Historic England response to Government's Planning for the Future report
On 12th March Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced plans for the future of the UK’s planning system in the Planning for the Future report.
We support the Government’s aims to deliver more homes and particularly welcome the commitment to creating beautiful, sustainable places. The historic environment, which is an important part of what makes places distinctive and beautiful has a strong role to play in this. The principles of good design, place-making and giving local people a greater say in how their neighbourhoods develop lie at the heart of Historic England's work, demonstrated by our High Streets Heritage Action Zones programme.
We agree with the report’s statement that our homes need to be sustainable. The recycling and reuse of historic buildings could make a significant contribution to combatting the effects of climate change and has a key role to play in meeting the government’s target to be Net Zero by 2050.
We also welcome the move to use digital technology to make the planning system more accessible, by speeding up the processes of plan making and decision taking, and getting people involved in how their local area develops. We are exploring ways to better use the digital resources we look after and share about our historic places to ensure that protecting England’s special historic environment is central to the planning system.
There are elements of the report that we would be keen to help shape from our own knowledge and research, including looking into 'zoning' to help create better developments in historic places, and refining the details of any proposed permitted development rights. We look forward to working with the Government on the detail of these proposals to ensure that the measures achieve the intended aims and that our historic environment is used to its full potential in creating better buildings and places for people across England.