Queen's speech announces Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill

In the Queen’s Speech yesterday morning, a new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill was announced which will further the Government’s agenda to reform and speed up the planning processes. The Bill includes measures to introduce changes to the way that pre-commencement planning conditions are used, with the intention outlined that they will be used by local planning authorities only where they are ‘absolutely necessary’. This is likely to mean a further assault on the provisions in place to ensure the protection or heritage assets of archaeological significance in the planning system, following on from the introduction of measures in the Housing & Planning Act. You can read a CIfA briefing on the Housing and Planning Act here.

Another piece of legislation outlined in the Speech is a Cultural Property Bill which will clear the path for the UK to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and follows recent discussions centered on the Government's plans to institute a new Cultural Protection Fund for international cultural heritage.

CIfA will be meeting with colleagues in the sector in the coming days to discuss the various challenges and opportunities which arise from the proposals.