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Recent Changes to Heritage Protection

Changes in the mainstream planning system as well as in the specialised heritage protection system are regularly being considered and progressed.

Set out below are those recent changes that will affect heritage protection.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

Given Royal Assent in April 2013, this deregulatory legislation (1) includes four heritage protection reforms aimed at improving efficiency without reducing protection. Some of them were promoted in the draft Heritage Protection Bill (2) of 2008 and some have arisen as a result of the Penfold Review of Non-Planning Consents (3).

The changes are:

  1. Heritage partnership agreements may be entered into between local authorities and owners setting out works for which listed building consent is granted (excluding demolition).
  2. Local or national Listed Building Consent Orders may be set up by a Local Planning Authority or the Secretary of State, respectively, under which works of the type described in the Order (excluding demolition) will not need listed building consent.
  3. A certificate of lawful proposed works is introduced (valid for 10 years) that categorically confirms that the works described in it do not affect the character of the listed building and do not therefore require consent.
  4. The extent of protection of a listed building can be better defined by excluding attached buildings and structures and those within the curtilage of the principal listed building from protection, and by stating definitively that some feature of a listed building is not of special architectural or historic interest.
  5. A certificate of immunity from listing may be applied for at any time.
  6. Conservation area consent has been replaced with planning permission.

The changes are all now in force. Further details may be viewed on our Creating an efficient system for protecting our heritage web pages.

Government Guidance Review

Government has consulted on a radical overhaul of guidance supporting the planning system that will see a great reduction in the volume of Government endorsed guidance documents. National Planning Practice Guidance has been published (4) to replace the previous planning practice guidance notes and statements (PPGs and PPSs). 


(1) Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

(2) Draft Heritage Protection Bill, UK Parliament, 2008

(3) Penfold Review of non-planning consents, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2010

(4) Planning Practice Guidance, Department for Communities and Local Government

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