Have your say on the new Historic Environment Policy

Formal consultation is now open for Historic Environment Scotland’s draft policy for historic environment-related planning issues

Communities, local authorities, developers and heritage sector stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft Historic Environment Policy (HEP), a key document for decision-makers in the planning process and others managing heritage assets.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) today launched a public consultation survey for the new policy, which will replace the current Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement (HESPS) in 2019.

The result of extensive consultation and peer review, HEP sets out a series of principles and policies for the recognition, care, management and sustainable use of the historic environment. The policy is part of a range of documents that decision-makers use to help them manage heritage matters, such as the Scottish Government’s own planning policy.

Consultation for HEP began in 2017 with the “What’s Your Heritage?” campaign, which asked the people of Scotland what the historic environment means to them and how it should be looked after. The first ever public consultation of its type, “What’s Your Heritage?” gathered more than 2,000 responses.

Based on the campaign and stakeholder feedback so far, HEP aims to:

  • Consolidate HES’ role as the lead public body for the historic environment
    Focus on the whole of Scotland’s historic environment, not just the properties HES is responsible for or designates
  • Demonstrate that everyone has a stake in the historic environment and how it is looked after
  • Provide leadership and best practice direction for heritage management issues
  • Show that HES has responded to public and stakeholder views
  • Align with the “Our Place in Time” strategy, the first ever Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland

HES Director of Heritage, Barbara Cummins, said:

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has given up their time to help develop HEP so far. We cast a wide net to engage with the public on this new policy and the result is truly collaborative. The draft policy reflects the people of Scotland’s views on the cultural significance of the historic environment, while also addressing the needs of decision-makers.

“We want this policy to have a positive impact and provide guidance for anyone involved in the decision-making process, as well as for people interested in and impacted by the outcome of those decisions.

“I encourage anyone who cares about decisions affecting the historic environment to comment on the draft policy over the next 12 weeks and I look forward to your responses.

HEP is a much shorter policy document than HESPS, as it will be underpinned by a series of more detailed “Managing Change” guidance documents. The Managing Change policy guidance will also be reviewed, starting with consultation on a revised ‘Demolition’ document in November. HES will also consult on revised designations, including listed buildings, policy and criteria in January.

These new policy guidance documents will be in place, alongside any other essential guidance, before HESPS is withdrawn in spring 2019.

Consultation on the draft HEP runs until Monday 3rd December.

Find out more and take the survey