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Historic Area Assessments in Practice, 24 May 2018

Through a mixture of presentation and site-based exercises, learn when and how to implement a Historic Area Assessment (HAA). HAA is a practical tool to understand and explain the character of a place and define its significance.

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at heritage consultants engaged in undertaking Historic Area Assessments. It will also be of interest to those commissioning a HAA. CiFA and IHBC recognise that this course may provide part of the compulsory CPD requirements of their members.

Why should you join this course?

  • This training will help delegates to understand the methodology of Historic Area Assessment
  • It will enable delegates to decide when HAA is the most appropriate approach  for a given planning context
  • There will opportunity for ample discussion through the day and to ask Historic England experts specific HAA-related questions.
  • The course includes a 1-hour webinar on May 10th, which introduces delegates to the scope of HAAs.


At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • To understand the role of Historic Area Assessment in determining the character and significance of an area, and highlighting issues that have the potential to change this character.
  • To be able to specify and carry out a HAA
  • To recognise the difference between HAA and other approaches  such as Conservation Area Appraisals, Historic Landscape Characterisation and Extensive Urban Survey, so that delegates can determine which is most appropriate for a given situation.
  • To understand potential outcomes and applications of Historic Area Assessments in spatial planning, heritage protection and development management

Course outline*

Agreed course programme*

May 10th

  • 1300 Pre-course webinar on the scope of HAA (1 hour session)

May 24th

  • 0930 Registration
  • 1000 Introduction to HAAs 
  • 1145 Practical exercise including fieldwork
  • 1515 Making HAAs work in practice
  • 1700 Close

*The outline is subject to change, but start and finish times will not alter.

Meet the course tutors

Geraint Franklin MA is an Investigator at Historic England, with 18 years’ experience in the historic environment sector. Geraint recently revised Historic England’s guidance on Historic Area Assessment and is currently engaged on a HAA for the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone, which will result in an accessible publication. He has additionally completed HAAs at Old Oak and Wandsworth Town in London and Queenborough in Kent. Geraint has taught on Heritage Practice courses run by Historic England at the University of Leicester and is a contributor to the MSt in Building History course at the University of Cambridge. He is a trustee of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and author of Howell Killick Partridge & Amis (2017) and Post-Modern Buildings in Britain (2017, with Elain Harwood).

Joanna Smith is a Senior Investigator at Historic England with 30 years’ experience in the historic environment sector. She has been engaged with Historic Area Assessments since the methodology was first developed and undertaken HAA’s on South Shoreditch, Central Peckham, East Tilbury, Queenborough and a number of parishes on the Hoo Peninsula. She is currently engaged in a national project looking at suburbs and suburban development from the early 19th century to the present day. Joanna has taught on various Heritage Practice courses, some concerned with HAA, at OUDCE and the University of Leicester.  

Simon Taylor is a Senior Architectural Investigator and is Historic England’s Lead Professional for Architectural Investigation in the north of England. Simon has 24 years of experience in the historic environment sector, 21 of them spent as an architectural investigator, and contributed to the early development of Historic Area Assessment (HAA) methodology. He has undertaken and published on HAAs of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Gateshead, Anfield and Breckfield (Liverpool), the environs of Chester Amphitheatre, Denton Holme (Carlisle), Gatebeck and Endmoor (Cumbria) and Manningham (Bradford). He is currently working on an HAA of the historic town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, a Heritage Action Zone. Simon taught from 2005-9 on the English Heritage/OUDCE ‘Area Assessments of the Historic Environment’ course. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the author of Manchester: The Warehouse Legacy (2002), Gateshead: Architecture in a Changing Urban Landscape (2004), Manchester’s Northern Quarter: The Greatest Meer Village (2008) and Manningham: Character and Diversity in a Bradford Suburb (2010).  

Course venue

This course will be held in York and the venue is TBC

Course fee

The course fee for one day is £160, to include all tuition, lunch and light refreshments.

Please note that payment is by credit or debit card and we will require this payment within one week of receiving your completed form. If this is not received your place will be given away. Once we have received your completed form our payments team will phone you for payment of the course fees which is due in advance of the course; your place will then be confirmed.

If you choose to cancel your place within 28 days of the event we will not refund any costs. If cancelled earlier than this we will provide a full refund of £160.

How to book

To reserve your place on this course please email your completed booking form to: and await a telephone call from our finance department in the week following. Your place will not be confirmed until we have received payment.

Download the course booking form

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