Minister re-appoints Chair to the Historic Buildings Council

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, today announced the re-appointment of Marcus Patton for a second term as Chair of the Historic Buildings Council (HBC).

The appointment, which is for a three-year term, is effective from 13 September 2016.

The Historic Buildings Council, a statutory advisory council to the Department of the Environment, plays an important role in advising the department on matters relating to the preservation of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. This includes the listing of buildings and the general state of preservation of listed buildings.

Welcoming the appointment, Minister 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 Marcus for his service and leadership on the Council to date.”

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-appointment is effective from 13 September 2016 to 12 September 2019. The Chairperson’s post does not attract a salary, but reasonable travel and subsistence expenses will be met.

3. This re-appointment was 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. Marcus Patton trained as an architect at Queen’s University, Belfast, before working in planning and conservation in Scotland for a number of years. Marcus currently lives in Belfast and is Director of Hearth, a housing association and building preservation trust, having worked for the organisation since 1978. He is a practising architect, and has worked with historic buildings for some forty years. He has been a committee member of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society since 1979 and also sits as a member of the Association of Preservation Trusts and the RSUA Conservation Committee.

As an artist he has made drawings and prints of many buildings here and abroad, and has written several books on Ulster architecture. He believes in historic buildings as a civilising force, and one that brings communities together. In recognition of his services to Building Conservation in Northern Ireland, Marcus was awarded the OBE in 1995.

During his term as Chair of the Historic Building Council, he has co-ordinated the council public consultation responses to the Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS), provided expert opinion to the department on listings and delisting consultations and provided advice on planning applications impacting on the built heritage.

6. Mr Patton has not carried out any political activity in the past five years.