2007 Yearbook

INSTITUTE OF HISTORIC BUILDING CONSERVATION YEARBOOK 2007 21 I N R E V I E W • English Heritage Research Strategy 2005–2010 • Heritage Protection Reform and the HeritageWhite Paper • Planning Gain Supplement (PGS): Consultation (HMTreasury) • National Lottery money for arts and film, heritage and sport from 2009 (HLF) • Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment (EH) • Defra Consultation 2007–2013 – Rural Development Programme for England • Listed Buildings Casework (former ODPM) • Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) 2007/08: Proposed Allocations Criteria (DCLG) • Planning and Pollution Control (DCLG and Defra) These correspond to the major strategic changes taking place in planning in England and, as applicable, Wales. The nature of legislative and policy change in the devolved administrations means that our contributions there have been primarily through the more informal advocacy of our national branches. For example, in Scotland, our membership of the link body there, BEFS, means that we can contribute as partners in consultations or, through our membership, strike at the heart of policy development by contributing to the work of the ministerial advisory body HEACS (the Historic Environment Advisory Council for Scotland). As always, the institute’s key policy responses are available on our website. The following is a brief summary of the responses made by the institute to a selection of the consultations listed above. HLF AND FUNDING Early in 2006 the institute responded to the Heritage Lottery Fund consultation on National Lottery money for arts and film, heritage and sport from 2009. This took the form of a questionnaire that sought comments on the direction funding should take from 2009. The institute recognised that lottery money has had a tremendous impact on the historic environment. It has assisted in raising the profile of conservation, including its role in education, economic development, sustainable growth, urban and rural regeneration, repopulation of inner- city areas, improving competitiveness, cultural development, and supporting local communities. The consultation provided the opportunity to highlight the skills shortages and the need for more training. The first step is to understand why people do not consider employment in conservation. Understanding that issue could help training programmes that get people interested in the historic environment, whether in a professional capacity, technical, skilled manual or vocational. Providing training is important, but it needs to be attractive to people too. The institute also emphasised that, as the lottery income comes from all parts of the UK, all areas should have access to the fund if it is to continue its success and maintain public confidence. HERITAGE PROTECTION REFORM AND THE HERITAGE WHITE PAPER The Heritage White Paper has the opportunity to reform statutory protection, regulation and management of England’s historic environment. The Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary Committee Inquiry into Heritage Protection focussed many people’s attention on the legislative changes proposed. The IHBC’s submission, available on our website, captured the institute’s most complete policy statement on the protection our historic places, and in particular the planning processes that secure conservation and place making. The institute registered its absolute support for the principles underpinning the reform of the legislation, but also noted its concerns on many of the practical issues attached to the proposals. One key concern relates to the role that local authorities might play under the new system, as the proposals have fundamental implications for the resources available locally. The lack of any statutory requirement for authorities to provide conservation services has already led to the significant loss of the kind of services that would be charged with heritage management under the new system, and it was clear to us that the resource implications of the current proposals needed further study. Serious capacity issues within the profession were also identified, and recruitment and training would be essential to successfully deliver the predicted statutory responsibilities from 2010. The institute has continued to champion these matters with government, through consultations and in our consideration of the Heritage White Paper. CONSERVATION PRINCIPLES English Heritage’s new conservation principles are to be a key part of the organisation’s future strategy. The aim of the principles (and the policies and guidance developed to underpin them) is to support the quality of decision making by creating an accessible and consistent management regime for all aspects of the historic environment. This aim was welcomed by the institute, although the first draft, entitled Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment , did raise some significant concerns. Key themes of the consultation and those supported by the institute included: • considering the historic environment holistically is positive and encouraging • historic buildings and places are a resource in which everyone has an interest • changes in the historic environment are inevitable, and that it is important to understand and then seek to sustain or enhance historic buildings and places • openness is essential if communities are to be encouraged to participate in what happens to the places they value • as with its evaluation of the importance of assets in the natural environment, the significance of an historic place derives not only from the values associated with it by communities, the so-called public values, but from its physical nature, including such things as its embodied energy • it is only through the proper