More provisions of the Historic Environment Act in force from 31 May 2017

St Mary’s Church, Penmark, Vale of Glamorgan

St Mary’s Church, Penmark, Vale of Glamorgan

While some provisions of the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 have been in force since May 2016, preparations were needed before others could be brought into effect. Two consultations informed that work, which included the formulation of a suite of supporting secondary legislation to take effect on 31 May 2017. On the same day, the following provisions of the 2016 Act come into force: 

Consultation, interim protection and review for scheduled monuments and listed buildings (Sections 3 and 4 and 24 to 26 and Schedules 1 and 2 of the 2016 Act)

These provisions make scheduling and listing more open and accountable. Their commencement follows the establishment of the procedures for reviews of scheduling and listing decisions in the Scheduled Monuments (Review of Scheduling Decisions) (Wales) Regulations 2017 and the Listed Buildings (Review of Listing Decisions) (Wales) Regulations 2017.

Procedures have also been put in place for making claims for compensation arising from interim protection and temporary stop notices. Those for scheduled monuments are contained in the Ancient Monuments (Claims for Compensation) (Wales) Regulations 2017. The equivalent regulations for listed buildings appear in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2017.

Simplified scheduled monument consent process (Section 5 of the 2016 Act)

The Ancient Monuments (Applications for Scheduled Monument Consent) (Wales) Regulations 2017 put in place the mechanisms needed for the operation and management of a simplified system for scheduled monument consent applications. A streamlined application process will only be permitted for minor, beneficial works to a scheduled monument. 

Recovery of costs for urgent works to listed buildings (Section 30(6) of the 2016 Act)

The Listed Buildings (Urgent Works) (Interest on Expenses) Order 2017 sets the interest rate that can be levied on the costs of urgent works at the Bank of England Base Rate plus 2%. This allows the 2016 Act’s provisions on urgent works to listed buildings to come into full effect from 31 May. Local authorities will consequently be able to make the costs of urgent works a local land charge and collect interest on outstanding sums.

Statutory historic environment records (Sections 35 to 37 of the 2016 Act)

These sections place a duty on the Welsh Ministers to compile and maintain a historic environment record for each Welsh local authority area. They must also publish statutory guidance on the compilation and use of the records for local and National Park authorities and Natural Resources Wales. That guidance, Historic Environment Records: Compilation and Use, was published on 10 April, allowing these provisions to come into force.

The existing regional historic environment records are discharging this duty on behalf of the Welsh Ministers. The Archwilio website provides public access to the historic environment records for each local authority area.

The full texts of the new regulations are available from legislation.gov.uk.