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Planning changes will preserve heritage for future generations

The planning policy for the historic environment has been strengthened following extensive consultation, and sends a clear message that our heritage should be protected and viewed as a catalyst for regeneration, rather than a barrier to development.

The new approach will ensure that individual heritage assets get the level of protection they deserve, and changes to the historic environment make an important contribution to tackling climate change and promoting green development.

A detailed Practice Guide from English Heritage accompanies the new guidance and explains how councils and developers can apply the new policies, and use heritage assets such as old theatres, churches and factories to inspire imaginative new development and high quality design. 

John Healey said:

"Our country has a rich heritage, with a unique set of buildings, monuments and landscapes that are highly prized by the people who live near them as well as tourists from all over the world.

"Heritage assets can never be replaced, which is why I’m giving councils the expert tools they need to make these assets the centrepieces of local regeneration while protecting our historic environment for future generations."

Phil Kirby, Immediate Past President of the Planning Officers’ Society said:

"The Planning Officers’ Society welcomes the changes made by Communities and Local Government in response to the concerns raised in the original consultation document. The new PPS5 strikes the right balance between the conservation of our heritage assets as a matter of utmost importance but allowing flexibility for change in the 21st Century."
Improvements to the final policy statement include:

– Definitions of what makes a building, monument or landscape significant, so it is easier for councils and developers to understand the impact of the proposed change;

– greater emphasis on the role the historic environment can play in regeneration and economic development, to encourage heritage to be seen as an asset rather than a barrier to development;

– explaining the range of information sources councils and developers can use to assess the impact of their applications on the historic environment; and

– reinforcing the presumption in favour of protecting designated heritage assets.

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