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.

Making changes to heritage assets; and conservation area designation (April 2015)

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.

Next steps to zero carbon homes: small sites exemption

This consultation considers the way in which caveats to the forthcoming requirement for zero carbon homes, on new build sites, should be framed.  The CLA Housing Policy has a recommendation: "Code Level 3 for Sustainable Homes, or its equivalent, should remain the standard in rural areas until 2018 to give the Government time to model the effects of new-build standards on rural schemes, including analysis of renewable technology versus improved fabric".  This consultation response seeks to assist in the delivery of that recommendation.

Next steps to zero carbon homes: small sites exemption

This consultation considers the way in which caveats to the forthcoming requirement for zero carbon homes, on new build sites, should be framed.  The CLA Housing Policy has a recommendation: "Code Level 3 for Sustainable Homes, or its equivalent, should remain the standard in rural areas until 2018 to give the Government time to model the effects of new-build standards on rural schemes, including analysis of renewable technology versus improved fabric".  This consultation response seeks to assist in the delivery of that recommendation.

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.

Draft Action Plan for the New Historic England (January 2015)

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.

GN32-14 Mandatory Landlord Registration in Wales

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 introduces the mandatory registration of landlords in Wales and additionally requires landlords and/or their agents to be licensed in order to undertake lettings or property management activity.  The enforcement regime is extremely severe encompassing fines, rent stopping and rent repayment activity.  Crucially, the enforcement regime blocks the ability of the landlord or agent to serve section 21 notice if non-compliance is proven.  The regulatory requirements of the Act are numerous and landlords with property in Wales are strongly urged to make preparations in the run-up to Autumn 2015 commencement.

Historic England's draft Corporate Plan

Historic England will, from April 2015, be one of the two successor bodies to English Heritage, and will be responsible for what are now English Heritage's regulatory and advisory functions.  This CLA response to its draft corporate plan welcomes most of what is in the draft, but is strongly critical of gaps in the plan.  In particular, it does 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 response in particular calls on Historic England to work 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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