Localism Bill

Memorandum submitted by English Heritage (L 42A)

English Heritage is the UK Government’s statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on the historic environment. We know from our work with local communities that they value their heritage and consider the objective of the Bill to empower local communities also has potential to benefit the historic environment. However, there are provisions in the Bill which have the potential to reduce the level of protection for heritage of more than local interest. This is because:

· Schedule 12 of the Bill removes the provisions of Sections 66 and 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 in respect of NDOs which means permission could be given for development which could seriously damage the setting of a listed building or the special qualities of a conservation area;

· Heritage assets of more than local interest are of concern to a wider community than those who live locally;

· There could be unintentional, but potentially very serious damage to, and total loss of, nationally and internationally important undesignated archaeology;

· Designated heritage has a national significance beyond that of the immediate place in which it is located e.g. York and Chester city centre conservation areas.

January 2011