A History of Reforms to the Heritage Protection System

Since 2000 the Government, English Heritage and the heritage sector have been looking at the need to reform the system of Heritage Protection.  The following timeline provides background information for exploring Heritage Protection Reform (HPR) in more detail.

Close up of sheets of old paper.  Image taken from the JW Evans factory, Birmingham

Work has been underway since 2000 to improve our system of heritage protection which has evolved piecemeal over the last 120 years.

HPR timeline

English Heritage publishes 'A Power of Place'

Government publishes 'A Force for our Future'

Government publishes:

  • Protecting our Historic Environment: Making the System Work Better a consultation document seeking views on updating and improving historic environment legislation to make it fit for purpose in the 21st century
  • Historic Environment Records: benchmarks for good practice (consultation)

Government publishes:

  • 'Review of heritage protection: the way forward
  • 'The future of Ecclesiastical Exemption'
  • 'Protecting our marine historic environment: making the system work better' 
  • English Heritage publishes a 'Review of the National Monuments Record'

Government publishes:

  • 'Protecting Our Marine Historic Environment - making the system work better. Analysis of responses
  • Ecclesiastical Exemption: the way forward
  • Revisions to Principles of Selection for listing buildings: Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 (consultation) 

Government publishes:

English Heritage publishes:  

  • Conservation Bulletin, Issue 52 (Summer 2006) entirely devoted to HPR

Government publishes:

  • 'The White Paper, Heritage Protection for the 21st Century'
  • Circular 01/2007 to replace Section 6 of current PPG15 with revised Principles of Selection
  • New principles of selection for listing buildings: an analysis of consultation responses 
  • Heritage Protection for the 21st Century: An analysis of consultation responses
  • Historic Environment Local Delivery (consolidated report) by Atkins

Download these documents at the DCMS website 

English Heritage publishes a series of building selection guides, see Criteria for Protection link opposite.

Government publishes:

  • The draft 'Heritage Protection Bill'
  • Additional clauses and Explanatory Notes for the draft Bill on Conservation Areas
  • Guidance and draft Exemption Order for Ecclesiastical Exemption
  • Guidance on Historic Environment Records
  • Select Committee Report on the draft Bill and Government response

Download these documents from the National Archive

English Heritage publishes 'A Commentary on the draft Heritage Protection Bill' (see Related documents to the right)

Although the draft Heritage Protection Bill was not included in the 2009 legislative programme, English Heritage and DCMS remain committed to finding opportunities to make improvements to the way we protect our heritage.

The Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) publishes Draft 'Planning Policy Statement 15:  Planning for the Historic Environment' 

English Heritage publishes 'Historic Environment Practice Guidance'

CLG publishes 'World Heritage Draft Planning Circular and Guidance'

Defra publishes 'Marine and Coastal Access Bill'

English Heritage, IHBC and ALGAO publishes 'Implementing the Heritage Protection Reforms: A Report on Local Authority and English Heritage Staff Resources'

CLG publishes PPS5: Planning for the Historic Environment

English Heritage publishes, IHBC and ALGAO 'Implementing the Heritage Protection Reforms: A second report on local authority staff resources'

Government publishes the Penfold Review of Non-Planning Consents in July

DCMS publishes the new Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order

English Heritage publishes its draft Good Practice Guide to Local Listing for consultation  (consultation closed on 13 May 2011)

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) publishes Implementation of the Penfold Review in November

CLG publishes the National Planning Policy Framework

English Heritage publishes its Good Practice Guide for Local Heritage Listing

In August Government holds a public consultation on reforms to the heritage protection system, some arising from the Penfold Review of Non-Planning Consents

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (ERR) Act enables changes to the system of heritage protection to allow greater efficiency and less regulation in the management of designated heritage assets. 

also of interest




Historic Environment Local Management

Heritage Gateway