He is expected to throw down the gauntlet and challenge developers, architects, local authority planners and others involved in developments, urging them to make use of existing brownfield sites before they consider any greenfield development.
English Heritage chief executive Pam Alexander is also speaking at the conference, entitled Making Industrial Buildings Work. She will highlight the number of old mills and disused factories in prime city-centre locations with good transport links that could be redeveloped for businesses and housing.
Alexander will also emphasise the importance of these sites in stimulating local business.
To show that the organisers practise what they preach, the conference will take place at the site of the former Great Western Railway sheds in Swindon, Wiltshire, which has been converted to a shopping centre for BAA McArthurGlen.