Heritage Funding Directory

Heritage Protection Reform News

Summer 2010 Heritage Protection Reform Newsletter published

English Heritage has released the latest version of the HPR Newsletter outlining recent achievements and new initiatives as part of the ongoing programme to shape a modern, efficient and transparent heritage protection system.

Since the spring there have been two developments aimed at improving the designation process. The first is the launch of an online application form for designation. This is the first time that applications to list, schedule or register a heritage asset can be submitted to English Heritage in one form and online. It is envisaged that the form will also eventually include full mapping functionality to allow applicants to clearly indicate the areas they wish to be assessed.  The form can be downloaded from the English Heritage website at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/designation/process/online-application-form/

The second initiative is the launch, in early 2011, of a searchable, online record of all designated assets available through the English Heritage and Heritage Gateway websites. This will be the first time that designation records for all assets types are available online. Both developments represent significant milestones in the HPR programme and are the first stages in the development of a unified designation system.

Other HPR news includes an overview of the National Heritage Protection Plan, an update on the HER21 scheme which launched in February to provide grants through the national Heritage Protection Commissions Programme (formerly HEEP), to assist in the development of HPR compliant Historic Environment Records. Due out in autumn is a new online guide to heritage protection, while work on revising the 20 selection guides for listed buildings continues apace, as does the development of a series of new, illustrated Asset Descriptions. The newsletter also outlines details of Defra’s planned Marine Policy Statement as well as the news that all EH Maritime Designation posts have been transferred to Heritage Protection Department to ensure more consistent and appropriate protection and management of all our historic assets.

Click here to download the Summer HPR Newsletter.

Report from HTF event – The Future of Heritage Protection, now available

On 17th June the Historic Towns Forum in partnership with specialist law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, hosted an event titled The Future of Heritage Protection, which explored PPS5 and changes to the planning system post election.

The purpose of the event was to:

  • give information and guidance to HTF Members upon the implications of PPS5 -how will it change the way in which applications affecting the historic environment are determined and how to use it to best effect.
  • Explore the new political landscape – how is the planning system likely to change and what are the implications for those working in the historic environment.

A report summarising the Conference content and speaker presentations, are available to download at http://www.historictownsforum.org/london10_report

English Heritage announces new dates for PPS5 training events

English Heritage has just announced some new dates for additional PPS5 training events and places are currently available for all dates. Anyone interested in attending should email Rachel Prosser at English Heritage: Rachel.Prosser@english-heritage.org.uk

All events run from 10.00am – 16.00 and are free of charge.

New dates are:

18 June – Kendal

22 June – London - Places Limited

25 June – Birmingham

6 July – Bury St Edmunds

16 July – Truro - Full

20 July – Gatwick - Places limited

22 July – Nottingham

Heritage Alliance and British Property Federation members come together to discuss PPS5

On 27th May 2010 over 100 people joined the Heritage Alliance, the British Property Federation and DPP to discuss the implications that the recently published PPS5: Planning for the historic environment will have for the property industry.

The event, held at the Building Centre was a joint initiative run by the BPF and supported by the Heritage Alliance, in the spirit of forging stronger links with the property industry. BPF CEO Liz Peace chaired the seminar, which included speakers from English Heritage, the IHBC, DPP LLP and Gerald Eve. The presentations, (links provided below), provided in-depth insight into the new policy and guidance and offered a range of perspectives, which sparked an illuminating Q&A session.

A key outcome of the debate was recognition of the vital role that amenity and voluntary heritage sector groups can play in providing specialist advice to developers on applications involving heritage assets; particularly in the face of cuts to local authority conservation services.

The Heritage Alliance looks forward to working with the BPF and its members on further initiatives in the near future.

