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Problems with the existing legislation

There are over 4,200 scheduled monuments and more than 30,000 listed buildings in Wales and the great majority are in private ownership. The designation, protection and regular management of these historic assets are controlled respectively by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (the 1979 Act) and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990 (the 1990 Act). Since formal consents are needed for many works to historic assets and unauthorised works are criminal offences, owners, agents and consenting authorities must make frequent use of the Acts.

However, when they turn to the Acts, they find legislation that seems to be out of step with the current devolution settlement, is cluttered with amendments and is impenetrable to an ordinary reader.