Draft Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site

The draft Management Plan for the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site has been created by Edinburgh World Heritage, Historic Scotland and the Council. It was approved by the Planning Committee of the Council as a draft for consultation and we are now seeking your help to further develop and finalise the plan.Read more


The case of Orkney Wind Turbines

Stenness, Orkney; Copyright: Historic Scotland

Scottish Ministers announced today their decision to refuse planning permission for the proposed development of three wind turbines at Merranblo, Stromness, Orkney. The application was considered at a local public inquiry in January 2008. ICOMOS-UK appeared at the inquiry along with other organisations, such as Historic Scotland, Orkney Archaeological Trust, Orkney Skyline Concern and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The World Heritage Site (WHS) in Orkney was inscribed on the World Heritage List as “a major prehistoric cultural landscape that provides a graphic depiction of life in a remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago. […] The monuments of Orkney, dating back to 3000-2000 BC, are outstanding testimony to the cultural achievements of the Neolithic peoples of northern Europe” (UNESCO World Heritage Centre). At the Inquiry ICOMOS-UK expressed concern about the adverse impact of the turbines on the historic environment of the WHS and its setting, as we believed that the site of the proposed development was located within the area of visual impact of the WHS.

The World Heritage Convention in 1972 was set out to identify, protect and preserve for future generations cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding universal value to humanity. ICOMOS-UK believed that the erection of the proposed wind turbines would compromise this very sensitive Scottish landscape and therefore have a detrimental impact on the outstanding universal value for which the WHS was inscribed in 1999.

The report by the Scottish Ministers concluded that “given the international importance of the cultural heritage resources of the area […] the objective of preserving these monuments within an appropriate setting is consistent with the fundamental objectives of national policy”.

Bath School plan dropped

Sir James Dyson on 7 October scrapped plans for a  £56 million School of Design Innovation in Bath at the old Stothert and Pitt site at South Quays within the City of Bath World Heritage site, which the forthcoming UNESCO/ICOMOS joint mission was to have considered.

The Bath Chronicle reported that Dyson abandoned his plan after the Government’s rejection of a funding proposal and after facing a planning inquiry last August, which was called due to opposition from the Environment Agency.

The school had originally been due to open this autumn. Read full article on the Bath school plans.

New proposals for Stonehenge – Consultation

Tom Goskar

Stonehenge and its surroundings, photo: Tom Goskar

New proposals have been unveiled to revise the Stonehenge World Heritage Site Management Plan and to improve the environment around the monument and restore its landscape setting. New visitor facilities and interpretation centre are also integral to the proposals for the better presentation of this World Heritage Site. In December 2007, the UK government committed to make these changes in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Everyone, professionals and members of the public, have been invited to take part in this consultation and presentation to visitors in time for the 2012 Olympics have been unveiled for public consultation. These proposals have been developed by English Heritage on behalf of other heritage and government organisations to take forward the Government’s commitment to make environmental improvements at Stonehenge.
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Protection of World Heritage Sites – Consultation in England

The Department for Communities and Local Government in the UK has published its consultation on the draft Planning Circular. This consultation document seeks views on measures proposed by the Department for Communities and Local Government to enhance the protection of World Heritage Sites in England (not UK-wide). The document also contains guidance from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and English Heritage.

The Government gave a commitment to introduce protection measures in its white paper Heritage Protection for the 21st Century.

Closing date: 22 August 2008

Protection of World Heritage Sites: Consultation paper

Heritage Protection for the 21st Century (PDF). A UK Government White Paper

Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention