IHBC response to revised NPPF
In response, IHBC officers highlighted the chances missed, as Policy Secretary Roy Lewis said, "...from a built heritage perspective, the revised NPPF is an opportunity lost", while IHBC Communications Secretary Dave Chetwyn, noted that, "There appears still to be an assumption of high growth land and property economies, but this is not just a north-south issue – we are addressing problems in areas with serious viability challenges."
IHBC Policy Secretary, Roy Lewis said:
"The new policy statement that ‘the creation of high quality buildings is fundamental to what the planning and development process should achieve’ is a welcome response to the IHBC’s joint submission with Civic Voice and others on the ‘Design’ element of the Framework. However, the Institute’s comprehensive suggestions to refine the policy base for ‘Conservation of the historic environment’ has made no impact whatsoever.
"It is particularly disappointing that the government has done nothing to help resolve the interpretation problems caused by the policy distinction between ‘substantial harm’ and ‘less than substantial harm’. IHBC’s advice that that the distinction is an unnecessary complication has been ignored. As a result, debating ‘where the substantial harm/less than substantial harm join comes’ will continue to be an unnecessary complication in the process of determination of planning proposals that have a harmful impact on heritage assets, particularly in planning enquiries.
"The Institute’s call for specific policies that acknowledge the fundamental differences between listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments, parks and gardens, etc. has also fallen on deaf ears.
"Surprisingly, the reference to ‘optimum viable use’ in relation to countervailing benefits that might outweigh less than substantial harm, has been re-introduced having been omitted in the consultation draft. This maintains the inconsistency that ‘optimum viable use’ is a consideration if the proposal causes less than substantial harm whilst ‘viable use’ is the issue if substantial harm is caused. However, a conveniently inserted ‘where appropriate’ proviso gets rid of the ridiculous notion of optimum viable use of a conservation area.
"It’s not all good news in the ‘Design’ chapter either (now re-titled ‘Achieving well-designed places’), which no longer has a protective provision for designated heritage assets or their settings. And the deletion of former paragraph 60, along with its confirmation that it is proper to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness, cannot be helpful.
"Unfortunately, it will be a long wait before we get another opportunity to shape planning policy for the historic environment. From a built heritage perspective, the revised NPPF is an opportunity lost."
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
A ‘Methodology for Moisture Investigations in Traditional Buildings ‘ has been agreed between RICS, Historic England and the service provider PCA, a trade body, which should help raise professional standards and consumer confidence.
The Templar Hotel on Vicar Lane has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
Government has announced a new Champion for Modern Methods of Construction as part of the government’s drive to make the UK the global leader in housing standards.
Planning is about so much more than the number of applications approved and the speed of processing them so the RTPI is commissioning research aimed at producing a toolkit that can demonstrate a wider range of outcomes.
London blogger The Gentle Author has been photographing the changing face of London, focusing on what is known as ‘facadism’, the practice of destroying everything apart from the front wall and constructing a new building behind it.
Urgent repairs have been ordered to save one of the country’s most endangered buildings from dilapidation while Great Yarmouth Borough Council seeks an investor.
SNH has published new guidance on how best to fit pollinators into urban design and construction with a series of easy steps to suit all project budgets and sizes.
Applications are invited for the Sustainability Scholarship 2020, with successful applicants to receive £3000, support and mentoring from experts, and closing 29 November.
It was hoped the 1.4 mile (2.3km) Victorian Queensbury Tunnel could be used by cyclists travelling between Bradford and Halifax, but plans have been threatened.
Completing works that widened public access to the hidden architectural spaces and collections of Durham Cathedral showcases exceptional project management.
This month HSE is carrying out its latest construction inspection initiative with a focus in particular on measures in place to protect workers from occupational lung disease caused by asbestos, silica, wood and other dusts when carrying out common construction tasks.