Skip the NI Direct Bar
Department of the Environment logo
Northern Ireland Environment Agency logo


07 March 2013

Historic Buildings Council appointments

Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, today announced the appointment of seven new members, and the re-appointment of seven existing members to the Historic Buildings Council (HBC) for a three-year term, effective from 1 March 2013.

The Minister also announced that he has extended the term of appointment of the current Chairperson, Mr Frank Robinson, until 30 June 2013.

Established in 1973, the Historic Buildings Council is a statutory advisory council which provides advice to the Department of the Environment on the exercise of its powers under the Planning (NI) Order 1991.

The new appointees are: Mr Joseph Birt; Dr Liam Campbell; Mrs Rosie Ford-Hutchinson; Mrs Bronagh Lynch; Mr Colm Murray; Ms Grainne O’Hagan and Mr Peter Tracey

Alex Attwood said: “The work of the HBC is often quietly done but crucial for the protection and development of our built heritage. The ‘14’ members are dedicated, working to maintain a key element of the character of our lives and economic opportunity, particularly tourism. The work of the HBC is often unseen – its impact is very visible in the scale and value of our built heritage."

Notes to editors:

1. The appointments are effective from 1 March 2013 to 29 February 2016. Neither the chairman’s post nor members’ posts attract a salary. However, the chairman’s and members’ expenses are met.

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

3. All 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.

4. None of the appointees carried out any political activity in the past five years.

Pen Pictures - Reappointments

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 for the last 16 years 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.

Pen Pictures - New Appointments

Joseph Birt lives in Portaferry. He has vast experience of building conservation methods in his role as Building Controls ‘Specialist Support Officer’ for the South Eastern Group of Councils, with valuable first-hand experience of local councils and councillors. He is the Chairman of the 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. He currently sits on the DFP’s ‘Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee’, and is a Director of the William Keown Charitable Trust, which promotes the rights of people with disabilities. Joseph has not carried out any political activity in the past five years

Liam Campbell lives in Plumbridge. He is currently a Heritage Officer with Foyle Civic Trust with responsibility for the management of the Foyle Landscape project. 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. Dr Campbell has carried out no political activity in the last five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

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 committee member of the Irish Heritage Alliance and 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. Rosie has not carried out any political activity in the last five years. She is currently a board member of Audiences NI.

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. Bronagh has not carried out any political activity in the past five years and currently holds no other public appointments.

Colm Murray lives in Co. Kilkenny. He is currently the Architecture Officer of the Heritage Council. He is a conservation architect, qualified in planning and has experience with inventorying and evaluating architectural heritage in the Republic of Ireland, very relevant to NIEA Built Heritage Directorate work. Colm has not carried out any political activity in the past five years and currently holds no other public appointments.

Grainne O’Hagan lives in Newry. She is a director in JL O’Hagan & Co Architects and has acted as lead architect on a number of projects. She is a capable and experienced architect in the conservation sector and is very familiar with the work of NIEA. Grainne has completed several conservation courses, is certified in historic building conservation and is an accredited access auditor. She will bring this knowledge together with her practical experience to HBC. Grainne has not carried out any political activity in the past five years and currently holds no other public appointments.

Peter Tracey lives in Derry. He runs his own architectural practice Tracey Architects and has worked recently on a number of conservation projects in the North West. He also has first-hand experience of ownership of a listed building. He has an active interest in historic buildings going back 30 years and running construction projects involving listed buildings including carrying out condition surveys, drawing up schedules of repairs, making applications for grant aid, monitoring quality of repairs on site, etc. Peter has not carried out any political activity in the past five years and currently holds no other public appointments.

5. For media enquiries please contact the DOE Press Office on 028 9025 6058 or out of office hours call the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699715440 and your call will be returned.

Return to News items list