CLA wins exemption for listed house ownersOwners of listed houses which are featured on an Internet site can now apply to have the pictures of their properties removed following lobbying by the Country Land and Business Association and the Historic Houses Association. The site, 'Images of England', has provoked concern because of fears over sec urity. Run by English Heritage and funded by lottery money, it is a database which will carry details and a picture of every listed building in England when it is completed; but owners have been worried that the information could become a thieves' charter.
Now a ten-year exemption has been won which will allow the owners of listed houses to apply to keep pictures of their properties off the site until 2013.
On learning about 'Images of England' the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and the Historic Houses Association (HHA) joined forces to persuade English Heritage of the difficulties it posed for owners, but the project was too far advanced for major changes to be made.
"It has been possible to negotiate some concessions and precautions, in particular the ten year picture exemption" says Nick Way, director of policy for the CLA. "Ideally we would have liked the exemption to have included the details of properties as well and to be extended beyond those that are purely residential such as barns, stables and other farm buildings. But this will go some way to resolving the problem.
"We now advise all owners of listed houses to check the website and, if they are concerned, to take the opportunity to apply for the exemption while they can. Applications must be received by the end of September."
Among the other concessions won by the CLA and the HHA are: All photographs must have been taken from public right of way; those which were not can only be used with consent of owner Photographs are at a limited pixel rate, so there is no high definition. Security of access: site users must register before viewing.
The picture exemption is limited to ten years because English Heritage envisages that within that time the Internet will have become an accepted form of everyday communication and publication, as printed books are today. It is hoped that people will become more accustomed to the Internet and will be more relaxed about pictures of their properties being included.
'Images of England' was launched in 1999, but none of the owners involved was informed of the project nor was their permission sought. In many cases they first learned about the site when they found complete strangers taking photographs. The website only applies to properties in England; those in Wales and Scotland are not part of the project.
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Images of england website deadline extended for 1 year
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