Minister re-appoints Historic Buildings Council

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today announced the re-appointment of five existing members of the Historic Buildings Council for a three year term, effective from 1 March 2016.

In addition, to facilitate the recruitment of new members and ensure continuity, the terms of seven members who have already served two terms have been extended by three months until 31 May 2016.    
Welcoming the re-appointments, Mark H Durkan said: “Our built heritage is not only an important part of our lives and communities but is a major element in economic growth, tourist numbers and spend.

“The Historic Buildings Council can help inform government how best to maintain built heritage for future generations and positively develop our assets to realise their full and true potential. I would like to thank all members for their valuable service on the council to date.”

Established in 1973, the Council is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department of the Environment and provides independent advice to the Department on the listing of buildings, the general state of listed buildings and other matters relating to their preservation and the contribution they make to our communities and economy.

In addition to these re-appointments, the Department is seeking to appoint a number of new members to both the Historic Buildings Council and the Historic Monuments Council. Further information can be found on the DOE website. The closing date for receipt of applications is noon on Friday 5 February 2016.

Notes to editors:

1. The Historic Buildings Council, a statutory advisory council to the Department of the Environment, was first established in 1973 under the provisions of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1972. HBC was re-established under the provisions of the Planning (NI) Order 1991. Its current authority is derived from the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

2. The re-appointments are effective from 1 March 2016 to 28 February 2019. Extensions have been agreed with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and will be effective from 1 March 2016 to 30 May 2016. The member post does not attract a salary, but reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be met.

3. These re-appointments were made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice for Ministerial Public Appointments.

4. All public appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires political activity of appointees to be published.

5. None of the below have carried out any political activity in the past five years.

Pen Pics:


Joseph Birt lives in Portaferry. He has vast experience of building conservation methods in his role as Building Controls ‘Specialist Support Officer’ for the former ‘South Eastern Group of Councils’, and consequently has valuable first-hand experience of local councils and councillors. He is the Chairman of the ‘Chartered Association of Building Engineers’ in Northern Ireland and has a detailed understanding of the legislation which applies to the wider built environment; specifically how it impacts upon the conservation sector.

Liam Campbell lives in Plumbridge. He is currently an associate of The Young Foundation with responsibility for ethnographic work in Northern Ireland on environment and culture. He has extensive knowledge of European Landscape legislation and holds a PhD on cultural and heritage landscapes which he teaches at the University of Ulster. He is a rural community activist focused on heritage, culture and landscape. He also has a background in the media.

Rosie Ford-Hutchinson lives in Larne. She is a director of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society with an avid interest in listed buildings. She is also a trustee of the Follies Trust. She has a media background having previously worked for BBC News and Current Affairs as a business manager. She will bring to the role considerable experience of implementing business strategy and an extensive knowledge of the history of Ulster’s built heritage.

Bronagh Lynch lives in Belfast. She is currently an Architectural Director within Consarc Design Group and has been lead architect on a number of restoration projects. She is an accredited conservation architect with experience in both public and private sector projects. She brings an in depth knowledge of the process of delivering complex restoration projects in a sensitive manner that addresses both the needs of the historic building and its end users.

Peter Tracey is Principal of Tracey Architects based in Derry. As well as running a general practice of schools, healthcare, offices and private dwellings, he has refurbished a number of historic buildings within the Clarendon Street and Walled City Conservation areas in the city including the Northern Counties Hotel and the original Technical College (NWRC). Current projects include proposals to refurbish a historic Walled garden and refurbishment of St Conal’s psychiatric hospital, a protected structure in Letterkenny. His scheme for new Civic Offices in Westport was one of those shortlisted in an International Design Competition organised by RIAI.


Brian Banks lives in Portadown. He is a chartered town planner with extensive experience in all aspects of planning. He was formerly a senior professional commissioner with the Planning Appeals Commission. He currently holds no other public appointments.

Kenneth Boston lives in Ballyclare. He is a Building Surveyor, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has successfully completed the Diploma in Building Conservation awarded by Royal Society of Ulster Architects. Currently a lecturer in Building Surveying at the University of Ulster and Programme Director of the Building Surveying Programme, he has extensive experience in the surveying of buildings, building pathology and has been actively involved in projects involving the care and protection of buildings within the historic environment. He currently holds no other public appointments.

Cathal Crimmins lives in Co Dublin. He is an architect and historic buildings consultant. He worked with a firm of architects (1967-1972), and later as a senior architect with Dublin City and County Councils designing social housing. Having obtained a Masters in the Conservation of Towns and Buildings in 1988 he set up private practice dealing mainly with Architectural Conservation and continuing a general architectural practice obtaining awards for both housing and conservation work. He has been a tutor in the School of Architecture, Faculty of the Built Environment in the Dublin Institute of Technology and served on the RIAI Professional Practice Examination Board. He has been juror on the RIAI Conservation awards and sits on the RIAI Historic Buildings Committee. He is an architect accredited in Conservation Grade1 (2004). He currently holds no other public appointments.

Noelle Houston lives in Newtownards. She qualified as an architect and worked in the UK for 8 years before returning to education which gave her the skills to work in Afghanistan for 2 years with the UN. She is now an independent consultant whose work has included heritage-led regeneration and the surveys of listed buildings. She currently holds no other public appointments.

Alistair Lindsay lives in Dublin. He is currently a Conservation Architect. Having worked in the public sector in Dublin for a number of years, he has been in the private sector since 1996 and formed his own practice in 2002. With over 30 years experience of all historic building types and periods, he is a member (former secretary and past Chair) of ICOMOS Ireland and a member of the R.I.A.I. Historic Buildings Committee. He currently holds no other public appointments.

Mike Martin lives in Castlereagh. He is a Chartered Surveyor with over 40 years experience of working with old buildings. He has specialised in carrying out surveys and condition reports for perspective purchasers and owners of old properties. He is interested in the traditional methods used in the construction of stone built properties and the best methods in restoring and preserving old buildings. He currently holds no other public appointments.

Patricia Warke lives in Newtownards. She is a lecturer in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University Belfast. As a member of the Weathering Research Group she has been involved in a wide variety of pure and applied collaborative research projects with local conservation architects investigating stone properties, and the factors controlling breakdown of stone in many of Northern Ireland’s historically prestigious buildings. She is also currently involved in collaborative research projects with Historic Scotland looking at the impact of stone cleaning and other surface treatments on the long-term stability of historic stone. She currently holds no other public appointments.