Rescue Says

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

Rescue Says: UNESCO has severely criticised the UK Government for its treatment of the World Heritage Site of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City

This comes in a report published ahead of a UNESCO meeting next week. The Liverpool site was given World Heritage Site status in 2004, but since then and particularly from around 2012 when it was officially placed on the “In Danger” list (detailed in Rescue News 114 &115), the report catalogues a series of fundamental …

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RESCUE says: Shocking news from Sheffield University as the administrators ignore widespread support for the Archaeology Department

So the world-renowned archaeology department of Sheffield University is to close. The final decision, by the University’s Council, was apparently conveyed by the Vice Chancellor to the archaeology staff at an online meeting of under 15 minutes at which attendees were muted. Was it feared that such a decision could not stand up under rigorous …

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Rescue write to Sheffield University Vice Chancellor concerning proposed cuts to archaeology department

Rescue have written to express our concern regarding reported proposals which threaten closure of Sheffield University’s Archaeology Department. We have added our voice to letters from across the profession which have opposed these damaging and short-sighted proposals. “Our members are astonished and appalled that this department, whose long-standing reputation for excellence and training of some …

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The Queen’s Speech: “Laws to modernise the planning system, so that more homes can be built, will be brought forward” re-iterates the fallacy that the planning process is the major impediment to the rate of housebuilding.

Archaeologists and others involved with protecting and improving the environment, both historic and natural, remain concerned about key aspects of the proposals to change the planning system. We note in the background document to the Queen’s Speech – published here (pages 61-2) that there is a continuing emphasis on the need for speed, “a simpler, …

The Queen’s Speech: “Laws to modernise the planning system, so that more homes can be built, will be brought forward” re-iterates the fallacy that the planning process is the major impediment to the rate of housebuilding. Read More »

Rescue says: it’s not only the Stonehenge decision that should worry us all

Rescue is dismayed to see how arguments surrounding the Stonehenge tunnel seem to have degenerated into a slanging match between archaeologists. How could this have happened? The argument should be focused on a decision that impacts severely on the surroundings of one of our most important monuments, not about the how, what or who of …

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Rescue Says: A303 Stonehenge DCO granted – A sad day for our archaeological heritage

On 12 November 2020 Transport Secretary Grant Shapps granted a Development Consent Order for the Stonehenge Expressway and Tunnel scheme across the World Heritage Site (WHS). His decision flies in the face of the Examining Authority’s (ExA) recommendation for refusal. The five Planning Inspectors found that“The effect of the Proposed Development on the OUV of …

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Rescue Says: a government fixated on simplification of planning law is not good for our future environment

The government has produced a White Paper for England on planning “Planning for the Future August 2020” from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) which can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future and is open for consultation until 29 October. The core proposals, which relate to local plans, ways of managing the planning system …

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Rescue says: Stonehenge scheme decision delayed again, surely time to give up?

The Transport Secretary has delayed his decision on the A303 Stonehenge Scheme until 13 November to seek the views of interested parties on the major new find around Durrington Walls.   Highways England’s immediate response was as follows: “This find is in the north east corner of the World Heritage Site, well outside the scheme …

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Rescue Says: Build, Build, Build – but what about the consequences?

Boris Johnson has today announced a range of proposed measures aimed at shocking the British Economy back into life following the COVID-19 crisis and Brexit uncertainty. These include a repeated commitment to reform the planning system. Amongst specific measures mentioned in the official press release (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-build-build-build) are previously-announced proposals to extend permitted development rights and …

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Rescue says: Coronavirus – What about the archaeology?

Public health and personal safety are paramount: Archaeological site work should not be continuing whilst the current national coronavirus protection measures are in place. It is not an essential service and the travel involved is not necessary. As at late March 2020 Government guidance says one should only go to work outside one’s home if …

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