CLA welcomes simplification of heritage protection

07 October 2013

The CLA has welcomed the decision by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to press ahead with improving the struggling heritage protection system as part of the Penfold Review.

Heritage minister John Penrose announced the reforms in a speech at Apsley House on 22 May.
CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "CLA members manage a quarter of heritage in England and Wales and we highlighted the predicament of the heritage consent system in our policy paper, Averting Crisis in Heritage.
"I am delighted the Government has taken on board many of the CLA's recommendations and that the Penfold Review will make the system quicker and simpler to use, without weakening overall levels of heritage protection." 

Mr Cotterell added: "However, it is a great pity that the Government's positive intentions on heritage regulation are negated by the Treasury's apparent determination to move forward with the huge increase in VAT on work to listed buildings. If the Government does not pause and consider the issue properly it will cause real damage to our heritage."
The Penfold proposals, initially announced in November 2011, include prior approval and certification procedures for listed building consent. This will allow local authority resources to be focused on the minority of applications that could cause real harm, and less on the higher proportion which are beneficial and non-controversial.

More technical proposals include a better definition of the "special interest" of listed buildings, allowing Statutory Management Agreements, and extending Certificates of Immunity from listing. 

Read details of the proposals in the November 2011 Implementation of the Penfold Review statement

Download the CLA's policy paper, Averting Crisis in Heritage