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New heritage guidelines condemned

Planning and conservation organisations are lining up to attack the government’s proposed new national heritage planning guidelines

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) say the plans represent a serious risk to the nation’s historic buildings and places.

RTPI president Martin Willey said: ‘The biggest problem is that they assume that heritage stands in the way of development and economic recovery, which is patently untrue. Historic buildings and places are an asset, not a burden.’

IHBC director Sean O’Reilly added: ‘The PPS relies too much on a narrow way of judging how important our heritage is to everyone.

‘The way it proposes to judge significance marginalises our heritage to an academic judgement and ignores the contribution of the built environment to making better places for communities.’

Both institutes believe that instead of creating a simpler, clearer and more accessible system for heritage protection, the proposals actually make things worse.

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