The RTPI has welcomed the publication of the new PPS5: Planning for the Historic Environment, which sets out overall planning policies for the historic environment.
The policies and principles set out in the PPS also apply to the consideration of the historic environment in relation to the other heritage-related consent regimes for which planning authorities are responsible under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and are accompanied by guidance to help practitioners implement the new policy.
Speaking about the new PPS, Rebecca Coates, Planning Policy Officer at the RTPI said:
"The RTPI is pleased to see that the revised PPS5 incorporates many of the RTPI's concerns highlighted in our response to the 2009 consultation draft. We recognise that the revised PPS is a significant step forward in addressing our major concerns, in particular, the intrinsic value of the historic environment, and the benefits it contributes to the wider community. It's positive that the 'Government's Statement on the Historic Environment for England 2010' was also issued simultaneously to support the PPS and accompanying guidance."
Responding to the previous consultation on an updated heritage PPS, the RTPI had issued a strongly worded response highlighting its concern that the proposal would undermine protection of historic buildings, as the draft proposed that \"material harm\" caused to an area's heritage \"is outweighed by the wider social, economic and environmental benefits of the proposed development\".
Our intervention, alongside the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (with whom we submitted a joint response) led to front page coverage in the national press and a subsequent announcement from Planning Minister John Healey that "to put it beyond doubt, there is no question of downgrading the protection of historic buildings. The current language in the planning policy statement is not clear enough. We will redraft it to make clear that the protection of heritage buildings will not be reduced."
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