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    B552 - Sustainable Cities (Listing) Bill 2013, TSR Green Party



    Sustainable Cities (Listing) Act 2013


    An Act to increase restrictions on demolition of sound buildings and reverse years of damaging planning policy in Northern England.


    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-


    1. Introduction of Grade III listed status
    (1) The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 shall be amended as follows:-
    (2) A listing of Grade III status shall be introduced for which the qualifications shall be architectural merit, sustainability and condition
    (i) Architectural merit shall be judged on whether the building compliments the existing street scene, whether it displays any interesting or rare features and whether it is of consistent design quality.
    (ii) Sustainability shall be judged on the extent to which a building conforms to modern standards of internal heat, light and space and whether, if those are not currently met, they could be met reasonably.
    (iii) Condition shall be judged on the ability to bring the building to a decent state of repair within a reasonable time and budgetary framework judged against the cost of demolition and construction of a new building.
    (3) Grade III listed buildings may not be demolished, altered externally or significantly extended without the granting of Listed Building Consent under the existing system. The restrictions on internal alteration will not be maintained.
    (4) The presumption will always be in favour of preserving listed buildings.


    2. Appeals and Application
    (1) Applications for Grade II status can be made by individuals, local councils, planning authorities, community groups and charities.
    (2) Applications will be administered by a new department created within English Heritage to be funded by appeal costs and a 1% levy against land purchases from local authorities by private companies.
    (3) Grade III listing can be appealed, any successful application must show the local planning authority that renovating existing buildings would be prohibitively expensive or that the merits of a new development would outweigh any community or environmental benefits of retaining existing buildings.
    (4) Any surplus in funds from appeals and the levy will be added to the discretionary fund for grants to repair listed buildings.


    3. Repeal and reversal of Pathfinder
    (1) Any continuing Pathfinder Housing Market Renewal schemes will immediately be halted.
    (2) A fund of £1bn over the course of 4 years will be allocated by the Secretary of State to local councils adversely affected by the Pathfinder scheme to allow them to rebuild and repair.
    (3) This will be funded by a 2% levy on stamp duty on homes not meeting or not assessed for a BREEAM rating of C or below.


    4. Commencement, short title and extent
    (1) This Act may be cited as the Sustainable Cities (Listing) Act 2013
    (2) This bill shall extend to England
    (3) Shall come into force from 1st January 2014 following Royal Assent.


    Notes
    1. Introduction of Grade III listed status
    This section of the bill creates a new statutory instrument to prevent the destruction of hundreds of thousands of good-quality buildings in the needless churn of urban redevelopment. It will encourage local communities to protect what they value and re-strike the balance between individuals, local authorities and the behemoth housing companies.
    Convert, Not Kill - The Victorian Society
    Housing and sustainability: demolition or refurbishment? - Institute of Civil Engineers
    University plans highly damaging - The Victorian Society
    Earls Court: Kensington and Chelsea's go ahead can't hide the contradictions - The Guardian
    Trouble at mill: recession brings renewed threat of bulldozers - The Guardian
    Broadgate demolition threat - 20th Century Society
    After the Heygate estate, a grey future awaits - The Guardian
    Anger surrounds demise of 1970s housing estate - The Guardian

    3. Repeal and reversal of Pathfinder
    Pathfinder was one of the most damaging and under-reported scandals of the New Labour era. Huge swaths of solid, Victorian housing stock were demolished across the North of England to make way for 'urban renewal'. This left thousands out of pocket and out of home, destroyed communities and vastly inflated the property bubble and when it eventually burst it left dozens of expanses of wasteland where once there had been perfectly serviceable housing and close-knit communities. Although the scheme is mostly wound-up it's effects still continue and this Bill goes some way to repair and rebuild and prevents any lingering projects such as the demolition of the Welsh Streets in Liverpool.
    Housing Scandal! Pathfinder: A Post-Mortem - Save Britain's Heritage
    Stoke suffers de-generation after homes scheme collapse - BBC News
    Pathfinder: The Great Demolition - Save the Welsh Streets
    Pathfinder demolitions are ‘monstrous’ - The Times
    Kelly does more harm than the Luftwaffe - The Telegraph
    Pathfinder outrage: revamp funds unlawfully used for demolition - Architect's Journal
    Living in limbo under failed housing renewal plans - The Guardian
    Housing crisis in the north of England deepens - The Guardian
    Liverpool's regeneration screeches to a halt following coalition cuts - The Guardian
    Pathfinder was slum clearances without the socialism - The Guardian
    How Pathfinder lost its way - The Guardian
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    YES...I'm fed up of the mindless vandalism of our architecture and history, all in the name of progress and profit.