Click on the links below to download speaker presentations from the event:

Dave Chetwyn slides

Roger Mascall slides

Hugh Bullock slides

Spring 2010 Heritage Protection Reform Newsletter published

English Heritage has released the latest version of the HPR Newsletter which outlines recent achievements and new initiatives as part of the ongoing programme to shape a modern, efficient and transparent heritage protection system. Issues covered by the Spring 2010 newsletter include milestones such as the publication of PPS5 and Practice Guide, the transfer of greater designation responsibilities from DCMS to EH and the enactment of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill. A number of new and ongoing projects such as church-re-grading, modernising the Schedule of Ancient Monuments and the review of the current Statutory Lists will help to ensure a standard and consistent designation base from which to administer a unified designation system when legislation is introduced. Meanwhile the launch of a new scheme that makes £400,000 available towards research and development of Historic Environment Records will assist in developing a comprehensive source of information on all types of heritage asset. EH will set out their 5 year priorities for designation and management of the historic environment in The National Heritage Protection Plan due for publication in September.

A copy of the Newsletter can be downloaded at EH HPR Newsletter Spring 2010

English Heritage Commence List Audit Project

To complement the transfer of greater designation responsibilities to EH from DCMS a number of projects are underway to ensure that EH have a ‘clean’ designation base from which to administer a unified designation system when legislation is introduced. One such project involves a comprehensive review of the quality and coverage of the current Statutory Lists to identify inconsistencies and to ensure that information on listing is as up to date and complete as possible.  The results of the project will be fed into the National Heritage Protection Plan due for publication later in the year.

Government Vision Statement on the Historic Environment 2010

At last, the Statement on the value of the historic environment - with formal support of all Departments across Whitehall - has been published to complement and underpin Planning Policy Statement 5 and the PPS5 Planning Practice Guide.  Until a Heritage Protection Bill is passed, this suite of value statements is the benchmark for the protection of our heritage for the foreseeable future.  Is it enough?

The Alliance welcomes the Government’s Statement. It follows in a long line of declarations: A Force for our Future (2001), Better Places to Live (2005), and World Class Places (2009). But this one catches up with the popular interpretation of our heritage;  the benefits and solutions it brings to 21st century life.

“The Government believes that the historic environment is an asset of enormous cultural, social, economic and environmental value.”  As well as the acknowledgement of intrinsic value, the ways in which historic environment can help Government achieve many of its broader goals are spelt out. The Statement recognises that the iconic buildings and monuments, cathedrals and castles are only a small part of the historic environment: “Our history is equally reflected in the homes of ordinary people, in the street plans of historic towns and cities, in farm buildings and factories, in our public places, the landscapes we have created and the sites beneath our seas”.  And “the historic environment should be seen as a vital contributor to improving the quality of place and quality of life for all”.

Significant also is the understanding on page 1 that “By promoting the inherent sustainability of historic buildings and their surroundings and by learning from them and the other types of evidence left by the low carbon economies of the past, we can make real progress in helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

The test for the Statement will be how these warm words are interpreted by other Government Departments whose policies impact directly or indirectly on the historic environment.  Phrases like ‘Intelligent management’ and ‘strong and effective partnership’ need to be translated into reality.  While the voluntary bodies, owners and developers are expected to play their part, the Government sets out its own six strategic aims - strategic leadership; protective framework; local capacity; public involvement; direct ownership; and sustainable future.

It is up to us all to hold this and future Governments to account; to quote the Statement and to exploit that aspirational first line of the Vision “that the value of the historic environment is recognised by all who have the power to shape it”.

For the Vision Statement, visit:  http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/6763.aspx

Sector responses to the Vision Statement:

The CLG and CMS Committees are to take no further action on PPS15 as the Planning Minister promises further consultation

On 22nd January, the Heritage Alliance received a copy of the Minister for Planning’s response to a letter sent by the Chairs of the CLG and CMS Parliamentary Committees in December 2009, asking him to commit to further consultation on the draft planning policy statement on the historic environment (PPS15).

The original letter was drafted as a result of overwhelming stakeholder concern about the PPS expressed in correspondence to the Committees during the consultation. In his response John Healey MP acknowledges the extent of misgivings and explains that discussions have taken place with English Heritage and the DCMS as a result.

