Howden Civic Society

Help protect and improve our town


One of the main functions of the Civic Society is to monitor proposals that might impact on the historic core and traditions of Howden. The historic core is defined within a Conservation Area, created in 1974, and defined as an “area of special architectural or historic interest the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”.

The character of an area depends upon its historic background, the architectural quality and interest of its buildings, their materials and detailing, the way they relate to each other, the line of the highways, the quality of the landscape, trees and open spaces and a variety of unique features.

Howden’s Design Statement was published in about 1990 to give construction guidance for future development or alterations.

The Civic Society is consulted on all applications made within the Conservation Area and some outside the area which may have a significant effect on the town. The Civic Society is also consulted on relevant planning policies and issues such as the East Riding Local Plan and its Allocations Plan.



The following is an extract from the above publication.

Any fixed part of the historic environment with a distinctive identity perceived by people can be considered a place. The following principles set out how significant places such as Howden should be managed.

  • Significant places should be managed to sustain their values. Change in the historic environment is inevitable, caused by natural processes, the wear and tear of use, and people’s responses to social, economic and technological change. 
  • Conservation is the process of managing change to a significant place in its setting in ways that will best sustain its heritage values, while recognising opportunities to reveal or reinforce those values for present and future generations. 
  • Conservation is achieved by all concerned with a significant place sharing an understanding of its significance, and using that understanding to:
    • judge how its heritage values are vulnerable to change
    • take the actions and impose the constraints necessary to sustain, reveal and reinforce those values
    • mediate between conservation options, if action to sustain one heritage value could conflict with action to sustain another
    • ensure that the place retains its authenticity – those attributes and elements which most truthfully reflect and embody the heritage values attached to it.
  • Action taken to counter harmful effects of natural change, or to minimise the risk of disaster, should be timely, proportionate to the severity and likelihood of identified consequences, and sustainable.
  • Intervention may be justified if it increases understanding of the past, reveals or reinforces particular heritage values of a place, or is necessary to sustain those values for present and future generations, so long as any resulting harm is decisively outweighed by the benefits.
  • New work should aspire to a quality of design and execution which may be valued both now and in the future. This neither implies nor precludes working in traditional or new ways, but should respect the significance of a place in its setting.