My role as a Historic Buildings Consultant with Cotswold Archaeology is a fascinating, busy and diverse one, involving detailed work with a wide range of fellow professionals including clients, architects, planners, conservation officers and Historic England Historic Building Inspectors. Recent building projects that I’ve worked on have been diverse, including a Victorian town hall in London, the Cunard Building in Liverpool, the Crumlin Road Courthouse in Belfast, and the Cardiff Coal Exchange. Projects may involve development proposals for re-using buildings; assessment of the ways in which developments might affect historic buildings either physically or by changing important aspects of their setting; detailed recording of historic fabric before it is demolished; appeal hearings relating to decisions that local authorities have made in respect of planning applications; advice on design; setting assessment; and providing expert input into conservation management plans.
Previous projects have focused upon medieval timber-framed buildings, Georgian and Victorian architecture, a 1930s industrial tobacco warehouse in Nottingham, farmsteads, and many historic pubs. In one project we supported a successful appeal hearing for the use of GRP rainwater goods on a medieval church.
The nature of the job requires an ability to multi-task and juggle several large projects at once, and to contribute as a team-player. Within the team at Cotswold Archaeology I work with fellow Heritage Consultants, Assistant Historic Building Consultants, Illustrators, Archaeologists, and other specialists. Our key objectives are to produce high-quality reports in good time to inform planning applications and other projects, to build and maintain positive and productive relationships with both the client’s we advise and the statutory consultees, such as conservation officers, with whom we routinely liaise, and in particular to ensure that our heritage is given due and proportionate consideration within the planning process.
The role requires a solid understanding of all key periods of British architectural history, building materials and construction techniques, the planning system, modern construction and contemporary architectural practice, as well as an ability to think on your feet and expect the unexpected!