Historic England Enhanced Advisory Services

Historic England is proposing to establish, from July 2015, four new Enhanced Advisory Services, allowing owners to seek fast-track listing of buildings, better list descriptions, or additional pre-application advice beyond a free 15-hour allowance.  This CLA response broadly supports the proposals, but stresses the importance of defining and monitoring the free services - as Historic England has promised - to ensure that its free services do not deteriorate.

GN20-15 Rural Economic Development and Sustainable Transport - England only

As CLA members are all too well aware, the use of the private motor car or haulage vehicles in rural areas is a necessity as there are, generally, no other options.  Unfortunately all too often planning authorities continue to use the increase in private vehicle useage in rural areas as a reason for turning down rural economic development proposals.

This guidance note sets out the location of guidance on this matter.

 

Making changes to heritage assets and conservation area designation

Following the publication of the NPPF and its Guidance in 2012-14, Historic England (previously English Heritage) is reviewing all its guidance.  That is welcome, and this CLA response finds the first of these two draft advice documents, Making changes to heritage assets, broadly satisfactory, though the details need some amendment.  The other, on Conservation area designation and management, is fundamentally deficient, over-encouraging conservation area designation without consideration of the costs, and discouraging change within conservation areas.

Building more homes on brownfield land

The CLA response to this consultation suggests that the fundamental problem to be grappled with is the lack of planning authorities who do not have up to date local plans in conformity with the NPPF which is hampering the delivery of the housing and employment.  The CLA has requested that the issue of viability of remediating brownfield land should be added to the criteria that are applied to define land suitable for new housing.

Building more homes on brownfield land

The CLA response to this consultation suggests that the fundamental problem to be grappled with is the lack of planning authorities who do not have up to date local plans in conformity with the NPPF which is hampering the delivery of the housing and employment.  The CLA has requested that the issue of viability of remediating brownfield land should be added to the criteria that are applied to define land suitable for new housing.

Draft Action Plan for the New Historic England

From 1 April 2015, the regulatory and advisory responsibilities of English Heritage will pass to a new body, Historic England (while the management of English Heritage's properties simultaneously passes to a new charity).  The CLA has already commented on the draft Corporate Plan for Historic England.  Those comments, and these on the draft Action Plan, generally welcome most of what is actually in the drafts, but are stongly critical of serious gaps and the lack of any apparent underlying analysis.  In particular, the Plans do not take adequate account of the dramatic changes in the landscape of heritage protection in the last decade, and the likelihood of further adverse change.  The CLA responses in particular call on Historic England to develop a proper evidence base, to develop an effective core message, to work much more closely with its stakeholders, and to accept and to lead reform of the fast-declining heritage protection system so that it can protect heritage more effectively in future.

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