Please help World Heritage UK with its HLF Resilient Heritage application

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Valentina Sabucco 2Hi, my name is Valentina Sabucco, a post-graduate student from Newcastle University on a placement at the Durham Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site.

World Heritage UK is currently preparing a bid to apply for a Heritage Lottery Fund Resilient Heritage grant and I am helping to organise a survey for your input to help guide the application. Will you help me?

World Heritage UK aims to become a more sustainable and resilient organisation, improving our professional skills and offering the chance for everyone who is interested and passionate about heritage to bring his/her contribution to the organisation.

For this purpose, the following questionnaire has been designed to help our organisation identify its strengths and reveal areas for improvement. The survey usually takes only two minutes to be completed.

We would really appreciate everyone’s participation as we do value your feedback and we would like to build on your comments towards the next steps towards a more resilient future.

The link to the short questionnaire is: HERE

World Heritage UK responds to draft National Planning Framework

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WORLD HERITAGE UK’S RESPONSE TO DRAFT REVISED NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR ENGLAND

 

cityscape St Pauls and The Shard

The Government’s planning policies for England are set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The Government has recently announced its intention to revise the Framework and has consulted on a draft revision.  World Heritage UK (WH:UK) responded to the consultation.

As a State Party to the World Heritage Convention, the United Kingdom is required to protect, preserve, present and transmit to future generations its World Heritage Sites.  It does this primarily through its planning systems. In the last 18 months, WH:UK has been working to suggest how the UK’s planning systems could be improved further to meet these responsibilities.   It based its response to the Draft Revised National Planning Policy Framework largely on this work.

In its response, WH:UK pointed out that England’s World Heritage Sites include a wide range of historic monuments and past industry, landscapes, townscapes, and natural and ecological features.  Therefore they will be affected by many of the policies in the NPPF. They cannot be treated as a single homogenous entity.

The full text of WH:UK’s response can be found under Correspondence and Consultations on its website Response to draft NPPF May 18 – resubmission final.

The key points in WH:UK’s response are:

  • Recognition.  WH:UK welcomes the recognition given to the protection of World Heritage Sites in various places in the Draft Revised NPPF.  It urges that, in due course, such protection should be enshrined in primary legislation.
  • Development Plans. WHUK strongly disagrees with the proposed changes to the nature of the “development plan”.   The Draft Revised NPPF states that, while local planning authorities will be obliged to produce a plan that addresses the strategic priorities for their area, there would be no obligation on them to produce more detailed policies in a Local Plan.   However Local Plans contain the very policies that currently protect, preserve and help present World Heritage Sites. They cover issues such as good design, the type of development that is or is not acceptable at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites, the protection of Sites’ settings and/ro buffer zones and the promotion of conservation.   It cannot be assumed that local authorities will voluntarily produce local plans. If they do not, this would severely weaken the effectiveness of the planning system in helping to deliver the State Party’s obligations on World Heritage Sites.
  • Pre-application engagement. WH:UK welcomes the continuing support for pre-application engagement.  It has encouraged its members to be more actively involved in decision-making processes and recognises the value of early dialogue.
  • Economic value of World Heritage Sites. WH:UK suggested that the NPPF should recognise the economic value of World Heritage Sites both locally and nationally.
  • Good design. WH:UK strongly supports the encouragement of good design.  It does not agree that it would be acceptable for increased densities to overrule local character and history, including the surrounding built environment and landscape setting.  Such an approach could threaten the Outstanding Universal Value of a World Heritage Site or its setting and/or buffer zone, all as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans.
  • Green Belt. Similarly, while WH:UK understands the need to make best use of urban land and to protect the Green Belt, it is important to appreciate that this policy approach can threaten the Outstanding Universal Value and/or setting/buffer zone of some World Heritage Sites by increasing development pressures within urban areas.    This is a question of priorities, which the Revised Draft NPPF does not resolve. Instead it states that development in Green Belts may be approved in “very special circumstances” while “Substantial harm or loss of …World Heritage Sites should be wholly exceptional.” WH:UK believes that, given their worldwide importance, World Heritage Sites should take precedence over Green Belts, and therefore there may be circumstances where it would be appropriate to review Green Belt boundaries to relieve development pressures at or adjacent to World Heritage Sites.
  • Natural World Heritage Sites.  WH:UK is seriously disappointed that the chapter on conserving and enhancing the natural environment does not recognise or set out policies for England’s natural World Heritage Site (the Dorset and East Devon Coast) or any such sites that may be inscribed in the future. The existence of such sites is recognised only in a footnote in the chapter on conserving and enhancing the historic environment, and then no indication is given as to whether the policies applicable to World Heritage Sites in that chapter apply to natural sites.  Nevertheless, WH:UK warmly welcomes the new reference in the first paragraph of that chapter to World Heritage Sites, which provides a clear signal in respect of the Sites’ importance.
  • Heritage Impact Assessments. WH:UK  strongly encourages the use of Heritage Impact Assessments to help local planning authorities determine development proposals, and considers these should be mentioned in the NPPF.
  • Development within World Heritage Sites. WH:UK supports of the proposed retention of the requirement on local authorities to “look for opportunities for new development within World Heritage Sites…to enhance or better reveal their significance;” while recognizing that not all elements of a World Heritage Site will necessarily contribute to its significance.
  • Minerals development. World Heritage UK welcomes the continued protection of World Heritage Sites through the provision of landbanks of non-energy minerals from outside these areas as far as is practical.  However that protection should also be applied to areas that form part of the setting and /or the buffer zone of Sites, as interpreted by policies in the respective local plan or plans.  Also the text addressing the issues on oil, gas and coal exploration and extraction is very weak in relation to heritage issues. In this respect, WH:UK advocates a similar approach as for non-energy minerals.

