CLA welcomes ‘modest’ new heritage legislation

22 October 2013

The CLA today (28 May) welcomed new legislation that will make the heritage system easier to use but stressed the changes in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill were "modest" and not the solution to solving heritage protection problems.

The changes would merge Conservation Area Consent with planning permission, allow parts of buildings to be specifically excluded from listing, and put Heritage Partnership Agreements between local authorities and heritage owners onto a statutory basis. 

 CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "CLA members look after more than a quarter of all heritage in England and Wales.  We have been lobbying with others for more effective heritage protection legislation for years, and the CLA played a significant role in securing a Government commitment to new heritage legislation via our role in the Penfold Review.

"The initial proposals in the Bill are useful, making modest amendments to existing heritage legislation to benefit a small minority of cases. However, they are definitely not the solution to the main problem, which is that local authorities do not have the skilled staff needed to operate the current heritage protection system."

The next stage of Penfold Review reform is the "B1 and B2" proposals which directly address the local authority resourcing problem, by changing the system so less time and effort goes into dealing with the applications which benefit heritage, and more on cases that might cause harm.  A consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on these further Penfold proposals is due this summer.

Mr Cotterell added: "This next stage is much more important.  It is vital to the future of our heritage that these ideas are put into a workable form and incorporated into legislation as quickly as possible."

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was published on 23 May 2012