The Grange detail
transpor tturst
HA_03
L1110857
Ernest-Wright-Sons-Scissormakers-e1403274431724
Purton-Green-Jill-Tate-03
rsz_colton_norfolk (1)
11049001_l
Goddards
Gothic Temple
The-Ruin-Jill-Tate02b
Martello Tower
h02

News

News and updates from The Heritage Alliance team.

More of the latest news from The Alliance, our members, and from across the independent heritage sector, can be found in our fortnightly e-bulletin, Heritage Update.


Heritage Update issue 322

April 29, 2016

Heritage Update issue 322

Issue 322 of The Heritage Alliance’s fortnightly e-briefing Heritage Update goes out today [Friday 29 April 2016], delivered straight to subscribers’ inboxes and available online.

Headlines this issue include:

  • Je suis Palmyra …
  • European Cultural Heritage Year 2018 is ON
  • Britain’s heritage overseas
  • Update on anti-lobbying clause in Government grant agreements
  • Giving to Heritage lead highly commended by judges of the Legacy10 Award for Excellence
  • New ‘Social Investment in Heritage’ workshops available from Giving to Heritage

The next issue of Heritage Update will go live on Friday 13 May. We welcome your news; please send details to our editor: tara-jane.sutcliffe@theheritagealliance.org.uk.

Update 322

Alliance representation to DCLG on the Local Plans Expert Group Report

April 27, 2016

Alliance representation to DCLG on the Local Plans Expert Group Report

The Heritage Alliance, through our Spatial Planning Advocacy Group, has made representation to DCLG on the Local Plans Expert Group Report. The deadline for this was 27 April 2016.

The  Alliance welcomed the proactive step by DCLG to consider how Local Plan making can be made more efficient and effective. To this end we submitted evidence to the Local Plans Expert Group in October 2015. The Group presented its Report to ministers on 16 March 2016. 

The Alliance supports a Local Plan-led approach to development, which protects the natural and historic environments and involves local communities, supported by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and associated guidance. This has served to protect the historic environment while allowing appropriate development. We are disappointed that four years after NPPF was published, 17% of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) have still not published Local Plans and 34% have not yet adopted Plans. We support the Report's recommendation that plan-making should be a statutory LPA duty, with timely production of plans for sustainable development that allow local people to remain engaged in the development in their community. 

We also urge that a statutory duty be placed on Local Authorities to provide historic environment services. Professional planning advice and a well-maintained HER are critical for local economic growth and development, by allowing commercial firms to meet statutory requirements more promptly, for specialists to provide an early indication of the impact on heritage assets, and help to prevent wasted applications, unmanaged risk (and compensation), and minimise unplanned costs and delays to development. For the Local Authorities, properly managed information underpins their museum and archive services as well as their planning advice including that relating to agri-environment schemes. Now, with mass public asset transfer ahead, there is an even more urgent need to know and understand the significance of what assets they own.

The Heritage Alliance has made representation to government on several occasions in recent months on proposed changes to planning policy, responding to the CLG Select Committee inquiry into Consultation on National Planning Policy, the DCLG National Planning Policy: consultation on proposed changes, the DCLG Technical consultation on implementation of planning changes and the DCLG/Defra Rural Planning Review. We are exceedingly concerned that the cumulative effect of the proposed measures is to skew the presumption in favour of sustainable development, as enshrined in NPPF, towards a presumption in favour of meeting Objectively Assessed Need for Housing.

The Heritage Alliance believes that our heritage is one of our greatest national assets. It is a source of national pride and an engine for economic growth as widely demonstrated in the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts. To ensure that these benefits are realised by government, businesses, communities and individuals, it is vital that changes to planning policy maintain and improve the existing level of protection.

Several Alliance members have also submitted responses to the Local Plans Expert Group’s Report, including Civic Voice and The Theatres Trust. A full round up will be supplied in a future issue of Heritage Update. 

The Heritage Alliance's representation can be read here.

The Alliance has also written to Clive Betts MP, the Chair of the CLG Select Committee, in response to publication of the committee's Report on consultation on national planning policy. Akin to the Local Plans Expert Group, the committee has also called upon government to place a statutory duty on the creation and maintenance of Local Plans.

Local Plans Expert Group report

Britain’s overseas heritage

April 25, 2016

Britain’s overseas heritage

In the Culture White Paper published in March, the Government reiterated its commitment 'to be at the forefront of cultural protection at home and abroad'.

On the back of this Philip Davies, a former director of English Heritage, has written to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, calling for modest and practical measures to support requests for assistance from heritage trusts, local and national governments, agencies and other eligible bodies for projects that relate directly to the conservation of Britain’s overseas heritage. Mr Davies has proposed that an initial £2 million be made available from 2017 for a new pilot fund.

A regeneration fund to support enabling work would generate returns not only for the host country but also recognises the UK’s pioneering role in the re-use of historic buildings. The Alliance strongly promotes the principle that heritage has social, economic, educational and environmental benefits wherever it is found – locally, nationally and globally – and that we should strive to make sure these benefits are realised by governments, communities and individuals.

