PLANNING LISTED BUILDINGS AND

 

 CONSERVATION AREAS ACT 1990

 

  CAUSING CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO HERITAGE ASSETS SHOULD CARRY HARSHER SENTENCES

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JILL THE DAIRY COW SAYS: - Hey, don't you tell me that an area is special. Do you know who you are talking to? I am above the law sucker. You can take that awful looking electricity generating building and the field across the way and stick it up your rear end. See if I care about conserving our heritage. I'll do what I want, and you can't stop me, no matter my actions may put our heritage at risk. So there. But then, I'm only a cow chewing the cud in a close by pasture. Presumably, human applicants would want to protect evidence of their past, for future generations, no matter the industrial landscape is less palatable to ruminants. If I ever come back in another form, I hope I have two legs and opposable thumbs. Then we'll see. I might get a job with the council. I hear they are in the pooh in a big way, having been caught discriminating against some of the residents in their area, for the benefit of others. I'd feel right at home, even if I do let a package go occasionally. Nobody would notice with all the brown stuff hitting the fan from all that institutionalised bullshit. Cows don't violate Article 14, they just make milk, beef and leather from grass. Bovines have no human rights.

 

 

 

CONSERVATION AREAS

 

Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 defines conservation areas as ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’ and local planning authorities have the statutory duty to identify and designate such areas. They may vary in character, form and size, from small groups of historic buildings to major parts of a town or city. While they may contain listed buildings, this is not always the case and often it is the sense of place created by different components such as unlisted traditional buildings, historic street patterns, open spaces, trees, boundary walls, views or even sites of human activity such as market places, which combine to provide special character.

The law on conservation areas is essentially the same throughout the different parts of the United Kingdom, although the national planning policies differ, as do administrative arrangements.(1) For brevity’s sake, reference is made here to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the current legislation in England and Wales. The relevant legislation in Scotland is the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 as amended by the Historic Environment (Amendment) Scotland Act 2011 and in Northern Ireland, the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. The National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) contains the Government’s historic environment policy in England and this places strong emphasis on the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets. At the time of writing PPS5 Historic Environment Practice Guide (2010) was still current. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own planning policy and guidance.


LOCAL AUTHORITY DUTIES

The legislation places a number of duties on local planning authorities (LPAs), which include:

Designation

Section 69 of the act requires LPAs to determine which parts of their areas possess special architectural or historic interest and to designate them as conservation areas. Over the past 40 years, the criteria have varied from one planning authority to another as well as, historically, within individual authorities and while there is ample guidance today, this was not always the case. The first stage in any designation process should be a survey to determine whether an area is of sufficient quality and to define what constitutes its special architectural and historic interest. While there is no legal requirement to consult the public before designation, LPAs are encouraged by central government to do so in addition to consulting any other statutory authorities and local amenity groups. Upon designation, the council must place a notice in the London Gazette and at least one local newspaper and must inform the Secretary of State and (in England) English Heritage of the designation. In England and Wales they must also register the designation as a land charge (essentially, a restriction or prohibition placed on an area of land). However, there is no formal duty to notify current owners or occupiers individually.

Grants for repair and maintenance

These can take the form of discretionary grants from local planning authorities under sections 57 and 58 of the act, and public funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund through a Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme or, in England, from English Heritage through Partnership Schemes in Conservation Areas. Such schemes and their precursors have taken a comprehensive approach, not only repairing historic buildings but funding improvements to the public realm including the reinstatement of railings, historic paving, new street lighting and furniture. In the past ten years English Heritage has contributed some £60 million. 

Control over demolition

In determining an application for Conservation Area Consent (CAC) the LPA is obliged to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area. The NPPF and case law places a general presumption in favour of retaining buildings and other elements which make a positive contribution to the character or appearance of a conservation area. LPAs need to establish whether the loss of an unlisted building amounts to substantial harm or insubstantial harm to the significance of the conservation area. In the case of the former, the NPPF advises that LPAs should refuse consent unless the substantial harm is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh the harm or loss. Where a development proposal will result in less than substantial harm, then this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal, including securing its optimum viable use. So if a building makes little or no contribution to the significance of the conservation area and the LPA is convinced that the new development will make a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness, then CAC should be granted. Granting of CAC is normally conditional on the new development proceeding and the LPA may ask for the building to be recorded before it is demolished.

