Historic England Advice Note 1 Conservation Area designation and management - Heritage

Historic England is proposing a revision of its core advice note on conservation areas.  That is welcome and the new draft is a significant improvement on previous versions, but is still insufficiently clear about the benefits and disbenefits of designation, about involving owners and communities, and about the need for an explicit policy statement that conservation area designations is not intended to prevent change, that conservation areas are (or should be) living and working parts of urban and rural areas and economies, and that sympathetic change is desirable and essential where it ensures the viability and vitality of the area and buildings within it.

Improving Mobile Coverage

 The CLA’s submission to the Ofcom consultation on using the 700MHZ spectrum auction to increase mobile coverage focuses on meeting the objective of universal coverage. It is still very much the case that rural areas lag well behind urban areas in the provision of an effective mobile network. In our response, we call on Ofcom to speed up the auction process and impose conditions on operators that ensures rural areas are covered by an up to date mobile telephony network.

GN11-18 Getting heritage consents and heritage-relevant planning consents in Wales

This Guidance Note is the only substantive guidance on this subject written from the point of view of managers and owners of heritage in Wales.  It gives advice on how to get listed building and planning consents for heritage-releated proposals, i.e. proposals which would affect listed buildings, conservation areas, world heritage sites, registered parks and gardens, scheduled and unscheduled monuments, and other significant heritage, or land within their settings.  It has been updated to March 2018.  There is a separate Guidance Note for England.

GN08-18 Non Domestic Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations

This note provide landlords of non-domestic buildings with guidance on the non-domestic Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.  The MEES will require landlords to take action to ensure that their buildings achieve Energy Peformance Certificate (EPC) level E before they can be legally let to new tenants after 1 April 2018 or provide evidence of exemption.  Buildings which do not comply cannot be legally let and non compliance could result in enforcement action against the landlord including financial penalties.  The regulations apply in both England and Wales.

Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment

Historic  England consulted on a revised draft version of its 2008 Conservation Principles.  The CLA response sees the draft as a significant improvement, but suggests some further changes to embed the core principle that sympathetic adaptation usually will be essential to keep heritage relevant, valued, viable, and in use.

Briefing Note: Planning Reforms Update

This paper provides an update on Planning reforms (both policy and regulation) in Wales and England.  The paper provides a short summary of the Law Commission's work on Planning law in Wales, and the Welsh Government's announcement about forthcoming consultations on strategic development plans.

In England, the paper covers forthcoming national planning policy changes and regulatory reforms emanating from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.  It also summarises other policy areas which are likely to have an effect on planning policy i.e. Industrial Strategy (BEIS), National Infrastructure Assessment (National Infrastructure Commission) and the 25-year Environment Plan (DEFRA).

GN35-17 Heritage and other farm buildings: The conversion of farm buildings to new uses

This Guidance Note gives strategic and design advice on developing proposals and getting consent for the adaptation of farm buildings to residential and other new uses, either by using the 2013-15 permitted development/prior approval schemes, or by making conventional planning applications based on the improved planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework and improved (2017) Historic England advice.  In the former case, it is designed to be read with the two separate CLA Guidance Notes on the Class Q/R prior approval schemes.  Although not written for Wales, where both policies and permitted development are very different, it should be of help there too.

Its intention is to help members maximise their chances of getting consent for sympathetic conversions, to help to solve the continuing problem of hundreds of thousands of farm buildings in decay, and thus indirectly to encourage conversion-resistant local authorities to see the substantial benefits of sympathetic conversion.

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