Nobody seems to know what real impacts the National Planning Policy Framework will have on heritage and the historic environment. The heated argument and opinion from both camps will resolve and continue beyond any emerging case law and set precedents (which will benefit and enrich lawyers and barristers). It seems that planners’ and heritage professionals’ understanding and interpretation of the NPPF from may have to come from future published guidance from English Heritage…
Crucially, the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990 still affords legal protection,and the wording concerning ‘special regard’ will be of prime relevance.
As for Heritage Assessments, it will be a pity to lose them because they provided detailed information on buildings and encourage intervention in the least damaging area (and I enjoy doing them!).
We’ll continue to lobby, raise awareness and keep an eye on emerging developments. Our historic environment is a finite resource, we can’t let it continue to be nibbled away through accumulated negative development, it needs careful and considered management and stewardship.