Author credit: Donald Gobbett, World Heritage UK Board Member

Edinburgh Management Plan consultation now open

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Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

Consultation is now open for feedback on the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site Management Plan (2017-2022).

During the summer last year, over 1000 people took part in a consultation and gave us their views on how they felt the World Heritage Site is being run. What people told us has shaped the draft Management Plan. The draft Plan sets out a number of actions which will be taken forward by the management partners (City of Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage).

The consultation will run until 5 June 2017. Please take a moment to share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions using our online survey. You can also download the survey and send comments to worldheritage@edinburgh.gov.uk

Thank you very much for your help,

Chloe

Chloe Porter |Planning Officer| Planning Initiatives|Planning and Transport|Place|

The City of Edinburgh Council |Waverley Court, Level G3, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG| Tel 0131 529 6235 | chloe.porter@edinburgh.gov.uk | http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk

World Heritage in Edinburgh

Management Plan Review for Edinburgh WHS

consultation, Management Plan, News, Opportunities, Publications, Uncategorized, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites

Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

It’s time to review the Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. 

This is your chance to get involved… https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/edinburgh-oldandnewtowns-managementplan-review 

over 170 responses so far and here’s what people think:  https://planningedinburgh.com/2016/07/05/old-and-new-towns-of-edinburgh-world-heritage-site/

More information at: https://planningedinburgh.com/category/world-heritage/

Contact: worldheritage@edinburgh.gov.uk

Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan Public consultation

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Durham Castle- credit ADTeasdale

I am very pleased to announce that the Durham Castle and Cathedral World Heritage Site Management Plan draft version is now live for public consultation (22nd February to 18th April 2016). This is a very important part of the process of ensuring that our new plan is relevant and useful – your comments are important to us.

 Please click on this link, https://www.durhamworldheritagesite.com/management-plan   which will take you to our home page where you can find out all about the different ways you can comment on and contribute to the plan.

If you have any problems accessing our site, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also, please do feel free to forward this message to any colleagues you feel would be interested in the Management Plan.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Jane Gibson

Durham World Heritage Site Coordinator                                                                                          

Email: p.j.gibson@durham.ac.uk  Website: www.durhamwhs.com

Durham WHS Co-ordinator seeks advice from colleagues

consultation, News, Opportunities, Uncategorized

Dear All,

As a relative newcomer to the WHS family, I wonder if I could ask for your experience/advice?

Have any of you have had occasion to comment on planning applications within your WHS or Setting which have the potential to negatively impact on the OUV. If so, what channels did you use and what was your experience of the process?

If you have some experience you can share, please contact me at p.j.gibson@durham.ac.uk.

Many thanks for your help and advice.

Jane Gibson

Durham World Heritage Site Co-ordinator

Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre

7, Owengate,

Durham

DH1 3HB

Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 3803

Mobile: 07805741211

Help us celebrate our 30th Birthday in 2016

Culture White Paper – wake the sleeping giants of world Heritage

consultation, Events, News

As you may already know, the Government is preparing to launch a Culture White paper sometime in the coming months. They have said that they want to hear from the people, so bearing in mind what was said at the recent conference, this is a very opportune time to raise the voice of World Heritage.

They have identified four broad themes…

“The first of these is the role that culture plays in creating places that people want to live, work and visit. How can our culture and heritage contribute to vibrant, healthy communities across the country, and how can we in Government support them to do that.

The second theme will focus on building financial resilience in cultural organisations and institutions through new funding models, to enable them to survive and prosper in a tough economic and financial climate.

Our third theme is about people and how they engage with culture. How do we ensure that everyone can learn about and through culture, and get the right encouragement and opportunities to experience and participate in cultural activities throughout their lives.

And finally, theme four explores working with our cultural institutions to promote Britain abroad, in our relations with other countries and international organisations, and to support trade, exports, inward investment, inbound tourism and presentation of cultural artefacts.”

.. and all of these relate to World Heritage.

The link for this is http://dcmsblog.uk/2015/09/share-your-ideas-for-a-new-cultural-programme/ and particularly, they have an engagement page at https://dcms.dialogue-app.com/

So if you feel passionately about our World Heritage, please do log-on, have a look and have your say. Please feel free to share any comments on twitter with #ourculture and @worldheritageuk or share your comments with us by commenting on this blog entry.