Philip Davies: “Heritage-led regeneration works. It pays real economic dividends. Historic buildings and neighbourhoods are a huge economic and cultural asset”.

Our Chair, Loyd Grossman, said: “The architectural legacy of Britain's global role is increasingly endangered. Britain's heritage abroad doesn't have many local champions as it is sometimes seem as an uncomfortable legacy of Empire. But whatever our politics or ideology we neglect history at our peril”.

The story was run in The Telegraph on Sunday [24 April] and provides a number of illustrated case studies.

Loyd Grossman

Giving to Heritage lead highly commended by judges of the Legacy10 Award for Excellence

April 20, 2016

Giving to Heritage lead highly commended by judges of the Legacy10 Award for Excellence

Mark Webb of the Heritage Alliance and Project Leader for the Giving to Heritage project has been highly commended by judges of the Legacy10 Award for Excellence.

The Legacy10 Award for Excellence was set up to recognise those who have contributed to legacy giving in the UK through innovation and delivery, and was open to all legacy fundraisers working for a registered UK charity.

The judging panel comprised senior experts in the fields of philanthropy, business and the media and chaired by Legacy10 founder and Chairman Roland Rudd.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP said: “We have a fantastic tradition of legacy giving in the UK, which is hugely valuable to charities and the cultural sector. The government has made it simpler and more cost effective for people to leave a legacy, and I hope people are inspired by this award to do so”. The Heritage Alliance will receive £1000 as a result of Mark’s good work.

Kate Pugh, The Alliance’s Chief Executive said: “This is a terrific acknowledgement of Mark’s leadership and of what a small heritage charity can accomplish. I am so pleased that our drive to help smaller heritage organisations improve their fundraising has been recognised in this way”.

Press Release here.

Legacy10 logo

The Heritage Alliance responds to call for evidence for Rural Planning Review

April 19, 2016

The Heritage Alliance responds to call for evidence for Rural Planning Review

The Heritage Alliance takes a strong interest in rural planning policies affecting the historic environment through our Rural Heritage Advocacy Group.

On 11 February, Defra and DCLG jointly released a call for evidence for a Rural Planning Review. The consultation was addressed to a range of stakeholders, including individual users of the planning system and planning authorities. Amongst other aspects, responses were sought on:

  • Types of development which would benefit from permitted development rights
  • What planning issues need to be considered for development in rural areas
  • Whether the current thresholds and conditions allowing change of use from agricultural to residential are appropriate
  • Views on planning in rural areas in general

The Heritage Alliance welcomed this consultation as a means of bringing the knowledge and practical experience of our membership to inform this important review of rural planning.

The Alliance’s response can be viewed here.

A round-up of responses from the sector will be circulated in the next issue of Update on 29 April 2016. To be included, please supply a link to our editor: tara-jane.sutcliffe@theheritagealliance.org.uk.

Defra

The Heritage Alliance responds to technical consultation on planning changes

April 18, 2016

The Heritage Alliance responds to technical consultation on planning changes

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s Implementation of planning changes: technical consultation closed on 15 April.

The Heritage Alliance, through our Spatial Planning and Advocacy Group, welcomed opportunity to take part in the consultation.

Government sought views on the proposed approach to implementation of the planning provisions in the Housing and Planning Bill, together with several other planning measures. The consultation covered the following areas:

  • Changes to planning application fees
  • Permission in principle
  • Brownfield register
  • Small sites register
  • Neighbourhood planning
  • Local plans
  • Expanding the planning performance regime
  • Testing competition in the processing of planning applications
  • Information about financial benefits
  • Section 106 dispute resolution
  • Permitted development rights for state-funded schools
  • Changes to statutory consultation on planning applications

The Alliance’s response can be viewed here.

A round-up of responses from the sector will be circulated in the next issue of Update on 29 April 2016. To be included, please supply a link to our editor: tara-jane.sutcliffe@theheritagealliance.org.uk.

Technical Consultation

Heritage Update 321 now available

April 15, 2016

Heritage Update 321 now available

Issue 321 of The Heritage Alliance’s popular e-bulletin Heritage Update has now been circulated, delivered straight to subscribers’ inboxes and available online.

Headlines this issue include:

  • Alliance Chair calls for clear strategy on tall buildings in London
  • Select Committee calls for a comprehensive review of national planning policy
  • Sector response to National Planning Policy inquiry recommendations
  • Giving to Heritage programme re-starts in May

The next issue of Heritage Update will go live on Friday 29 April. We welcome your news; please send details to our editor: tara-jane.sutcliffe@theheritagealliance.org.uk.

Update 321

Heritage Alliance response to National Planning Policy inquiry recommendations

April 14, 2016

Heritage Alliance response to National Planning Policy inquiry recommendations

The Communities and Local Government Committee is a House of Commons Select Committee that monitors the policy, administration and spending of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and its associated arms-length bodies, including the Homes and Communities Agency. Membership is cross-party and comprises 11 back-bench MPs with the Labour Member Clive Betts as Chair.

