Historic Places Panel

The Historic Places Panel, facilitated by Historic England, provides a broad spectrum of independent expertise and advice to help local authorities and others engage in the regeneration and revitalisation of historic places. Panellists have a strong interest in place-making, the historic environment and character of place.

Visits are a unique opportunity to facilitate wide-ranging discussions and networking, based around specific Place Making questions and areas of focus. They provide a dedicated two-day setting to engage an inclusive range of local stakeholders in their own Place, together with a diverse national perspective from a range of specialisms held by the panellists.

Through constructive conversations and engagement with stakeholders, Panellists seek to explore and advise on potential new or unidentified opportunities for Place Making. Panellists freely offer expert advice and opinions, culminating in a series of recommendations in a published review paper.

Panellists are independent, coming from senior positions in public, private and not for profit sectors. They have been selected to represent a range of professional specialisms related to placemaking and historic areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Architecture
  • Archaeology
  • Building conservation
  • Community & stakeholder engagement
  • Design
  • Development economics
  • Gardens and Landscapes
  • History
  • Master planning
  • Retail and Regeneration


The panel typically conduct three visits per year. A regional team from Historic England liaises with the local host partner (in most cases a Local Authority) in advance, over the intended outcomes of the visit including the collaborative generation of a series of questions they would like panellists to consider around placemaking.

Visits provide opportunities for formal and informal networking, presentations, tours of the area, and discussions involving a range of local stakeholder groups, panellists and representatives of Historic England.

Previous visits and review papers

Historic England publishes reviews of Historic Places Panel visits once they have been approved by all relevant parties.

The review papers can be downloaded by clicking on the map pins.

Historic Places Panel 2019-2021 Review

From the Isle of Wight to Grimsby, from Boston to Gloucester, the '2019-2021 Review' contains the Panel’s reflections on visits to a diverse range of historic places.  It provides a concise narrative of the issues faced by those places, ideas on strategies to tackle them, and examples of good practice.


Name and role

Ben Derbyshire

Architect and Chair of the Historic Places Panel

Name and role

Nairita Chakraborty

Architect and Historic Building Specialist

Name and role

Jane Dann

Urban Designer, Architect and Chartered Town Planner

Name and role

David Dunne

Town Planner and Architectural Technologist

Name and role

Honor Fishburn

Placemaking Consultant

Name and role

Daisy Froud

Freelance Facilitator and Strategist

Name and role

Johanna Gibbons

Landscape Architect

Name and role

Jane, Lady Gibson OBE

Placemaking and Culture Specialist

Name and role

Ian Harvey

Placemaking and Community Engagement consultant

Name and role

Julian Hill

Senior Project Manager and Urban Archaeologist

Name and role

Nigel Hinds OBE

Arts Administrator and an expert in Contemporary Performing Arts.

Name and role

Dr Rebecca Madgin

Urban historian and Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow

Name and role

Adele Maher

Town Planner and Urbanist

Name and role

Jennie Palmer-Jones

Retail strategy and change professional

Name and role

Geoff Rich

Architect and Urban Design Specialist

Name and role

Chris Smith

Historic Environment Specialist

Name and role

David Ubaka

Chartered Architect and Urban Designer

Name and role

Atam Verdi

Chartered Surveyor and Development Consultant

Name and role

Katie Wray

Town Planner

Membership biographies

Ben is an architect and has chaired the Historic Places Panel since January 2022. Ben supports the work of Historic England through his work as a Commissioner and by serving on the London Advisory Committee as well as the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Programme Board.

Ben’s examples of wide-ranging experience include:

  • Chair of HTA Design LLP, a leading multidisciplinary design practice specialising in housing and placemaking. Ben’s role also includes directing the practice’s internal design review processes and leading its marketing effort.
  • President of the London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies.
  • Member of the governing court of Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.
  • Member of New London Architecture’s New London Sounding Board.
  • Member of the National House Building Council.
  • on the advisory board to Chimni Ltd., a company promoting digital property information.
  • President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) from 2017 to 2019, when Ben oversaw fundamental change in the institute's financing and governance and the instigation of policies in relation to climate action, professional competence, and codes of conduct.

Nairita has over 16 years' experience in heritage, townscape and design. Nairita’s experience includes ensuring sustained use of historic buildings whilst delivering large-scale regeneration, housing and infrastructure projects. Nairita has produced significant work on the adaptation and conversion of large and complex listed buildings, as well as town centre, public realm, and conservation area schemes.

Nairita set up her own practice Revive and Tailor, focusing on innovatively and resourcefully integrating existing buildings within regeneration proposals.

