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Management of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom Sue Cole Senior International Advisor National Advice Team English Heritage.

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Presentation on theme: "Management of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom Sue Cole Senior International Advisor National Advice Team English Heritage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Management of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom Sue Cole Senior International Advisor National Advice Team English Heritage

2 World Heritage Sites in the UK There are 28 World Heritage Sites in the UK

3 World Heritage Sites in the UK World Heritage Sites can be cultural, natural or mixed

4 World Heritage World Heritage Sites (WHS) are places of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), authenticity and integrity. OUV is defined by the World Heritage Committee as “ so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and of importance for present and future generations of all humanity”.

5 World Heritage WHS range from iconic (usually the early inscriptions with little involvement of anyone else) to the innovative (not nearly so eye-catching but involving everyone in the nomination process) WHS are often seen as primarily tourist attractions or as drivers of economic regeneration Recent research by Price Waterhouse Coopers and by the Lake District candidate WHS has looked at benefits and challenges of WHS status

6 World Heritage WHS are often seen as primarily tourist attractions or as drivers of economic regeneration Recent research by Price Waterhouse Coopers and by the Lake District candidate WHS has looked at benefits and challenges of WHS status Whatever their focus, the fact that WHS are universally recognised can help with social cohesion and community pride as well There are obligations as well as benefits to WHS status By signing up to the Convention the UK government is committed to the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and transmission of its WHS to this and future generations

7 World Heritage Blaenavon v Durham>

8 World Heritage Nomination dossiers and accompanying management plans submitted by the UK have to show that the proposed site has –OUV, authenticity and integrity –Fulfils the criteria set out by UNESCO –Is unique –Is protected by national legislation –Has an effective management system in place – the emphasis is on management system not just a management plan!

9 World Heritage Management Plans now in place for all UK WHS and these set out the systems in place to protect, promote, preserve and transmit WHSs to future generations Plans should Appraise the significance and importance of the site Ensure the physical conservation of the site to the highest standards including assessment of risks eg flooding, climate change Protect the site and its setting from damaging development Provide policies for promotion, interpretation and education Provide clear policies for tourism as it affects the site Stakeholder Groups to oversee development, implementation and review of WHS Management Plans Each WHS should have Coordinator if they are to be successful Each WHS MP should be publicly consulted upon and engage communities

10 World Heritage The overall aim should be to have a document that is logically set out, to the point and easy to use There should always be a section on monitoring and implementation with an action plan (which identifies priorities, target dates, who is responsible and funding) It should set out up front the function of the Management Plan and how it has been developed If it is a review of an earlier Management Plan then there should be a section assessing the previous plan

11 World Heritage Appraise the Significance of the Site WHS Management Plans should contain –Statement of Significance/Outstanding Universal Value (includes assessment of authenticity and integrity based on original documentation at time of inscription) –Criteria site inscribed under –Attributes (tangible/physical manifestation of OUV) –International and national comparators –Clear mapping of boundaries and any buffer zone

12 World Heritage Appraise the Significance of the Site It is helpful to identify (as appropriate) –cultural and heritage values –Landscape and other values –Educational and research values –Social, artistic, spiritual values –Scientific and technological values –Tourism and economic values –Community values

13 World Heritage current policy context It is helpful to set out the current policy context Planning policy framework Relationship to other statutory and management plans Planning, historic environment and other designations Relationship with regional and local planning organisations and others

14 World Heritage Management Plans It is useful to set out the management context early in the plan –Governance arrangements Organisations Funding structure –Ownership and Site management arrangements –Role of statutory organisations and others

15 World Heritage Key Management Issues Summary of key issues –Planning and policy –Conservation of the WHS –Infrastructure, development or other issues –Risk assessment and mitigation –Visitor, tourism and education –Research –Other –Monitoring arrangements

16 World Heritage Management issues -Planning and Policy Spatial planning system developed since 19 th century and is underpinned by statute supplemented by national ‘guidance’, circulars etc. These documents have considerable legal weight System of regional and local spatial plans defining what can be done where Such plans have legal status in planning system

