Conservation – Legacy and Innovation

Free one-day conference

Saturday 21 October 2023

10am to 4pm

Lewisham College, Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT

Free entry, all welcome!

Book now

Brockley Conservation Area was designated by Lewisham Council in September 1973 (see ‘Background’ section below for more details). 2023 therefore marks the 50th anniversary of this landmark.

Building on our successful 2017 Design and Innovation Conference, Brockley Society is pleased to host another one day conference that will examine how the conservation area has evolved during its first 50 years, and the priorities and challenges it faces in the future.

The event will consider a variety of perspectives including the encouragement of community involvement, awareness and education in shaping the environment. It will aim to consider all aspects of the local environment: buildings, trees, green spaces and the public realm.

The event will provide a wealth of information for anybody at all interested in the role conservation areas play in safeguarding designated urban environments during challenging times.



(NB: some times may change. View as a PDF here)

09:30 Registration, tea and coffee

09:55 Housekeeping announcements

10:00 Councillor Stephen Penfold (Brockley Ward & Housing Select Committee Chair) opens the conference

10:05  Session 1: How We Got Here

Clare CowenChair of Brockley Society

Welcome and opening remarks


Nicholas TaylorThe campaign for the conservation movement nationally and its implementation in Lewisham

Nicholas Taylor’s 1973 book The Village in the City played an important role nationally in the discussions which underlay the campaign for conservation: rehabilitation not demolition. His role as a councillor was also vital in setting up Lewisham’s conservation areas, specifically in Brockley.


John MorelandThe campaign to establish a conservation area in Brockley

First chair of Brockley Society. In 1972-3 John photographed nearly 300 Victorian houses in the campaign to designate Brockley Conservation Area. /landscapeurbandesign


Gillian Heywood MBEProtecting the Brockley Conservation Area once designated

President of Brockley Society. Gillian was involved in battles to protect the conservation area against unwanted developments as well as government, London and local policies threatening it.


11:00  BREAK

Free tea & coffee, available all day. Donations welcome.


11:15  Session 2: Achievements & Exemplar Projects

Robert BarkerStolon Studio

The Rusty House, 18 Ashby Road, SE4 1PX


Harriet Saddington – Harriet Saddington Ltd

69c Tressillian Road Extension, SE4 1YA

X/Twitter: @harrisaddington


Hannah Campbell – Hannah Campbell Design

1836 Coach House


Rhys Cannon – Gruff Architects

8a Tyrwhitt Road, SE4 1QG

12:15  LUNCH

Free tea and coffee, sandwiches for a donation. Street food stalls available at Brockley Market in the adjacent college car park. Or bring your own picnic.


13:15   Session 3: Current Concerns

Jens Cole – DC Design / Brockley Society’s planning group

Energy Efficiency & Heritage Conservation

David John – Historic England / Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Heritage at risk and the future – a personal view   


Robert Prewett – Prewett Bizley

Retrofit / Passivhaus Case Studies


Anna-Maria Cahalane – Co-founder, Fourth Reserve Foundation

Brockley Green and Gorne Wood – how history played a part in protection from development


14:15  BREAK

Free tea & coffee, available all day. Donations welcome


14:30  Session 4: Community Involvement – Ways Forward

Nick Patton – Blackheath Society, Trustee/Management Committee

The challenge of large developments beyond the CA boundaries


Malcolm Bacchus – Chair, Telegraph Hill Society

The changing face of community involvement: a reflection

X/Twitter: @MalcolmBacchus


Annabel McLaren – Outgoing Chair of Sydenham Society

Sydenham town centre – 10 years since the Portas Pilot

X/Twitter: @SydenhamSociety


Paul Thornton – Vice Chair, London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies

A London-wide perspective

X/Twitter:  @London_Forum


Clare Cowen – Chair of Brockley Society

Closing remarks


16:00  Conference ends


The conference is free and open to all.

Book your place now!


Book now



The Brockley Conservation Area was first designated in 1973. In 2005 Lewisham Council produced a ‘Character Appraisal’ of the Brockley Conservation Area. This fascinating and informative resource describes and assesses both the history and the built environment of the area. It provides a clear rationale for having made the designation, and the ongoing efforts to preserve the character of the area.

You can view and download the 3 parts of the document here:

Also, in 2007 a ‘Supplementary Planning Document’ was published which summarised the requirements of any structural property redevelopment within the area.