Nairita is also:

  • a member of Historic England's Advisory Committee
  • a member of the London Borough of Havering Design Review Panel
  • a member of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Design Review Panel
  • a full member of the Royal Town Planners Institute
  • a full member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Jane is an urban designer, architect and chartered town planner with 30 years’ experience in urban design practice, mainly in consultancy. Jane is a founding director of Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design and was Managing Director from 2010 to 2021.

Jane’s focus is on the interface between design and planning, and on securing quality through the planning process at various scales, from strategic to detailed design. Jane is interested in the distinctive character of different places, particularly historic environments.

Jane’s specialist expertise includes design policy, design guidance and design coding, having worked with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to co-produce the National Design Guide in 2019. Jane also co-led a two-year research programme that shaped government policy and jointly authored ‘Preparing Design Coding - A Practice Manual’ (2006).

Jane is an experienced member of design review panels including for:

  • The Design Council
  • Southwark
  • Camden
  • Design South East

Jane is also a Design Council Expert and a former member of Historic England’s London Advisory Committee.

David is a highly experienced town planner, architectural technologist, and manager. David is the chief officer of strategic place planning at Aberdeen City Council.

David has delivered a set of place-based strategies across land use planning, housing, transport, climate, and environment.

Honor has a wealth of experience delivering place strategy. Honor works on complex mixed-use projects all over the world, developing place visions and development strategies, in her role as Director at MurrayTwohig, global leaders in Real Estate Strategy.

Honor was formerly the Director of Placemaking at Battersea Power Station for seven years, overseeing the delivery of the first three phases of Placemaking vision. This covered the full spectrum of development from paper to established place and gave a unique insight into the repurposing of historic buildings within a wider regeneration context.

Honor’s experience also includes delivery of cultural partnerships, community consultation and engagement, events and heritage interpretation.

Daisy is a freelance facilitator and strategist with over 20 years’ experience of designing and delivering community engagement, participatory design, and co-production.

Daisy supports Local Authorities and Community Groups to negotiate ways through challenging situations, finding shared priorities and workable consensus. Current projects include drafting guidance on commissioning co-design for the Greater London Authority, and helping enable a network of civic societies to develop their shared strategy.

Daisy devises tools and processes that enable diverse voices to contribute meaningfully and collaboratively to decision-making, and to shaping the future of places and spaces in intelligent, imaginative, and equitable ways.

Daisy is also:

  • a Teaching Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture, where she lectures on the history and theory of spatial politics
  • a Mayoral Design Advocate for the Mayor of London, advising and providing project support to the GLA and local authorities on community co-design and social infrastructure
  • on the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Place Panel
  • Chair of the Ealing Council’s Community Design Review Panel
  • Chair Camden Council’s Euston Residents’ Advisory Group.

From 2003 to 2014 Daisy was a founding director of architecture practice AOC, which was twice short-listed for the Young Architect of the Year Award, and once for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award. In 2014, Daisy was short-listed for The Architects’ Journal Emerging Woman Architect of the Year.

Johanna Gibbons is a Landscape Architect, who trained at Edinburgh College of Art.

Jo is a founding Partner of J & L Gibbons, a Landscape Architecture Studio, established in 1986. Jo is also founding Director of Landscape Learn, a social enterprise established to advance a wider understanding and appreciation of the landscapes we design, inhabit and influence.

Jo advocates for the profession on an international stage and has published several research publications, most recently, ‘Conversations on Urban Forestry’. In 2019 Jo was nominated Royal Designer of Industry by the RSA for her ‘pioneering and influential work combining design with activism, education and professional practice’.

Jo is:

  • a Fellow of the Landscape Institute
  • a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Commissioner with the Jersey Architectural Commission
  • A member of the Forestry Commission’s Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committee
  • a Trustee of Open City, a charity promoting people-centred cities
  • a core Research Partner of Urban Mind, a cross-disciplinary project lead by Kings College London with independent art foundation Nomad Projects, exploring how the urban environment affects mental wellbeing

Jane has had a varied career, and now works in non-executive roles. In 2022, Jane was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to volunteering, heritage and the arts.

In 1996 Jane established Joined Up North, a consultancy business specialising in strategic development, regeneration and place marketing through culture, heritage and tourism projects. Jane was founding chair of Make it York, a destination management and business development company.

Prior to this work, Jane graduated with a degree in Drama and English from Hull university, and has worked in theatre, film, television, radio, the record industry, marketing and PR in London, and was housekeeper to the novelist Doris Lessing.

