Last edited 09 Jul 2016

Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement

This article originally appeared in the IHBC NewsBlogs


HES Planning 062016.jpg

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has published a policy statement (June 2016) that replaces the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) for operational matters.

HES writes:

This policy statement, the Scottish Planning Policy, Historic Environment Circular 1 and Historic Environment Scotland's Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance note series are the documents to which planning authorities are directed in their consideration of applications for conservation area consent, listed building consent for buildings of all three categories and their consideration of planning applications affecting the historic environment and the setting of individual elements of the historic environment.

This Policy Statement has been produced to take account of the changes resulting from the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”). The 2014 Act created Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and amended statutory processes relating to the historic environment. Scottish Ministers' policies for planning and the historic environment are set out in Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 2014 and are not replaced by this document. The Policy Statement sets out how Historic Environment Scotland fulfils its regulatory and advisory roles and how it expects others to interpret and implement Scottish Planning Policy. It is a material consideration in the Scottish planning system.

The care and management of the properties and associated collections in the care of Scottish Ministers is set out in the Schemes of Delegation under Section 3 of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. These can be found on Historic Environment Scotland's website.

The Scottish Ministers have delegated to Historic Environment Scotland the following functions: Their general functions of managing the properties in care including ensuring their conservation, articulating and safeguarding their cultural significance, providing public access for current and future generations, and managing the associated commercial operations; and the functions of the Scottish Ministers under sections 13, 15(3) to (4), 19 (other than subsections (3) and (4)) and 20 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Scotland's historic environment contributes to the Scottish Government's strategic objectives and to the National Performance Framework. The documents that should be referenced for the management of the historic environment are Scottish Planning Policy, Our Place in Time: The Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland, Historic Environment Circular 1, the associated primary and secondary legislation and Historic Environment Scotland's Managing Change series of guidance notes.

This policy statement sets out the principles under which Historic Environment Scotland (HES) operates and provides a framework that informs the day-to-day work of a range of organisations that have a role and interest in managing the historic environment, it is intended to be of particular use to those carrying out statutory functions which are affected by the changes resulting from the 2014 Act. The policy statement complements and should be read alongside the Scottish Planning Policy and other relevant Ministerial policy documents. The policy statement is a relevant document in the statutory planning, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) processes.

The policy statement replaces the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) for operational matters. The SHEP was a response to the review of Historic Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland's predecessor) in 2003–04 which recommended that an “Executive endorsed policy statement for the historic environment in Scotland should be developed in consultation with stakeholders…”. Historic Environment Scotland is a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) and its Framework Document, which can be found on its website, sets out its roles and responsibilities.

The SHEP was originally developed as a series of individual free-standing documents. The single, combined SHEP was first published in October 2008 and revised in July 2009 and December 2011. This has now been superseded by arrangements put in place to create Historic Environment Scotland (including the Framework Document and Schemes of Delegation – which can be seen on Historic Environment Scotland's website) and this policy statement.

The 2014 Act (The Bill for which received Royal Assent on 9 December 2014) amended the following 2 principal Acts: • the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (“the 1979 Act”); and • the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 (“the 1997 Act”).

All references to the above principal Acts in this policy statement are to be read as having been amended by the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014.

This policy statement, the Scottish Planning Policy, Historic Environment Circular 1 and Historic Environment Scotland's Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance note series (as confirmed in Planning Circular 9 2009) are the documents to which planning authorities are directed in their consideration of applications for conservation area consent, listed building consent for buildings of all three categories (see Note 2.17), and their consideration of planning applications affecting the historic environment and the setting of individual elements of the historic environment. Planning authorities are also directed to these documents to assist them in development planning. Historic Environment Scotland will notify planning authorities in writing when new guidance notes in their Managing Change in the Historic Environment series are issued.

A UK Marine Policy Statement adopted by all the UK administrations provides a framework for considering the historic environment in the preparation of Marine Plans, which in turn guide decisions affecting the marine environment around Scotland (see Note 0.1).

Read the Policy Statement on the Historic Environment Scotland website.

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