    Huge Aye and great bill
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    Good to see Pathfinder being abolished but I'm not sure why we shouldn't just extend Grade II listing instead of introducing another category.
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    Grade II is pretty broad in my experience, we don't need to be adding to that.
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    Aye aye, some excellent examples of history and heritage are being torn down in my home city.
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    I'm undecided at the moment.

    On the one hand i see that there are many old houses which are good enough to provide housing, on the other i imagine that new housing is probably safer, better insulated and of generally better quality.

    I'll watch the debate and decide my position at a later time.
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    The destruction of our countryside and green belt is probably the only policy area on which the Greens and UKIP will agree.

    Aye from me.
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    Aye!
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    Aye

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    A couple of things strike me from just a brief read through the bill.

    My first question is this: are you going to give English Heritage (and by proxy Cadw and Historic Scotland) additional resources to employ more buildings inspectors to be able to undertake the work involved in this new listings grade? Bearing in mind that, for the most part, all of the heritage management bodies in this country are struggling to keep up with demand on their resources for listing of buildings and scheduling of monuments.

    My second question is how does this all square up with the variations within Grade II listings? That is, Grade II* and Grade II itself. Given that, in essence, Grade II* is utilised by heritage managers to protect buildings of the kind you describe in this bill, it seems to me somewhat folly to institute a wholly new grade - Grade III - without even mentioning Grade II*.

    I have others, but I'll see how we go with these first.
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    Funnily enough, English Heritage and to a lesser extent the two other bodies that you mention are actually faring reasonably well in terms of resources. The problem is more that local authorities lack the resources or expertise to do what they are meant to.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Funnily enough, English Heritage and to a lesser extent the two other bodies that you mention are actually faring reasonably well in terms of resources. The problem is more that local authorities lack the resources or expertise to do what they are meant to.
    You say that but I actually worked for a branch of Cadw and my experience, and that of my colleagues throughout the organisation, was wholly contrary to your assertion.

    Local planning authorities, which comprise, in the main, councillors, rely on the say-so of a bunch of fuddy-duddy old councillors (who aren't often that bright) who rely on the advice of officers, conservation officers in this instance, who frequently turn to Cadw, EH and HS for advice and assistance. The chain is broken the minute you involve councillors. Change that and you have my vote.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    You say that but I actually worked for a branch of Cadw and my experience, and that of my colleagues throughout the organisation, was wholly contrary to your assertion.
    I see your personal experience and check you an hour long briefing with the head of English Heritage. But I'm not saying they're fine, I'm just saying that they're not doing as badly as you might think they would be. They're certainly doing better than I had expected before I was given information. I remember less about the Welsh equivalent than the Scottish but they're not dead in the water at any rate.
    Local planning authorities, which comprise, in the main, councillors, rely on the say-so of a bunch of fuddy-duddy old councillors (who aren't often that bright) who rely on the advice of officers, conservation officers in this instance, who frequently turn to Cadw, EH and HS for advice and assistance. The chain is broken the minute you involve councillors. Change that and you have my vote.
    It's not just councillers, it;s civil servants too, sadly.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    I see your personal experience and check you an hour long briefing with the head of English Heritage. But I'm not saying they're fine, I'm just saying that they're not doing as badly as you might think they would be. They're certainly doing better than I had expected before I was given information. I remember less about the Welsh equivalent than the Scottish but they're not dead in the water at any rate.
    Simon Thurley is an obnoxious oik of an individual (who isn't much liked) but if you wish to go on that, fine, I just prefer you don't talk down to me about a topic that is very much an area where I have expertise - my 4 years and the careers of several people with 30 years or more in the field. The staff of EH, Cadw and Historic Scotland (along with the Royal Commissions) work very hard to achieve the results they do, which is why they are not dead in the water - your phrase and implication, not mine. I simply said they're struggling and you're about to heap a whole new load of material on them which will stretch the staff even further.

