2009 Yearbook

r e v i e w 17 CONSULTATIONS REVIEW Recent work of the IHBC consultations panel Fiona Newton, IHBC Projects Officer The level of consultation activity of the IHBC remains broad and substantial. The institute comments not only on those proposals which are directly heritage-related, but also on those where there will be a clear heritage impact which we may wish to mitigate. The new professional consultations process, through our consultant consultations co-ordinator James Caird, is now in its second year and is allowing us to deal with substantial and substantive consultations. In the year from October 2007 the IHBC has been able to respond constructively to 38 consultations. These have included responses in England to 18 consultations from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), three from the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), four from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), three from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), two from the Department for Transport, and two from English Heritage. In Scotland we have responded to three consultations from The Scottish Government Directorate for the Built Environment and one from Historic Scotland. In Northern Ireland a response was made to one Environment and Heritage Service consultation. In Wales, two responses were made to Cadw, one to the Welsh Assembly Government and one to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. The variety of subject matter has been very wide: from the detailed issue of using non- compliant paint on historic buildings, to much wider, more strategic issues. The Planning Bill proposed the creation of the Infrastructure Planning Commission for major national projects, and the institute was concerned that the commission would not have to comply with the current duty to have special regard to listed buildings and special attention in conservation areas. This was felt to be a major act of deregulation and the IHBC remains disappointed that this situation has been retained through the reading of the bill. However, the other main area of concern in the Planning Bill , the introduction of local member review panels, where applicants would have no additional right of appeal against the review decision of the local planning authority, has happily now been removed from the proposals. The multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral emphasis placed by the IHBC on working in the historic environment was exemplified and highlighted by the response made in June 2008 to the Heritage Bill for England and Wales and in August to the subsequently published Conservation Area Clauses . The IHBC led a joint submission which represented the almost 250,000-strong combined membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Planning Officers Society (POS) and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). The response to the bill was in three main parts: a statement of our collective strategic support for the draft bill; the identification of major issues, principally the need for adequate resources and professional capacity to deal with any changes and the need for better conservation area controls; and finally a detailed commentary on