The National Amenity Societies
The National Amenity Societies support campaigns to get buildings listed and against damaging alterations, demolition and neglect.
These voluntary groups were established to campaign for the preservation of threatened historic buildings and promote their appreciation, enjoyment and correct repair. They are acknowledged experts who have to be consulted about every listed building application and, though universally overworked and under-funded, they can be extremely important allies to your campaign. Enlist them if you can to support your objections to planing applications and to join you in applying for the spot listing of buildings. Make a quick call and follow it up with a letter, including a photograph or two. They may well be able to provide you with expert advice on the age and architecture of the building. Most of then produce excellent guidance notes on aspects of technical matters such as repair techniques. They have different specialisation's, but all cover England and Wales:
The oldest society - and the largest - it concentrates on campaigning for churches, cathedrals, water and windmills, vernacular buildings and anything dating from before 1700. It also has an extensive technical programme providing advice and training on traditional repair and maintenance techniques for both professionals and ordinary home owners. Tel 020 7377 1644 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY
As the name suggests, its interest is in Georgian buildings, roughly meaning the period 1700 to 1840. As well as campaigning for individual buildings, the Group publishes a series of advisory leaflets for building owners on the practical do's and don'ts of repair and maintenance and has an extensive education and tour programme. Tel 020 7387 1720 6 Fitzroy Square, London W1P 6DN
Is the authority and architectural watchdog for buildings dating from c.1840 to 1914. Once again, organises a programme of events and tours for members and publishes a series of advisory leaflets. Has a dedicated Churches Officer to deal with the vast number of redundant and threatened Victorian churches. Tel 020 8994 1019 1 Priory Gardens, Bedford Park, London W4 1TT
The charity at the cutting edge of conservation - the Society campaigns for buildings built from 1914 up until the present day. They have produced an excellent series of ground breaking publications and organise a busy programme of events for their membership. Tel 020 7250 3857 70 Cowcross St, London EC1M 6EJ
The AMS comments on schemes for all kinds of listed buildings, but takes a particular interest in churches and cathedrals of any age and listed buildings threatened with complete demolition. Tel 020 7236 3934 St Ann's Vestry, 2 Church Entry, London EC4V 5HB
Perhaps not obviously of relevance, the CBA is equally concerned with standing archaeology and Industrial archaeology as bumps in the ground. They may be of interest if you are concerned about ruins or structures such a pumping stations, canal locks or colliery winding gear. Tel 01904 671417 Bowes Morrell House, 111 Walmgate, York YO1 9WA
The Garden History society comments on applications which relate to historic gardens and their buildings. Tel 020 7608 2409 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ
The Civic Trust campaigns for the creation of a better urban environment. As well as running a well regarded urban design and planning consultancy, the Civic Trust Regeneration Unit, the Trust campaigns on wider issues of town planning and urban regeneration. It also lends support to individual campaigns. Tel 020 7539 7900 Essex Hall, 1-6 Essex Street, London WC2R 3HU
There are a number of other organisations that may be relevant to your campaign:
In Scotland, the two national amenity societies performing a similar role to the above are:
Tel: 0131 557 0019, The Glasite Meeting House, 33 Barony Street, Edinburgh EH3 6NY
Tel: 0141 221 1466, The Tobacco Merchant's House, 42 Miller Street, Glasgow G1 2DT
In Northern Ireland, these same tasks are heroically performed by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society. Tel 02890 550213, 66 Donegall Pass, Belfast BT7 1BU
The Theatres Trust campaigns very effectively for historic theatres all over the UK. Tel 020 7836 8591 22 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0HR
Setting up a Building Preservation Trust (BPT)
Was established to provide low interest loans for building preservation trusts (BPTs). Whilst continuing to perform that valuable function, the AHF now also offers a range of other financial packages to help BPTs, such as feasibility study grants. The AHF also offers free advice and support for people considering establishing BPTs through the Development Officer, Maria Perks. In addition, it publishes two very useful publications - Funds for Historic Buildings - the definitive directory of possible funds and How to Rescue a Ruin, a handbook offering comprehensive, clear and concise guidelines on how to rescue a neglected historic building by setting up BPT - essential reading if you are considering establishing a BPT. Tel 020 7925 0199 Alhambra House, 27-31 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0AU
Represents the interests of the some 180 BPTs in the UK. Tel 020 7930 1629 9th Floor, Alhambra House, 27-31 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0AU.
Help and Advice with Planning Matters
The following organisations offer training, advice and legal services for individuals and community groups trying to fight there way through the jungle that is the planning system. You may well need their help.
The CPRE runs a comprehensive series of seminars on subjects such as making representations at a planning inquiry, how to object to a planning application and how to comment on and influence local development plans. These short one or two day courses have a very good reputation and take place at locations across the country. For details of this year's programme call the CPRE Tel: 020 7981 2800 National Office, 128 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SW
Part of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Aid is a free, voluntary service offering independent professional advice and help on town planning. It is aimed at individuals, community groups and other voluntary groups who cannot afford to pay for private consultants. PA help people comment on planning applications, appear at planning inquiries, appeal against planning decisions and influence local plans.
The ELF is a charity which helps people use the law to protect the environment. The ELF, for example, has been used by many groups fighting major development projects , many of which threatened historic buildings or areas. ELF provides access to specialists in environmental law for individuals and community groups who have an environmental problem. Through ELF's advice and referral service, members of the public are given support and guidance and can receive a free initial consultation with a local solicitor or technical expert to investigate how the law may be used to resolve a problem. The professionals will then agree to do any further work at reduced fees, legal aid rates or, in some cases, for free. Tel 020 7404 1030, email@example.com, Environmental Law Foundation, Suite 309, 16 Baldwins Gardens, London EC1N 7RJ
Other Sources of Help
Has a very extensive Website that will tell you most things you need to know about their activities. It is worth remembering that the organisation normally only becomes involved with a building if its is Grade II* or Grade I, or if it involves the substantial or total demolition of a Grade II listed building. Grants are ONLY available for Grade I & II* buildings, and even then only in certain circumstances. EH produces a number of good publications that could be very useful, including Stopping the Rot about repairs notices, Grants for repair - Guidance Notes for Applicants and Conservation Area Appraisals. Contact customer services on 0870 333 1181 for a free catalogue of their conservation publications.
ProjectBook is a conservation and heritage directory which has a wealth of information on the sector including a contact book of skilled craftsmen, tradespeople, consultants, products and services for work to historic buildings including renovations, conservation or building projects.
This site also has a full events calendar, list of useful organisations and a growing bank of articles and case studies.
Please don't hesitate to contact William Palin or Rhiannon Tracy in the SAVE office if you want any further advice or help in fighting for a local building. We want to hear about your campaign and lend our support. Telephone, email or write to us. Go to the Contact SAVE page for details of how to get in touch.
SAVE and Urban Space Management's viable business scheme for Smithfield General Market and our letter making an offer on the site.
MINISTER SHOULD FOLLOW LEAD OF HER PREDECESSOR IN COVENT GARDEN AND LIST THE LONDON FRUIT AND WOOL EXCHANGE