Google and Historic England at World Heritage UK conference

Advocacy, communications, Conference, Conference Ironbridge 2017, News, Opportunities, training, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites
Suhair Khan Bio Pic (2) (2)-1 (1)

Suhair Khan

CH Portrait (46).JPG

Duncan Wilson

Suhair Khan from the Google Cultural Institute and Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England are just two of the many speakers featuring at the World Heritage UK annual conference at the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site  in October this year. They will address the conference theme ‘Communicating World Heritage’ from their perspectives, more details of which you can find at:



Technical Workshop: Planning for World Heritage Sites – dovetail or disconnect? Bath, 8th March 2017

Bath 2017, Education, Events, News, Planning, training, Uncategorized, UNESCO, Workshop, World Heritage Sites



Tickets for this technical workshop are now available  HERE


Planning for World Heritage Sites – dovetail or disconnect?


10.00 Introduction

10.15 Overview of the planning systems (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland), to include:

  • planning policy and development management
  • who makes decisions about what
  • the underlying philosophy of the planning approach to development

10.30 Planning policy at national and local levels, to include, for each level:

  • why planning policies are important for World Heritage
  • where to find planning policies on World Heritage
  • what policies exist already?
  • can policies be totally prescriptive?
  • who makes policies – the roles of civil servants/local authority officers and ministers/elected local authority members
  • how to influence decision makers

11.00 Questions

11.10 Coffee

11.25 How decisions on development proposals are made, to include:

  • o   Who makes decisions – the roles of local authority officers and members, central government inspectors and        ministers
  • o   How decisions are made
  • o   What planners need to know when making decisions
  • o   How to influence decision makers
  • o   Heritage impact Assessment
  • o   OUV and “significance” – lessons from the Chacewater, Cornwall appeal decision

12.10 Decisions that threaten World Heritage Status, to include:

  • the role of the State Party
  • which Government departments do what
  • who advises the World Heritage Committee?
  • the role of ICOMOS
  • how is the decision for Reactive Monitoring made?
  • what is the process of Reactive Monitoring?

12.40 Questions

1.00     Lunch and group photo


The aim of the afternoon session is to identify what is going well and what needs to be improved and is everyone’s opportunity to have their say. It will be split into two parts, first looking at national issues and then local government issues, and to hear about some specific examples.

1.30     Introduction

1.40     National and international issues

Possible issues to discuss

  • are the overall planning systems fit for purpose in relation to World Heritage?
  • is anyone monitoring the effectiveness of the planning systems?
  • are national policies sufficiently robust?
  • are World Heritage Sites sufficiently valued?
  • how can state reporting and the Reactive monitoring process be improved?

2.40     Local issues

Possible issues to discuss:

  • is anyone monitoring the effectiveness of the planning systems?
  • are local policies sufficiently robust?
  • are World Heritage Sites sufficiently valued?

3.40     Summing up and closing remarks, to include:

  • summary of gaps/suggestions from workshop sessions
  • next steps, including production of a position paper

4.00     Close and depart

Meet Chris Mahon, World Heritage UK’s new Development Director



Great to be in post as World Heritage UK’s new Development Director! My name is Chris Mahon and I started work last week. My interview for this contract was in Lyme Regis, in the beautiful Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site. Though I had been there before in my youth, it was good to see the Jurassic Coast again professionally and meet some of the people involved in its management.  I’m really looking forward to working with members of the World Heritage community and visiting some of the other World Heritage Sites on the UK list – I think I have been to half of them over the years.

By way of a background introduction, I’ve been around the conservation sector since 1990 when I graduated in Environmental Science. I’ve worked in a local authority, managed a wildlife trust and now lead the UK Committee of an international environmental network and coordinate a small charity. Developing World Heritage UK fits snugly into this portfolio and I aim to demonstrate some positive results helped by my previous experience.

I will be working three days a week initially, assisting the Board in developing the organisation, primarily by growing its membership, improving communications, networking and advocacy, securing a financial future, supporting event management and other promotional activity. I have already advanced the contacts database – if you want to be on it, let me have your details!

The next task is to promote the World Heritage UK inaugural conference, which, if you don’t know, Is on the 14th and 15th of October 2015 at the Saltaire World Heritage Site near Bradford in Yorkshire. The theme is ‘World Heritage Tourism – unlocking the potential’ and should be a great event with speakers such as the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Tracey Crouch, the Peter DeBrine from UNESCO in Paris, and Director of Visit England, James Beresford.

Tickets will be on sale this week, so watch this space and I look forward to meeting you there.

Chris Mahon

Chris Mahon