Jane is:

  • Chair of Spirit of 2012, the London 2021 legacy charity, founded by the National Lottery Community Fund in 2013
  • Chair of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Partnership Board
  • Director of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

Jane previously:

  • Chaired the Culture & Place Strategic Advisory Group in Hull
  • Served on the Regional Committee of National Trust Yorkshire & North East until 2014

Ian has particular focus and experience on high street and stakeholder engagement. He is a freelance consultant, working in several places across the North, and he is also:

  • joint founder of the national charity Civic Voice
  • a member of the High Street Task Force's Executive Group
  • the Founding Director of Love Wavertree Community Interest Company
  • Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Civic Societies

Ian was recently invited to join the High Street Task Force's Sector Leaders’ Group, which meets regularly with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).

Ian is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, having been elected in recognition of his personal leadership, vision, and commitment to the civic cause, and giving voice and support to thousands of place makers around the UK. Ian has also been invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Julian is an archaeologist, and since 1982 has directed many multi-period sites within the City of London. Julian has a degree in history from Cambridge University, an MA in medieval archaeology from University College London and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Julian is Senior Project Manager for Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and also manages the delivery of assessment reports, articles and books for field projects. This involves editorial overview and quality control to ensure well-presented publications on MOLA excavated sites.

Julian’s experience includes:

  • excavation and analysis of Roman archaeology of the middle Walbrook valley, the geographic centre of Londinium
  • work on Roman and Medieval cemeteries and waterfronts
  • Site director for the monumental Roman buildings beneath Cannon Street station and part of the Dominican Priory at Blackfriars
  • International work, such as Medieval domestic buildings in Ferrara, Italy, the Roman port at Caesaria Maritima in Israel and investigating a probable small Roman town in the Spanish Pyrenees
  • the post-excavation programme for the Bloomberg London site.
  • author of a MOLA paper on Roman buildings at 72–75 Cheapside, and a major MOLA monograph on a complex of over 60 Roman buildings from the excavation at 1 Poultry, which a significant study of objects contextualised in waterlogged conditions

Nigel is an arts administrator and an expert in the contemporary performing arts. In 2019, Nigel was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the arts.

Nigel was Executive Producer for 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official First World War Centenary cultural programme. 14-18 NOW engaged 35 million people across the UK through 107 new art commissions in a wide range of art forms. Nigel was also a senior member of the Culture team for London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) responsible for the successful planning and delivery of the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad across half the UK. His early career was as a theatre director, performer, and stage manager.

Nigel is currently:

  • associate director of Festival and Events International
  • non-executive director of Collective Act Ltd
  • an advisor to the Drummond Fund of the Royal Philharmonic Society

Previous roles include:

  • serving as Executive Director of The Place in London
  • Arts Programming Director of Sadler’s Wells
  • Director of the Phoenix Arts Centre in Leicester

Rebecca is an urban historian and is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Rebecca’s work is on the relationship between heritage and place-making and particularly on the emotional value of historic places. Rebecca’s PhD included the study of how decisions were made on the demolition or re-use of historic buildings.

Rebecca has published widely on heritage-led redevelopment initiatives in the 20th and 21st centuries. She also works extensively with the heritage and built environment sectors including advisory roles at both the national and local levels in the UK.

Rebecca is

  • Place-Based Research Programme Director for the Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • An Associate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Urban History Association
  • Editorial Board Member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation’s professional journal

Adele is a town planner and urbanist. She is the current head of planning transformation for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

Adele was previously the head of spatial framework for the Oxford and Cambridge Arc, and strategic planning manager at London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and numerous Local Authority planning roles.

Jennie has extensive experience in operational and strategic roles within retail, and large-scale transformative change.

Jennie brings eight years' experience work with the John Lewis Partnership, as a branch manager, steering group member and developing national business case. This included working with local authorities and MPs, collaborating on how to drive performance and try to avoid closures in town centres. Jennie has also worked on community programmes and business initiatives to increase local growth, ensuring investment was aligned not only with business needs, but with local place making strategy and community assets.

Jennie has worked on developing a business operating model, mobilising a large-scale restructure and design from both a business, and customer perspective. She has also worked with a local business enterprise group to support funding initiatives for small businesses.

Geoff is an architect and managing partner for Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCB Studios), an architectural and urban design practice with an international reputation for design quality and pioneering environmental expertise.

Geoff takes a leading role in the practice’s creative re-use and regeneration work and has a keen interest in design, conservation and sustainability. Geoff has experience in design for education, housing, master planning and urban design as well as places for art and the creative reuse of historic buildings.

Geoff is:

  • an accredited conservation architect with the Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) schemes
  • a Winston Churchill Fellow, and a Lethaby Scholar of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)
  • a Built Environment Expert (BEE) for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and a long-standing member of CABE's South West Design Review Panel

His work with FCB Studios includes:

  • the re-use of the world’s oldest surviving iron-framed buildings at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings
  • major renovation of Bath Abbey
  • new conservation workshops building at Windsor Castle
  • the Clore Learning Centre at Hampton Court Palace
  • master plans for National Museums of Liverpool and Liverpool University

Chris is a historic environment professional who has worked across England, with periods based in the North East and South West. Chris was responsible for the work of the Urban Panel, which preceded the Historic Places Panel, attending most of its visits since 2000 and writing many of the reports.

