Rescue Says

Opinion pieces – tell us what matters to you about heritage.

Rescue says: Government announcement on local lists

On the 23rd October 2019, the government announced new measures to be undertaken as part of what the Communities, Housing and Local Government  Secretary  of State, Robert Jenrick MP, called the “most ambitious heritage preservation campaign for 40 years”. He said that with the historic environment singled out as a “key function of the planning system” the government is taking action to encourage greater listings and has provided additional funding (£700k) to kick-start an initiative whereby local people will be “empowered to nominate heritage assets which are important to them” to add to a new or augmented local lists drawn up […]

2019-10-31T08:31:05+00:0031 October, 2019|0 Comments

RESCUE statement on Brexit

RESCUE Members will no doubt be unsurprised to learn that there are zero provisions made for heritage, archaeology or the historic environment in general, within the terms of the UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement. This may not be as unsurprising as you might think however, as few, if any, of the major international structures that underpin the UK’s heritage legislative infrastructure stem from our membership (or otherwise) of the European Union. Most – such as the 1992 European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (“Valletta Convention”) or the 2001 European Landscape Convention (“Florence Convention”) – originate from our membership of the Council of Europe, […]

2019-10-18T17:35:06+00:0018 October, 2019|0 Comments

Notre Dame and the risk to ancient buildings: Rescue write to The Times

Rescue have recently had the following letter published in The Times, on Wednesday April 17th, 2019.

Notre Dame and the risk to ancient buildings

Sir, The terrible scenes are a sobering reminder of the peril faced by historic buildings during renovation works.  Tinder-dry and filled with the dust of centuries, such structures are especially at risk as the events in Paris, Windsor Castle and the Cutty Sark attest. Yet at Notre Dame, hope for restoration is already high. A full survey of the structure exists, which will enable any elements of the fabric now lost to be recreated and replaced.

Here in the […]

2019-04-18T06:54:51+00:0018 April, 2019|0 Comments

RESCUE says: Proposed changes to ‘Treasure’ rules include some of our policy proposals

The long anticipated new review of the Treasure Act is out for consultation until the end of April 2019.  It covers various aspects of the procedure in the Treasure Act Code of Practice (last updated 2007) to improve delivery speeds. It removes the overlap between Church of England and Treasure laws (in favour of the CoE, not necessarily the best solution although maybe the simplest) in relation to burials in consecrated ground, an anomaly noted for resolution in discussions about the bill in 1996.

As before (in 2002) it suggests extensions to the original Treasure definition, this time to include:

2019-02-25T21:07:31+00:0025 February, 2019|Tags: |0 Comments

Pre-Commencement Conditions & obtaining applicant consent: Archaeology

Rescue is offering ideas and comment in the following paper about the impact on archaeology of the changes to pre-commencement planning conditions which come into force in October. We welcome any constructive comments on this.

Pre-Commencement Conditions & obtaining applicant consent: Archaeology


The process of assessing, identifying and removing archaeological remains from a site threatened by development has been an integral part of the planning process since the drafting and adoption of PPG16 in 1990. That these archaeological tasks must largely take place before development commences is clearly an unavoidable fact given the nature of the majority of the archaeological resource and, […]

2018-12-13T18:47:18+00:006 August, 2018|Tags: , |0 Comments

Rescue Says: Proposed changes to NPPF will leave the planning system unfit for purpose

Revisions to the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) are currently being consulted on and Rescue is extremely concerned to report that we believe, if enacted, these revisions will leave the system no longer fit for purpose as an effective tool for the sensitive and sustainable management of our heritage resources. These revisions offered an opportunity to address genuine issues with NPPF which David Cameron’s coalition introduced as part of a “bonfire” of quangos and legislation, designed to make the planning system simpler. The current Government is pursuing a policy of deliberate arson – removing heritage protection principles a piece at […]

2018-12-13T18:47:17+00:0023 April, 2018|Tags: |0 Comments

Rescue Says: Shocking burglary at Canterbury Archaeological Trust Store

The whole archaeological community and beyond will have been shocked and outraged by the recent ransacking of the Canterbury Archaeological Trust’s stores, and the theft of innumerable and irreplaceable archaeological artefacts. We would urge anyone who might know anything that leads to the safe recovery of any of these items, to immediately report their concerns to the Police. Two things that may be missed in this situation however, are the perennial issue surrounding the national dearth of archaeological archive storage, and the state of the UK antiquities market which allows for material such as has been stolen to be sold […]

2018-10-30T20:06:55+00:005 February, 2018|0 Comments

Do museums want to hold specialist collections?

It seems that many local authority museums are less and less interested in the special knowledge that is held within their collections, including of course the archaeological archives which are a key part of the end product of archaeological excavations.

Recently Rescue wrote to Hampshire Cultural Trust, which has managed museums on behalf of Hampshire County Council (to whom Rescue also sent a letter) and Winchester Borough Council since 2014, about whether their current round of redundancies reflected a change of circumstances since the Trust was formed or over-optimism in the initial plans.

It appears that this trust, and doubtless also the […]

2018-02-04T19:28:58+00:004 February, 2018|0 Comments

Rescue says: Kicking the Football Down the Road at the Palace

If a person has a heart attack, or suffers from lung disease, a doctor’s advice can be sought and there are drugs available that can treat these conditions, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes, the treatments are almost as harsh as the disease and a person might still die from these conditions. But: if the medical profession researches the working of the heart and lungs and can then offer advice about healthy diets, not smoking and exercise, and through genetic knowledge identify those people more at risk of heart attacks and lung diseases, perhaps the person could not only be […]

2018-10-30T20:06:55+00:0015 December, 2017|0 Comments

Rescue says: No to environmentally damaging planning reform

Following our recent exchange of views with Sir Mark Boleat regarding his recommendations to remove archaeological planning conditions and his denial of developer ‘land-banking’ as published in a report from the Housing and Finance Initiative (cited as a government ‘think tank’), Rescue is pleased to see the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s apparent rejection of Sir Mark’s potentially environmentally-damaging planning reform proposals in this week’s budget.

We are looking forward to working constructively with the government and others to ensure that archaeology and the other environmental issues he targeted can be incorporated into a successful planning regime.

2018-12-13T18:44:39+00:0024 November, 2017|Tags: |0 Comments
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