How easy it is for different conclusions to be drawn from a single report. While 'Select Committee slams EH [English Heritage] and CABE conflict' (AJ 29.7.04) makes for an eye-catching headline, the substance of the Select Committee report provides firm political support for English Heritage and the steps it is taking to encourage the adaptation of historic buildings and places, and allow their continued use.
Nor can the committee's comment that 'in some instances CABE and English Heritage are giving conflicting advice' count as 'special criticism'. English Heritage and CABE have different remits - however, in practice, we work closely together to encourage the best of today's architecture to add to that of previous generations, which we are charged with protecting for the future.
The main recommendation of the ODPM Select Committee inquiry was that historic buildings should be made central to urban renaissance, proposing that local authorities should incorporate a clear role for historic buildings in their regeneration strategies and establish multidisciplinary teams to implement them. English Heritage and CABE will be doing everything they can to help them in this important task.
Steve Bee, director of planning and development, English Heritage