RELEASED 23 March 2010





John Healey: Modern planning system will preserve our heritage for future generations

Published - 23 March 2010


Housing and Planning Minster John Healey today confirmed the new planning policy to make heritage assets the centrepieces of rejuvenated towns and cities, and protect the historic environment for future generations.


The new guidelines provide the first integrated approach for developers and councils to work together to restore and enhance historic buildings, as well as monuments, parks, gardens and industrial sites.


The planning policy for the historic environment has been strengthened following extensive consultation, and sends a clear message that our heritage should be protected and viewed as a catalyst for regeneration, rather than a barrier to development.


The new approach will ensure that individual heritage assets get the level of protection they deserve, and changes to the historic environment make an important contribution to tackling climate change and promoting green development.


A detailed Practice Guide from English Heritage accompanies the new guidance and explains how councils and developers can apply the new policies, and use heritage assets such as old theatres, churches and factories to inspire imaginative new development and high quality design.


John Healey said:

"Our country has a rich heritage, with a unique set of buildings, monuments and landscapes that are highly prized by the people who live near them as well as tourists from all over the world.


"Heritage assets can never be replaced, which is why I'm giving councils the expert tools they need to make these assets the centrepieces of local regeneration while protecting our historic environment for future generations."


Phil Kirby, Immediate Past President of the Planning Officers' Society said:

"The Planning Officers' Society welcomes the changes made by Communities and Local Government in response to the concerns raised in the original consultation document. The new PPS5 strikes the right balance between the conservation of our heritage assets as a matter of utmost importance but allowing flexibility for change in the 21st Century."


Improvements to the final policy statement include:




1. The new Planning Policy Statement (PPS) will replace Planning Policy Guidance Notes 15 (Planning and the Historic Environment, published in September 1994) and 16 (Archaeology and Planning, published in November 1990). The final policy statement can be viewed at:


2. The PPS will be supported by guidance prepared by English Heritage. This may be found on the English Heritage website at .


3. The White Paper 'Planning for a Sustainable Future', published in May 2007, underlined the Government's aim to achieve a significant streamlining of existing planning policy guidance and statements by separating out policy from guidance.