2009 Yearbook

26 Y e a r b o o k 2 0 0 9 BUILDING · CONSERVATION INSTITUTE · OF · HISTORIC · this model policy on demolition, while a further nine (25%) do have policies but they are rated poor or very poor in the reflection of this objective. Only 13 LPAs (37%) have good or very good policies that reflect MP1(a). Comment on listed building policies Given the long-standing statutory regime for listed buildings and for the very clear statement of planning duties in the act, it is surprising that one fifth of LPAs have either no policies or poor policies in their development plans covering this subject. It might be argued that the strong statutory duty in the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act obviates the need for a positive policy basis for listed buildings, but given the primacy of the development plan, this could not be seen as good practice. By contrast, over two-thirds of LPAs have good or very good policies that mirror the requirements of the act. In terms of the proposed model policies contained in the draft SPP, there is a wider variation of inclusion and content across development plans in Scotland. This is no doubt due to the age of the plan in relation to the publication of the proposed model policies. Despite this, development issues affecting listed buildings are well understood, and it is therefore surprising that 42 per cent of LPAs have no policies or poor policies addressing development issues that affect a listed building (design, materials, layout, etc) compared to 45 per cent that do have good or very good policies. The same applies to the issue of demolition, in relation to which even fewer LPAs have effective policies that carry forward the objectives of the model policy. This is perhaps not surprising given the fact that the proposed model policies are relatively new, and many development plans would have been in place before the model policies emerged into the policy landscape. Other historical environment policies Category LPAs with relevant policies TOTAL Historic battlefields 0 32 Marine wreck sites 0 32 World Heritage Sites Eight local authorities are responsible for five World Heritage Sites 6 8 Cultural landscapes 26 32 Other 32 32 Analysis of findings In carrying out this project, the trust also sought to learn whether local planning authorities had development plan policies that addressed historic environment designations that did not have a direct reference in planning policy per se. We also wanted to assess whether there were policies that, although they did not directly refer to the historic environment, might have some influence over historic environment assets in a practical sense. For example, a policy that sought to make the best use of local assets for tourism promotion was thought to have implications for the historic environment. Not surprisingly, all LPAs assessed had such development plan policies. There has been a discussion in recent years about historic battlefields, and there has been some media interest in the impact of development on such sites. Despite the historical significance of Culloden, Falkirk, Stirling Bridge, Nectanmere and other known battlefields, not a single LPA had a development plan policy covering this category of site. Some Marine Wrecks do have statutory protection under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 . Needless to say, only local planning authorities with a maritime presence could be expected to have a policy interest in this aspect of the historic environment, but as with battlefields, no LPA had a policy that addresses it in an appropriate development plan. Of course, it should be noted that the marine environment cannot be regulated by terrestrial law. World Heritage Sites figured differently. Their presence is well- known despite the fact that inscription carries with it no additional statutory bearing. There are five World Heritage Sites in Scotland: Edinburgh Old and New Towns; New Lanark; St Kilda; Neolithic Orkney (Skara Brae) and the newly inscribed Antonine Wall (which spans four LPA areas). Of the eight LPAs that have a direct interest in World Heritage Sites, only six (75%) have any policy reference to them. The UK government became a signatory to the European Landscape Convention in 2007. The ELC have a very significant track record in recognising the contribution made by cultural and historic aspects to the value of landscape. The concept of ‘cultural landscapes’ is widely understood in the historic environment sector, and the Civic Trust wished to discern whether any development plans sought to use the concept as a planning tool. Given how recently the ELC was introduced into the political landscape of Scotland, it is perhaps surprising that 26 LPAs (81%) had some form of policy that addressed the cultural landscape of that area. Comments on other historic environment policies First, it should be said that it is encouraging that over 80 per cent of local planning authorities in Scotland have policies that address the wider cultural or historic landscape, and have not confined their development plans to those parts of the historic environment that have a statutory or regulatory presence. Against this, it is somewhat surprising that no LPAs currently protect or manage historic battlefield sites, despite their obvious importance. The lack of a policy basis for the protection of marine wrecks is not surprising, as the Scottish