English Heritage is very pleased to have worked closely with the Government on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to secure a positive result for heritage and sustainable development. We believe that the level of protection that PPS5 gave to heritage has been maintained in the NPPF.
This will allow heritage to continue to play a central role in long-term sustainable growth in England. As there have been a number of changes to the wording we will of course want to monitor the outcome of planning decisions to ensure that the NPPF works in the way Government intends.
Heritage is part of the solution for long term sustainable growth, not a block on development, and having a balanced, succinct policy is useful. English Heritage believes that practical guidance, endorsed by the Government, is essential to deliver the kind of growth that protects and enhances our valued historic places while integrating high quality new development into it.
An essential element in implementing policy successfully is having expertise on the ground to be able to make appropriate decisions. Owners and developers need access to good quality local authority expertise and the substantial and continuing reduction in such specialists gives us cause for considerable concern.
English Heritage will be providing analysis and training for the heritage sector over the next few months to ensure that the new policy is embedded in planning practice swiftly.
27 March, 2012