Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies: a planning vacuum? - Communities and Local Government Committee Contents

Written evidence from English Heritage (ARSS 114)

The Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) were helpful in the articulation of the significance of the historic environment and therefore provided a useful tool to support its management and protection. In the absence of the regional Government Offices and the Regional Spatial Strategy we would be happy to work within any new, emerging structures provided that due weight was given to the historic environment and that the necessary protection was still in place. The recent publication of Planning Policy Statement 5: planning for the historic environment provides a powerful statement of the government's commitment to protection. Whilst RSSs supported an integrated, co-ordinated approach to local planning, the new Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) may be better placed to support local distinctiveness, more community driven solutions and, we would hope, greater understanding of local heritage. In addition, because of the flexibility surrounding their creation, LEPs will be able to operate within boundaries that might be more appropriate for local businesses and communities.

The issue of what to do with the evidence that has been collected and developed by Regional Development Agencies in support of Regional Spatial Strategies needs to be fully considered as a future tool for economic and social development. It is important that the work that has gone in to collecting this data across the regions, and the resource it represents, is not lost and where possible that it is developed for continued use by local enterprise partnerships.


English Heritage is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with our funding agreement signed by CLG and DEFRA. We work in partnership with central government departments, local authorities, voluntary bodies and the private sector to conserve and enhance the historic environment, broaden public access to our cultural heritage, and increase people's understanding and appreciation of the past.

We are the UK Government's statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets. This includes archaeology on land and under water, historic buildings sites and areas, designated landscapes and the historic elements of the wider landscape. Conservation Principles sets out the guidelines for engagement with the historic environment which have informed Planning Policy Statement 5 (PPS5).

September 2010

previous page contents next page

© Parliamentary copyright 2011
Prepared 31 March 2011