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Foresight Research NHPP Activities 1A1-1A2 and 1B1

This page gives an overview of research carried out 2011-2015, about investigating what threats or opportunities were thought likely to arise in the longer-term future that could affect England's heritage. We termed this work "foresight". This work, undertaken as part of the National Heritage Protection Plan also included shorter-term review and reporting progress of the plan itself.

Flooding in Yorkshire in September 2012. Foresight work by English Heritage considers the future effects on heritage of possible climate changes such as increased risk of flooding.
Flooding in Yorkshire in September 2012. Our Foresight work considers the future effects on heritage of possible climate changes such as increased risk of flooding.

Why we need foresight activities

Getting early information about threats or opportunities for the historic environment is essential, so that we can prepare to meet the challenges that these changes will create.

Types of change that can affect the historic environment

The following examples of change can all have potential implications for the historic environment and on how we and others in the historic environment sector prioritise and carry out their responsibilities:

  • New industrial processes.
  • Changes to governmental and commercial priorities.
  • Environmental change.
  • Social change.

Photograph of a wind farm at Blyth, Northumberland
A wind farm at Blyth, Northumberland. Wind farms are a recent technology that already affects heritage; foresight work looks at what other industrial or technological changes may effect heritage in the future. © Peter Williams, English Heritage

Foresight actions

We carried out "horizon scans" to identify potential areas of longer term pressure on England's heritage:

  • Disposal of Public Property: Defence Estates.
  • Minerals Supply.
  • Rural Development and the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework).
  • Permitted  development rights for the conversion of agricultural buildings to commercial use.
  • Community-Led Planning and Rural Development.
  • Permitted Development Rights for the conversion of offices to residential use.
  • Disposal of Public Property: land, structures and other assets (Central Government and Arms Length Bodies).
  • Development pressures on local authorities.
  • Heritage Skills in English Local Planning Authorities.
  • Whole place community based budgets and the historic environment.
  • Impact on local authority generated designation applications of the fall in local authority historic environment advice.
  • Water Management and Heritage.
  • Ecosystems Approach to Environmental Management.
  • Local authority budgetary cuts – changing the shape of local government.
  • Co-ordination of English Heritage's response to Defra’s National Adaptation Plan.

We produced more detailed research assessments covering:

  • Employer Ownership of Skills (Update).
  • Bracken and the historic environment.
  • Hydro-fracturing.
  • Village Infill.
  • Climate Change and Defra’s Adaptation Reporting Power.
  • Local authority budgetary cuts – changing the shape of local government.
  • Digest of Labour Market Intelligence for the Historic Environment Sector.
  • Sector Skills Councils.
  • Improvements to Rail Infrastructure.
  • Employer Ownership of Skills.

Heritage protection results

  1. A robust horizon scanning process within English Heritage/ Historic England and the historic environment sector will contribute towards the prioritisation of issues and opportunities so that we can build them into long-term planning.
  2. We presented coherent assessment of threats and opportunities for appraisal and potential action through NHPP reviews. 
  3. We minimised gaps in our knowledge about what threats and opportunities may arise in the future.
  4. We have better intelligence on trends within the historic environment and about the challenges facing the sector in meeting such threats or opportunities.

How foresight linked to other work in the NHPP

  • Measure 2. Threat: Assessment and Response. Foresight is the key to identifying potential areas that needed substantial work in developing assessments and responses to emerging threats or opportunities.
  • Measures 3 and 4. Understanding: Recognition and Identification of the Resource and Understanding: Assessment of Character and Significance. Foresight work helped identify gaps in sector knowledge and prioritise necessary research.
  • Measures 5-8. Responses: Protection of Significance, Managing Change in the Historic Environment, Protecting and Managing Major Historic Estates and Advice and Grant-Aid to Protect Significance. Early identification of potential threats and opportunities through Foresight processes leading to action under Measures 2-4 provided useful information to prioritise what we need to protect.

Reporting and review of progress

  • A key part of Foresight is understanding the present situation in order to compare this "baseline" with what the future may hold, so we set up a process of reporting and continuous review on the progress of the Plan. An annual review including a public consultation allow us to evaluate how the Plan is progressing. It highlighted whether we needed to make any adjustments to ensure it continued to deliver protection for the historic environment in the most effective way.
  •  We carried out a more detailed review towards the end of the plan cycle. This analysed which protection results were met and how well, and whether new threats or opportunities have emerged that need to be included. All of this fed into the development of the successor plan to the NHPP.  

You can see the relevant reports below.

NHPP Review of Progress and Impact 2011-2015

NHPP Review of Progress and Impact 2011-2015

Published 2 June 2014

This report sets out the findings of a consultation to inform the on-going review of the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP).

National Heritage Protection Plan: Overview Report May 2011-May 2014

National Heritage Protection Plan: Overview Report May 2011-May 2014

Published 22 May 2015

Overview report on Progress of the National Heritage Protection Plan up to May 2014.

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-2015 Overview Report April-September 2013

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-2015 Overview Report April-September 2013

Published 10 December 2013

This overview report summarises the success and impact of the National Heritage Protection Plan for April - September 2013. It provides a general summary, noteworthy highlights and case studies and other news.

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

Published 3 December 2012

Progress Report May-September 2012: Progress on the National Heritage Protection Plan will be collated by English Heritage and reported twice yearly. This Progress Report aims to present the half-year statement of progress in 2012, against the protection results we aim to achieve.

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

Published 26 April 2012

Year-end report and Activity Programme, May 2011 - March 2012

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

National Heritage Protection Plan 2011-15

Published 31 October 2011

Progress Report May - Sep 2011. Progress on the National Heritage Protection Plan will be collated by English Heritage and reported twice yearly. This, the October Progress Report, aims to present the half-year statement of progress against the protection results we aim to achieve.

 

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