17 World Heritage Two strands for heritage protection within the UK planning system Specific designations as listed buildings, ancient monuments, conservation areas. Others are protected via national registers such as parks and gardens, battlefields Inclusion of appropriate policies in planning documents for protection of all heritage whether designated or not (vital for WHS)

18 World Heritage Based on these key points WHS have OUV as set out in a Statement of Significance or Statement of OUV and approved by the World Heritage Committee Attributes encapsulating OUV need to be identified All or part of a WHS can be designated BUT not all of a WHS need be of OUV Planning Authorities should have policies in regional and local plans to protect WHS, their settings and any buffer zone as a whole Local authorities should have regard to Outstanding Universal Value of WHS “a key material consideration” when making decisions on planning applications

19 World Heritage Protection for World Heritage Sites has been increased by the following : More control of minor changes which incrementally could have adverse effect on OUV (inclusion in Article 1(5) Land alterations to GPDO October 2008 New ‘call-in’ regulation where planning authorities refer to the Secretary of State applications adversely affecting WHS they are minded to approve against English Heritage advice

20 World Heritage Publication of 07/09 Circular on Protection of World Heritage Sites and accompanying English Heritage Guidance note (endorsed by CLG and DCMS) –Circular restates WHS are important and WHS status is a key material consideration that planning authorities must consider when deciding applications. The objective should be the protection and sustenance of each WHS through the conservation and preservation of its OUV

21 World Heritage It emphasises the key role that planning authorities have in protecting, promoting, interpreting and enhancing WHS. The circular says Planning authorities should include policies to identify, protect and sustain WHS, their setting and any buffer zone OUV is now recognised within the planning system (each English WHS has a statement of significance or OUV agreed by its SG. Pre 1997 statements have been approved by the World Heritage Committee and post 1997 ones are awaiting approval). More work needs to be done to make sure that all sites have Statements of OUV ready for submission to UNESCO in February 2011

22 World Heritage Circular 07/09 recognises the relationship of the planning system to WHS SGs and the role of WHS Management Plans and relevant policies in WHS Management Plans are key material considerations “in making plans and planning decisions” It recognises the need to protect “the area around a WHS in which change or development is capable of having an adverse impact on the WHS including an impact on views to or from the Site” and identifies different ways of achieving this including buffer zones

23 World Heritage Use of other landscape designations eg AONB, Green Belt Specific view protection strategies –Seeing the History in the View which has been tested on 2 London WHS (and this is being evaluated at the moment following public consultation in 2008 –SPDs eg Liverpool –Other setting studies eg Saltaire and Bath of which more later

24 World Heritage The accompanying English Heritage guidance gives more background on what WHS are, the international context, key players, WHS and the planning system and management of WHS It explains the role and function of management plans and steering groups in more detail

25 World Heritage conservation of the WHS This should set out –Condition of the key elements of the WHS –Setting –Management practices –Landscape and biodiversity challenges –Key issues eg restoration v recreation, regeneration, change of use, micro regeneration –Priorities for further work

26 World Heritage Risk Assessment and Mitigation Management Plans should identify key risks and mitigation strategies. These are likely to be –Climate change related eg coastal erosion –Flood –Fire –Earthquake/subsidence –Business continuity –Other (eg terrorism, hurricanes, pandemics etc)

27 World Heritage

28 World Heritage Risk assessment and mitigation Mitigation includes –Sound emergency plans for key sites –Liaison arrangements with Emergency planners, resilience fora and the emergency services –A good network

29 World Heritage Visitor, tourism and education This section should address –Sustainable tourism –Public Access and carrying capacity –Transport –Visitor management –Visitor facilities –Signage and branding/marketing –Outreach and education (ideally a range of activities for all ages

30 World Heritage Consultation and engagement It is important that WHSs are not seen as immaculate ivory towers divorced from their communities –Many WHS are part of thriving communities which bring challenges and opportunities in equal measure Engagement Inclusion v exclusion

31 World Heritage Monitoring arrangements + action plan This should identify monitoring arrangements –Monitoring indicators –Timetable –Governance –Action plan –Review timetable

32 World Heritage Aims and Policies Many plans have a separate section at the end setting out the vision, key aims and policies together with an action implementation plan


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