UK Heritage Bill dropped AGAIN!

In December the Architects website reported the dropping of the Heritage Bill

Cross party condemnation as Heritage Protection Bill dropped

3 December, 2008         By Will Henley

MPs from all three main parties have criticised the government’s axing of the Heritage Protection Bill from next year’s parliamentary programme, amid claims historic buildings are being put at risk.

The dropping of the bill from today’s Queen’s Speech – ostensibly due to the prioritising of legislation to tackle the credit crunch and first predicted in BD last month – is a huge blow for English Heritage, which had hoped to take over responsibility for listing designations from the department of culture, media and sport.

The news also comes as leading policy thinktank Demos released a report warning that Britain would become a “cultural desert” if cuts to the conservation sector continued.

English Heritage described the axing of the bill as “disappointing, but understandable” in the economic climate but observers predicted the legislation could now take years to be realised – if at all.

EH chief executive Simon Thurley is expected to attend a summit with heritage groups next week to discuss what can be salvaged from the draft bill.

Key measures which require legislative approval include protection for buildings being considered for listing and the creation of a single register of listed assets.

“English Heritage is putting on a brave face,” said Victorian Society director Ian Dungavell. “They have been working so hard on it for years and years but have had the rug pulled from under their feet.”…….  read more

Now it is July (the bill was supposed to be ready for June!) and this is the news.  from teh CBA website

There is deep disappointment again that the Heritage Protection Bill for England and Wales does not appear in the Draft Legislative Programme for 2009/10 announced by the Government this week.

The Programme indicates the legislation likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech for the next parliamentary session. Clearly there is now little expectation of the legislative reforms which the 2007 White Paper promised would place the historic environment at the heart of the planning system. The Bill aimed to simplify and strengthen existing legislation and introduce opportunities for people to be more involved in protecting and enhancing their local heritage. It also paved the way for the signing and ratification of the Hague Convention, the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Without the Bill, the UK will soon be the only international power not to have signed the convention.

Mike Heyworth, CBA’s Director said:

The lack of Government commitment to these uncontroversial and widely supported reforms is deplorable. The Council for British Archaeology will be responding to the publication of the Draft Legislative Programme in the strongest terms. We will be working with the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group to progress the most badly needed reforms, some of which are possible through secondary legislation, and to press Government to deliver on other objectives for the heritage. Our historic environment fundamentally shapes the quality of our surroundings and is integral to policies for sustainability. It must be at the heart of new policies for the way places are designed and planned, not side-lined as a low priority.


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