    It's not just councillers, it;s civil servants too, sadly.
    Yeah, y'see, I mentioned the civil servants in what I said but they aren't the ones making the ultimate decisions in terms of the local planning authority - the councillors are.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Simon Thurley is an obnoxious oik of an individual (who isn't much liked) but if you wish to go on that, fine, I just prefer you don't talk down to me about a topic that is very much an area where I have expertise - my 4 years and the careers of several people with 30 years or more in the field. The staff of EH, Cadw and Historic Scotland (along with the Royal Commissions) work very hard to achieve the results they do, which is why they are not dead in the water - your phrase and implication, not mine. I simply said they're struggling and you're about to heap a whole new load of material on them which will stretch the staff even further.
    If I were talkign down you would know. And if I wanted to say that I thought heritage organisations were doing badly I would have said that as opposed to doing the exact opposite. But you are right about the need to increase resources, perhaps we'll slip something in.
    Yeah, y'see, I mentioned the civil servants in what I said but they aren't the ones making the ultimate decisions in terms of the local planning authority - the councillors are.
    Well yes but as you know there's more to it than this. There's more to policy than decision makers, which is the point I was making.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Well yes but as you know there's more to it than this. There's more to policy than decision makers, which is the point I was making.
    Yes, that's all well and good, but for the most part conservation officers are trained to do what they do, so have at least some grasp on the task at hand. Were I writing this kind of bill, I would take the opportunity to wrest this form of planning application and consent out of the hands of the planning authorities and vest it in the hands of EH (since this bill talks only of England - how Brooke-ian). Since you're unlikely to do that, the next best thing is tackling the incompetence of local government and ensuring that there is greater oversight of the planning decisions of old men and women who get elected to councils.

    Perhaps, with all that out of the way, you'll pass along an answer to the second half of my original post regarding Grade II*, which, it seems to me, would be robust enough to provide for your intents here and is used to that effect already.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Yes, that's all well and good, but for the most part conservation officers are trained to do what they do, so have at least some grasp on the task at hand. Were I writing this kind of bill, I would take the opportunity to wrest this form of planning application and consent out of the hands of the planning authorities and vest it in the hands of EH (since this bill talks only of England - how Brooke-ian). Since you're unlikely to do that, the next best thing is tackling the incompetence of local government and ensuring that there is greater oversight of the planning decisions of old men and women who get elected to councils.

    Perhaps, with all that out of the way, you'll pass along an answer to the second half of my original post regarding Grade II*, which, it seems to me, would be robust enough to provide for your intents here and is used to that effect already.
    Oh I thought we changed it frm just England. That'll change in second reading, the author isn't as active as he once was.

    I have very little time for II*. I'm inclined to delete it and replace it with this, extending II as appropriate.
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    Oh I thought we changed it frm just England. That'll change in second reading, the author isn't as active as he once was.
    Interesting, given that, for the most part planning legislation is devolved.

    I have very little time for II*. I'm inclined to delete it and replace it with this, extending II as appropriate.
    Yet II* is precisely what the inspectors recommend when listing buildings such as those you describe above. You have very little time for a category you're practically replicating, which strikes me as a bit odd. II* saved my local swimming pool, it saved miners' institutes across the region, and it has preserved classic 1930s buildings in the civic quarter of Cardiff. It will preserve odd pieces of architecture such as the front building of the National Folk Museum in Cardiff or Brecon Public Library. I could go on but I'm sure the effect is apparent already.
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    Interesting, given that, for the most part planning legislation is devolved.
    Yeah large parts of it are bu, the fact that TSR rarely cares for such things aside, we can play about.
    Yet II* is precisely what the inspectors recommend when listing buildings such as those you describe above. You have very little time for a category you're practically replicating, which strikes me as a bit odd. II* saved my local swimming pool, it saved miners' institutes across the region, and it has preserved classic 1930s buildings in the civic quarter of Cardiff. It will preserve odd pieces of architecture such as the front building of the National Folk Museum in Cardiff or Brecon Public Library. I could go on but I'm sure the effect is apparent already.
    Yes I understand what II* does. I just don't particularly like its set up.
 
 
 
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