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PROTECTION OF THE HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT - CONSULTATION ANNOUNCED

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A consultation paper outlining ideas for changes that could be made to the legislation that protects the historic e...
A consultation paper outlining ideas for changes that could be made to the legislation that protects the historic environment in Wales has been announced by minister for culture, Welsh language and sport, Alun Pugh.

The consultation 'Protection of historical assets in Wales' covers the designation of listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments, conservation areas and other protected heritage assets. It aims to obtain a clear picture of all legislative controls affecting the historic environment in Wales and considers how they might be co-ordinated and improved.

Mr Pugh said: 'The historic environment has already been subject to much scrutiny and informed debate with the policy review which was launched in March. The recent television series Restoration has also done much to raise the profile of the historic environment and its importance to present and future generations. It has certainly sparked a great deal of interest in historic buildings such as Llanelly House, and has highlighted the importance we attach to the preservation of some of our most important historic buildings.

'We now need to obtain a clearer picture of all the legislative controls affecting the historic environment in Wales. This will help inform our consideration of the policy review and will also help to inform discussions with ministerial colleagues in England on any proposals for changes to primary legislation to reflect particular circumstances in Wales.

'Protection of historical assets in Wales outlines ideas which could see a radical shift in the way we care for our historic environment, and considers measures to ensure greater openness and transparency than current legislative controls provide. I hope that people feel sufficiently strongly about this important area to let us know their views and opinions, and I urge them to do so.'

Notes

The government announced its intention of reviewing the system of protection for all elements of the historic environment in The Historic Envir onment: A Force for our Future. Primary legislation is shared on an England and Wales basis and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport issued a consultation document in England in July entitled Making the System Work Better. It was decided to undertake a separate consultation exercise in Wales since there were key differences in circumstances in Wales and England, and the Assembly Government had also issued a policy review document in March 2003 (Review of the Historic Environment in Wales). This covered many of the issues addressed in the current English consultation.

The consultation paper can be accessed on the Cadw website (http://www.cadw.wales.gov.uk). Hard copies are available from Stephen Gear, Cadw, Crown Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ. Comments on the consultation are invited by Friday 21 November 2003 and will be taken into account in drafting a UK Government White Paper in 2004.

The Assembly Government has already indicated its support towards a scheme of historic repairs to Llanelly House.

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