matters and actually mentioned Conservation Areas. It was made clear at the meeting that the CCSV would inform the draft Local Plan, the key policy document that will govern much SCC action over 15 years, once approved in 2024.
The meeting was constructive in tone; Council representatives were keen make clear they accept the need to ‘tell the whole of Sheffield’s story’ and recognise in principle that ‘heritage’ is a wide concept. But there is clearly a long way to go before they fully understand and embrace the Heritage Strategy approach. The Board, and JUHS, will continue to work on this. Importantly, the Board hopes to establish quarterly meetings with the Council to discuss heritage matters but it will be some time before the impact of the new committee structure within the Council is clear and we don’t yet know how it might affect the management of heritage as an issue. Meanwhile, senior officers are ready to attend Partnership Board meetings to discuss specific topics; and the Board was encouraged to make direct contact with the new Executive Director of City Futures, Kate Martin. A key priority for us must be to secure explicit recognition of the Heritage Strategy in Council plans and policy statements such as the CCSV. The Board has made a start, but there is a way to go.
December 15, 2021
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