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8 November 2008
English Heritage Protection Bill could be axed

The English Heritage Protection Bill may not make it into the British Government's parliamentary programme in 2009. Culture minister Andy Burnham has hinted that the draft bill would be excluded from the Queen's speech, in order to make room for new priority legislation to help beat the economic crisis.
     The draft bill, which has been scrutinised by parliament this year, is the first piece of legislation in the field for 30 years and intended to unify heritage protection regimes. The bill was also aimed to provide greater public involvement in decisions and place heritage at the heart of the planning system.
If the bill goes ahead as planned it will create a 'heritage register' – which will replace listing, scheduling and registering and give the public a greater say in what gets protected. It will also to devolve responsibility for the designating of land-based assets in England from the DCMS to English Heritage.
     A spokesperson for English Heritage said: "Many of the objectives set out in the White Paper could be taken forward by other means if a bill was not to be introduced in the next session. We particularly welcome the government's commitment to a revised Planning Policy Statement and believe that this, together with the continuation of the reform programme, already underway, can achieve the key changes necessary for a more streamlined, simple and transparent heritage protection system.

Source: Leisure Opportunities (7 November 2008)

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