Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21761

Received: 27/03/2015

Respondent: Heritage England

Representation Summary:

The Regulation 123 lists includes the protection, conservation and enhancement of heritage assets. CIL monies also be used to fund archaelogical investigations, access and intepretation and the repair and reuse of buildings.

The relevant evidence base should also include 'heritage at risk' assets and there should be discretionary relief for historic assets.

Full text:

As there is currently no reference to the historic environment within the draft
Charging Schedule, English Heritage would encourage including additional text to
refer to the historic environment as a form of infrastructure and how the levy can
positively contribute to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the historic environment.

We also recommend that the Regulation 123 list requests investment in the
protection, conservation and enhancement of heritage assets and their settings to
ensure CIL monies are available to fund appropriate initiatives.
Without prejudice to the above, development specific planning obligations and S106 should continue to offer opportunities for funding improvements to and the mitigation of adverse impacts on the historic environment, such as archaeological
investigations, access and interpretation, and the repair and reuse of buildings or
other heritage assets. You may wish to clarify this matter in your schedule.

English Heritage would also recommend that the Charging Schedule is fully informed by an up to date and relevant evidence base for the historic environment and its heritage assets. The evidence base will likely assess 'heritage at risk' in the district and this could provide a useful insight into project opportunities for the Regulation123 List. Additionally, we would recommend on-going communication with conservation and archaeology officers who have access to the Historic Environment Record and local historical information.

Discretionary Relief for Exceptional Circumstances
The regulations emphasise the need to strike an appropriate balance between the
opportunities of funding infrastructure from the levy and the potential effects that may arise through increased pressure on the economic viability of development. For example, there could be circumstances where the viability of a scheme designed to secure the reuse and long term viability of a heritage asset is compromised by the requirement for CIL payments.

Vacant or underused heritage assets not only fail to make a full contribution to the
District's economy but they can also give rise to negative perceptions about an area. This, in turn, can detract from its attractiveness to inward investment. Consequently, in setting thresholds there needs to be a clear understanding of the potential impact which CIL could have on investment in, and regeneration of, historic areas - particularly those which have been identified as being 'at risk'. We are, therefore, encouraging Local Authorities to assert their right to apply discretionary relief for exceptional circumstances; where development which affects heritage assets and their settings and/or their significance, may become unviable if it was subject to CIL. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF requires that local authorities set out a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment in their plan making, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats. In relation to CIL, this means ensuring that the conservation of its heritage assets is taken into account when considering the level of the CIL to be imposed so as to safeguard and encourage appropriate and viable uses for the historic environment.