DCMS responds to petition calling for interim protection in listing considerations

B24/7 website 080917DCMS has responded to a petition – signed by nearly 7,000 and coming after a developer destroyed a Jacobean ceiling in Bristol to prevent a building being listed – calling for interim protection for buildings being considered for listing by Historic England, with DCMS stating: ‘Historic England is currently re-examining the issue of interim protection in the light of recent cases’. 

Neil McKay, on Change.org, writes:

The DCMS have now provided a statement of their current position with regard to the campaign, the text of which is reproduced below. This is a predictably guarded response, but shows that the DCMS are well aware of the problem. I will be meeting soon with Historic England and other relevant bodies to discuss their proposals for introducing interim protection. The DCMS have also offered a meeting to discuss the details of this.

Please keep sharing the petition, and write to your MP and the DCMS to let them know that the public – and importantly, their electorate, are watching, and expect to see real action.

DCMS response:

‘The partial destruction of 15 Small Street, Bristol, before it could be considered for listing, is incredibly sad. Fortunately, such instances are comparatively rare. Had the building been considered to be at risk, the local planning authority could have used its existing powers, under the 1990 Act, to serve a Building Preservation Notice (BPN). Thereby, it would have been given statutory ‘interim protection’ for 6 months, during which time it could have been assessed for listing.

Historic England is currently re-examining the issue of interim protection in the light of recent cases involving intentional damage to buildings prior to their assessment for listing, in terms of how the use and effectiveness of BPNs could be improved. Also the case for revisiting the form of interim protection envisaged in the 2008 Heritage Protection Bill (and recently introduced in Wales). It will be discussing these with DCMS and Department for Community and Local Government (DCLG) officials in due course.’ 

Read more at Change.org

See background at the IHBC NewBlogs

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