English Heritage welcomes the reforms contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, published today, to merge conservation area consent back into the planning system, make it easier to apply for a Certificate of Immunity from the listing of a building, to enable the creation of Heritage Partnership Agreements, and to allow the Heritage List for England to define the extent of special interest in a listed building more clearly, and with statutory force.
These are improvements to the heritage protection system that we have been working towards for some years, including through the draft Heritage Protection Bill.
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.