Thursday, 30 August 2018

Heritage Counts in the South West ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... but East Devon's Heritage Strategy is postponed again

Next Tuesday, the Strategic Planning Committee meets:
Strategic Planning Committee - East Devon

It will be almost exclusively be focussing on the government's demands for more housing and on the plans for expanding the Greater Exeter area:
Futures Forum: District Council to consider government's latest forecast for minimum number of new homes to be built in East Devon > "A second Cranbrook new town or more new villages"
Futures Forum: The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan and 57,000 new houses

It had been hoped that a draft Heritage Strategy would be going on to the agenda for this Strategic Planning Committee - but this has once again had to be postponed.

Here are a few points about the Strategy:
> The issue of the positive role that heritage has and can play in promoting our town centres and high streets, which is covered in the strategy with recommended actions, is apparently of particular interest.
Within the document a recommendation is made for a 'local list' Supplementary Planning Document, with guidance on selection criteria.
> The local list document produced in 2016 will be updated, once the heritage strategy has been approved for consultation, to reflect any recent changes to the guidance from Historic England and the revised National Planning Policy Framework.
> The draft heritage strategy currently aims to increase community involvement especially where there are strong neighbourhood planning groups and historic associations. 

Meanwhile, Historic England has put much store in the value of 'heritage' to the economy:
Heritage and the Economy | Historic England

It has produced a separate document for the South West:
Heritage Counts in the South West | Historic England

Meanwhile in Stroud:

A Heritage Strategy for Stroud District 

Valuing our historic environment and assets 

Proposed Supplementary Planning Advice Consultation Paper – July 2017

Why a heritage strategy? 

0.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) advocates that local planning authorities should produce a clear and positive strategy for the conservation and management of their area’s heritage1 . Across the country, different local authorities have interpreted this in different ways. Some places identify a need to highlight a heritage which is somehow hidden, or bolster a heritage which is undervalued. For others, the impetus for producing a heritage strategy is closely bound up with trying to strengthen, reinvent or ‘rebrand’ their area, in conjunction with an ambitious cultural, economic or development vision for the future. Some areas have chosen to produce a strategy which looks at wider cultural heritage, encompassing built, natural and social assets, to reinforce a sense of community or paint a particular picture of their area. 

0.2 And rightly so, because our built, natural and cultural heritage is fundamental to our local identity, and often to our quality of life. 

0.3 In Stroud District, our heritage is certainly not invisible. Far from it: it is all around us. In fact, it is so much part of the scenery, so much a backdrop to our lives, that perhaps we don’t perceive its value or recognise its impact as much as visitors do. 

0.4 Stroud District has a genuinely exceptional collection of assets and a very high quality environment. So this Strategy is really about making sure that we value them, that we don’t take this resource for granted, and that we all manage the District’s assets in such a way that we hand on a positive legacy for the future.


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