The Minister also emphasises the importance of considering all views and as such every one of the near 500 responses to the PPS consultation is to be assessed by the end of January. This assessment will shape the strategy for handling those aspects of the PPS requiring clarification/alteration but while this “will certainly require some further consultation with stakeholder organisations”, the Minister does not provide further details.

A copy of John Healey’s response was attached to a letter from the Clerks of the CLG and CMS Committees addressed to the Heritage Alliance. The letter explains that in light of CLG’s plans for further consultation and the limited time available in this late stage of the Parliament, the Committees will take no further action at this time. However, they may reconsider this position should the Committees receive notification of dissatisfaction with the process or result of the next round of consultation.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here

Questions on heritage protection asked in the House of Commons and the House of Lords

On December 14th Caroline Spelman, Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations his Department has received from (a) the Royal Town Planning Institute and (b) heritage or conservation groups on the revision of PPS15.

Secretary of State, Ian Austin, answered that the Department received nearly 500 responses to the consultation exercise and that one of these was the joint response from the IHBC and Royal Town Planning Institute, while over 50 were from heritage or conservation groups. According to Mr Austin all responses are now being considered, and a summary and analysis will be published before the end of January 2010.

Transcript available here

On December 3rd Lord Clement-Jones (Liberal Democrat) put two questions to the House of Lords asking the Government about whether planning legislation reform will be implemented  to enable control over partial demolition and development in conservation areas and what steps they will take to reform planning regulations to close the gaps in heritage protection caused by the 1991 South Lakeland and 1997 Shimizu judgments.

The questions were drafted by the Heritage Alliance Heritage Protection Reform Coordinator at Lord-Clement Jones’ request.

The transcript of the questions, with answers from Lord McKenzie of Luton, are available here

CMS & CLG committees ask Planning Minister for further consultation on PPS15

On 14th December 2009 the Chairs of both the CLG and CMS Parliamentary Committees sent a letter to the Minister for Planning, John Healey MP, calling on him to commit to further consultation on the draft planning policy statement on the historic environment (PPS15).

MPs Dr Phyllis Starkey (CLG) and John Whittingdale, (CMS) drafted the letter as a result of overwhelming stakeholder concern about the PPS proposals expressed in correspondence to the Committees during the consultation. A number of heritage sector organisations were forwarded the letter including the Heritage Alliance, IHBC, APT, the UK Association of Preservation Trusts, the Historic Towns Forum, JCNAS and SPAB.

The letter highlights recent media reports in which the Planning Minister committed to redrafting the PPS and to clearing up any confusion, particularly on the unclear language of the draft, before publishing the final statement. It points out that the Minister has however not yet committed to consulting stakeholders on the redrafted PPS. Consequently the Committees urge the Minister to commit to ensuring there will be adequate opportunity for comment on the redrafted policy before it is finalised, to reassure stakeholders and the two Committees that the Government is treating their concerns seriously.

If the Committee members feel that stakeholders’ concerns are not allayed then weight of opinion is such that the Committees may consider taking oral evidence on the PPS.

View the letter here

Heritage Alliance and English Heritage Training and Development Survey

The Heritage Alliance with English Heritage have conducted a survey to explore the training & development needs of the heritage voluntary sector in light of Heritage Protection Reform (HPR). Thanks to all those who contributed their thoughts on how we might develop future training and prioritise resources to support the voluntary sector’s role in managing the Historic Environment. Please watch this space for progress updates.

English Heritage to take on Listing administration duties

From the 2nd November 2009, English Heritage will take on all administration of the listing system from the DCMS. The changes will help to achieve the aims of to the ongoing heritage protection reform programme by making the process more streamlined and transparent. Owners, local authorities and applicants will now have the opportunity to comment on information collated by English Heritage on a building before their recommendation goes to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for consideration.

It is hoped that consultation with a wider audience will result in a more comprehensive understanding of a building, which will better inform the decision-making process. Importantly, the option to consult will remain flexible to allow for a swift response in protecting buildings at immediate risk. The take over of duties also includes notification, compilation and amendment of the List of designated sites on behalf of the Secretary of State. A more detailed explanation of the changes is available on the English Heritage website here.