The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, has just passed through its Report Stage and Second Reading in the House of Commons. A number of new heritage reforms have been added to those which were already in the Bill, meaning that some significant changes will be made to the way we protect heritage.
The reforms in the Bill currently are to merge conservation area consent back into the planning system; to make it easier to apply for a Certificate of Immunity from the listing of a building; to enable the creation of Heritage Partnership Agreements; to allow the Heritage List for England to define the extent of special interest in a listed building more clearly; to introduce a system of Listed Building Consent Orders and Local Listed Building Consent Orders so that under certain circumstances works which have a limited or positive impact may no longer require Listed Building Consent; and to introduce a Certificate of Lawfulness of Works to Listed Buildings so that owners can gain formal assurance of where Listed Building Consent will not be required for works.
These are improvements to the heritage protection system, some of which we have been working towards for some years, and some which Government has developed from proposals by the heritage sector itself.
English Heritage believes that together these sensible reforms will help deliver clearer and faster decisions, support timely understanding of the significance of heritage assets and potential development sites, and will support local planning authorities and the owners of designated heritage to focus effort and resources on managing changes with a real impact on special interest. Together with the appropriate regulation to support them, these reforms will maintain levels of protection for the historic environment.
English Heritage will be working with Government and stakeholders, including owners of heritage assets, to roll out these changes when they become law. For more information about the new reforms, and about changes that will be made without changing the law, see the link on the right hand side of this page.
26 October, 2012