IHBC welcomes HEF Consultation on ‘Heritage Protection Reform Proposals’

General PeopleThe IHBC has welcomed the Historic Environment Forum (HEF) consultation on ‘Heritage Protection Reform Proposals’ for England, which the institute has been contributing to for some time ‘without prejudice’, and with the consultation to close on 19 September.

Mike Brown, immediate past chair of the IHBC comments, ‘I have been closely involved in developing these proposals over the last two years on behalf of HEF, working with a wide range of sector interests and Historic England.  We have kept close contact with DCLG and DCMS so that the ideas developed are the ones with most potential within government.’

‘From the start our concern has been, ‘how can we address the resourcing shortfall in conservation capacity within Local Planning Authorities given that no new money is likely to be made available’ and ‘How can we best protect heritage in these straightened times?’.

‘I can’t say I agree 100% with every idea put forward, but much of it is common-sense.  The more radical ideas, perhaps reflect our times and the urgent need for a more imaginative approach.  Of course, those ideas will need detailing and careful monitoring to ensure they work and do not lead to unexpected outcomes.’

‘HEF ran two workshops on the outline ideas last October, one in London and one in Birmingham were they were well-received.  We have now developed them in more detail and want to test the water, this time with a broader base of heritage interests and individuals.  Given there is a new government there is, perhaps, a new opportunity to influence Ministers.  I encourage members to look at the proposals with an open mind and feed into the IHBC’s response your thoughts and any alternatives.’ 

The HEF writes:

The Historic Environment Forum (HEF), the high-level sectoral committee, has been concerned for many years by the continuing reduction in heritage and planning resourcing in local authorities.  In 2014 HEF set up a working group, the Historic Environment Protection Reform Group, to address these problems and devise solutions. HEF consulted key heritage stakeholders on 15 proposed reforms in October 2015. These proposals have now been worked up in more detail, and HEF is seeking further input from stakeholders in this summer 2016 consultation.

The Historic Environment Forum welcomes all responses to this consultation. Everyone is encouraged to answer the general question (Question 12), but HEF would particularly welcome responses on the more specific questions which precede it.

Responses should be sent to The Heritage Alliance acting as the Secretariat for HEF to kate.pugh@theheritagealliance.org.uk

Read more on background information

DOWNLOAD the consultation paper

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