Chris has experience of the sector from all levels of community and public sectors, having roles in conservation teams, a community development trust, planning departments and Historic England.

As Historic England Director of Planning, and in other senior regional roles, Chris developed particular expertise and interest in urban regeneration, working with major developers and civic leaders and planners.

David is a chartered architect and urban designer who has expertise in strategic transport, and heritage-centred placemaking. David has delivered transport, commercial, heritage, housing, sport, healthcare, and public realm projects for over 30 years.

In 2012 David founded D.U.P Limited an independent Placemaking and development consultancy with offices in London and Glasgow. Currently, D.U.P leads on strategic transport and place matters promoting active travel and sustainable growth for several clients including Brentwood Borough Council, Herefordshire Council, and South East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership.

David was the first Design Champion for Transport for London and was Assistant Director at Design for London, delivering design excellence into a wide range of projects including:

  • TfL’s external multi-modal LED Roundel,
  • Crossrail,
  • various Underground & Overground Stations,
  • West Ham Bus garage,
  • Legible London,
  • Windrush & Kings Cross Squares,
  • the Emirates Cable Car


  • co-founded and was an initial board member of Urban Design London
  • chairs design review panels for several London Borough professional panels including a Community Development Panel, Network Rail
  • is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation. David has been on their urban design panel for over a decade and aiding in the creation of all Manual for Streets editions.
  • is Deputy Chair of the Independent HS2 design panel

Atam is a Chartered Surveyor and has been active in the Development Consultancy sector for over 29 years. He started his early career at a Local Authority as a Trainee Valuer and subsequently secured his Land Management degree. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor whilst working in the City of London with Jones Lang Wootton and then moved back to Yorkshire in 1996.

Atam has been active in the regeneration and development sector nationally. He is a founding Director of AspinallVerdi, property regeneration consultants, and previously worked in development Consultancy for DTZ Pieda, and as a Partner in regeneration Consultancy company King Sturge leading the northern consultancy team.

Atam regularly works with public and private sector clients to generate deliverable development proposals. He has experience in the heritage sector looking at options, optimum viable use, and funding commissions, underpinned with market research and market engagement.

Atam’s work has recently included preparation and implementation of Future High Street Fund, Town Investment Plans and Towns Fund business cases. Work is now progressing on delivery of the projects.

Atam is:

  • a Member of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Planning Policy Panel and Member Services Steering Group
  • a Design Council High Streets Task Force Expert
  • Director of the not-for-profit Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART)

Katie is a Director at Deloitte in the Real Assets Advisory team. Katie is a planner (Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute MRTPI) by training and focusses on large-scale regeneration and placemaking, as well as leading Deloitte’s heritage team.

Katie is well versed in the commercial challenges of reusing historic buildings and the negotiations required, working on countless listed buildings in her career for all types of uses. She is also very experienced in the commercial and planning challenges around placemaking across large regeneration areas.

Katie has a strong background in development management and strategic regeneration, particularly the development and implementation of Strategic Regeneration Frameworks.

Katie’s experience includes:

  • advising the Co-operative Group on their non-trading portfolio across the country, and their 20-acre head office regeneration scheme, NOMA, Manchester
  • working on a broad range of multi-disciplinary projects at Arup
  • Mayfield, Manchester, a 30-acre regeneration site, where she is working with U+I and their public sector partners
  • working on residential and commercial sites in East Manchester, including in Ancoats Conservation Area. This work has included gaining consent for the UK’s first Mobility Hub, a key placemaking enabler of the next phase of residential development; and driving the planning strategy for delivering new public realm across a significant portion of the Conservation Area.

Katie is:

  • a member of the Victorian Society
  • a member of the Modernist Society

Katie has also:

  • chaired the Royal Town Planning Institute, north west branch in 2016, following nine years on the committee
  • lead the north west Institute of Historic Building Conservation event committee for seven years and sat on regional committee

Declarations of Interest

Registers of Interest are maintained for Commission, the Historic England Advisory Committee, the London Advisory Committee, the business committees and for the Historic England Executive Team. They record any significant, ongoing interest that a member may have and are reviewed by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee twice each year.

If a member has an interest in a specific case to be discussed at a meeting this should be declared at the start of the meeting and recorded in the minutes.

Contact us

Laura Emmins

Historic Places Panel Coordinator