Following the House of Lords ruling on Shimizu Ltd vs. Westminster City Council (1997), demolition is now interpreted as meaning the total or substantial destruction of the building concerned. The removal of a roof or chimney will not require CAC as this is an alteration but the destruction of an entire building except the facade will probably require CAC.(3)

Unauthorised Works

The demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area without CAC is a criminal offence. It is also an offence to undertake demolition for which CAC has been granted without complying with a condition attached to the consent. While magistrates can hear such prosecutions, the more serious offences can be referred to a Crown Court. A Crown Court case in 2011, London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames v. Johnson, shows that the judiciary will take such matters extremely seriously fining the owner £80,000 plus £42,000 costs for demolishing his semi-detached 19th century villa without CAC. It would have been even higher if the defendant had not pleaded guilty.

It is also an offence to carry out works to a tree in a conservation area without giving notice to the LPA or to carry out such works where consent has been refused. The offence can be tried by magistrates or in a Crown Court and as with the demolition of an unlisted building the court will take into account any financial gain that has accrued or is likely to accrue as a result of the offence.

In principle, it may be possible to prosecute the building owner, contractor, sub-contractor and any professions involved in committing the offence but in practice an LPA will try to single out those actually responsible and most likely to re-offend. 

 

Offences contrary to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 should generally be prosecuted under this Act rather than under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, the primary source of offences involving damage to property. 

 

HERITAGE CRIME

 

Heritage crime is defined as any crime or behaviour that harms the value of England's heritage assets for the present and future generations. These assets may include Scheduled Monuments; Conservation Areas; Grade 1 and 2 Listed Buildings; World Heritage Sites; Protected Marine Wreck Sites and Military Remains; and other sites of archaeological interest.

Heritage Crime has increased in profile over the last few years. While some of the offences may involve criminal damage, it is usually better to prosecute under legislation that has been specifically enacted to address such conduct rather than under the CDA 1971.

Other legislation relating to Heritage Crime includes:

Treasure Act 1996
Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003
Protection of Wrecks Act 1973
Protection of Military Remains Act 1986
Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

 

The CPS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with English Heritage, ACPO and Participating Local Authorities. This MOU defines the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the prevention, investigation, enforcement and prosecution of heritage crime in keeping with their respective aims. The MOU aims to foster closer and better working relationships between the signatories.

 

 

Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

Beaumont Vs Florala 2020 - Right to Light case precedent

Criminal Damage Act 1971

Fraud Act 2006

Party Wall Act 1996

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990

Prescription Act 1832

 

WHAT IS A HERITAGE STATEMENT?

WHAT IS A HERITAGE ASSET?

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ONLY ONE LEFT - This unassuming building is believed to be the earliest surviving example of electricity generating and load leveling on the planet. In the world of industrial archaeology, this is a gem. All the more intriguing for being nestled out of the way in the country. Notably not understood for it's importance by local politicians and even some immediate neighbors. Some of which had in the past wanted to purchase it, simply to knock it down. Sadly, with the local authority aiding and abetting such ambition. We hope those days are gone for good. But the fact remains, that the building still has no reasonable or beneficial use. Despite a Court Order from 2003/4, where Wealden DC agreed to rectify that malady. Progress was made up to 2008, then all cooperation ceased. It has been 14 years, and once again we are waiting for answers to correspondence, as to what the council intend doing to remedy their maladministration.

 

 

 

The heritage asset above in included on Step 4 of a Monument Protection Programme focusing on the electrical generating industry, and how it began. There are two recent planning applications affecting this building. One was a Major development for up to 70 houses in the adjacent field. The other was from within Lime Park, from the new owners of The Rectory, in 2022, Ms Finn and Mr Flood. Yet, it seems (it is alleged) that no Heritage Statement accompanied their application: WD/2022/0497/F, and no Notice as to the Party Wall Act was given concerning the Generating Buildings. We await clarification from the applicants.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-61777898

https://news.stv.tv/east-central/heritage-railway-appeals-for-help-after-vandals-damage-train-and-station

https://www.heritagerailway.co.uk/4278/harsher-prison-terms-for-heritage-vandals-under-new-guidelines/

 

 

 

 

 

 

2022 - Herstmonceux in Sussex is not what it used to be. Villagers are being forced to rent in towns, rather than being able to live where they were brought up - at reasonable prices. In modern England, councils are operated against the interests of young families. Rents for new builds in Herstmonceux are exorbitant. There are no genuinely affordable houses. Wealden only grant consent for executive housing in major development. Wealden provide no rolling stock of land for sustainable and affordable (self builds) flat packs, etc. The rich get richer and the poor, poorer. This seems to be the Conservative way, with Labour failing to change statute, when they finally get voted in. Political wrangling like this is unproductive and climate unfriendly, as is financial slavery: living off the backs of others.

 

 

 

 

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