Since December 2015, the Committee has been conducting an inquiry into the timing and content of DCLG’s consultation on national planning policy. The Heritage Alliance, together with several of our members, provided written evidence to the inquiry in January 2016.

The Committee published its report on 1 April in which it calls for DCLG to carry out a comprehensive review of the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) before the end of this Parliament (in 2020). The Heritage Alliance would welcome a review of the implementation and operation of NPPF, and in particular any evidence of unintended consequences to the historic environment. Any aspect of the review must be firmly evidenced based.

Members of The Alliance’s Spatial Planning Advocacy Group continue to be concerned with greenfield sites being seen as ‘easy targets’ by developers, with greenfield sites coming forward unnecessarily in areas where brownfield sites with planning permission are available. We encourage use of brownfield sites, where suitable, with the integration of new developments into existing settlements in order to be fully sustainable. We therefore welcome the Committee’s call on government to set out how it will encourage the delivery of brownfield development to meet local housing needs.

The Alliance supports a Local Plan-led approach to development, which protects the natural and historic environments and involves local communities. We share the Committee’s disappointment that four years after NPPF was published, 17% of local authorities have still not published Local Plans and 34% have not yet adopted Plans. In consequence, the Committee is asking DCLG to reconsider recommendations that a statutory duty be placed on local authorities to produce and maintain Local Plans. This echoes the Local Plan Expert Group’s recommendation, published in its report in March.

Further, whilst recognising that increased density of housing development around commuter hubs is desirable, The Alliance would draw attention to the fact that railway stations are often located at the historic core of towns and cities. The government announced on 10 April that local authorities in York, Swindon and Taunton have come forward with development proposals on railway sites. We would reiterate the Select Committee’s direction that development at commuter hubs must take account of whether attendant infrastructure has, or will have, sufficient capacity to accommodate higher housing density. Furthermore, the historic significance of land around railway stations must be fully assessed, taking account of the value of industrial and railway heritage.

With respect to the development of small sites we support the Committee’s assertion that there is a risk that the presumption in favour of development on small sites could have a cumulatively detrimental effect if multiple small sites within an area are developed. As the Committee recommends, local authorities must have sufficient flexibility to mitigate against harmful unintended consequences.

A review of the key findings and recommendations of the report, together with a round-up of responses from the sector, will appear in the next issue of Heritage Update on Friday 15 April.

DCLG

Alliance Chair calls for clear strategy on tall buildings in London

April 5, 2016

Alliance Chair calls for clear strategy on tall buildings in London

The Heritage Alliance’s Chair, Loyd Grossman, Sir Laurie Magnus, Chair of Historic England, and architect Sir Terry Farrell, are calling for a clear strategy on tall buildings in London.

In a letter published in The Times today [5 April 2016], the three signatories write: “Tall buildings can make exciting contributions to London’s environment and growth, but it is vital to provide a clear strategy in the forthcoming London Plan showing where they are acceptable and where not. We welcome the London Assembly’s call for better master planning and a fully developed, publicly accessible, 3D model of London’s future skyline.”

A YouGov poll commission by Historic England has revealed that nearly half of Londoners think the 430 tall buildings planned for the capital will have a negative impact on the skyline, but more than half do not know how to make their voice heard.

Loyd Grossman

Culture White Paper: next thoughts

April 1, 2016

Culture White Paper: next thoughts

Following launch of the Culture White Paper at London's Southbank on 23 March, comment from cultural organisations and media has broadly welcomed Government’s commitment to the UK culture sector acknowledging the state’s role in protecting and promoting arts and heritage. 

The more holistic approach to arts and heritage is welcome as the Alliance made clear in its initial response. A great deal of the White Paper, however, celebrated the achievements of the publicly funded cultural bodies, admirable in times of public spending cuts, but as ‘a vision of culture in action’ the Paper is short on recognition and support to the hundreds of thousands of independent arts and heritage bodies operating outside the direct control of DCMS. Government endorsement for crowdfunding, community shares and social investment as new tools in the investment box might have acknowledged the pioneering work of independent bodies in testing these out.

As expected, the White Paper is excellent in parts. Initiatives like the Great Place pilots, the Cultural Citizens programme, the Commercial Academy for Culture, Heritage Action Zones, vague at present, must not be allowed to sink into the sand.  ‘Asking’ Historic England to work with Local Authorities on improving access to historic environment records needs re-enforcing. Major reviews of Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund as well as a separate review of the entire museum sector are opportunities to stress the contribution made by the independent cultural bodies, large and small.

The few references to planning and heritage protection are however the most worrying. ‘Local Communities will be supported to make the most of the buildings they cherish’ cannot be delivered with the £3m provided to the Architectural Heritage Fund, or through cash-strapped Historic England. The only reference to the Department for Communities and Local Government is a reference in an indicator table. The Culture White Paper gives us the front-of-house view of what might be, but fails to acknowledge the vital backstage role of the planning system and heritage protection framework to ensure we have places people want to live in and to attract and inspire creative and cultural activity.

A round up of sector responses:

Other responses:

  • Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

You can join the discussion on social media, using the hashtag #OurCulture.

Culture White Paper