At the end of March, RJP made representations to the government’s consultation on proposed changes to the NPPF objecting to the inclusion of a new paragraph 197. This new paragraph states:
“In considering any applications to remove or alter a historic statue, plaque or memorial (whether listed or not), local planning authorities should have regard to the importance of retaining these heritage assets, and where appropriate, of explaining their historic and social context rather than removal.”
We contended that the government’s policy of ‘retain and explain’ with regard to monuments does not provide a clear basis on which to assess proposals for removal and duplicates existing protections. In addition, the ‘retain and explain’ policy ignores other legitimate options available to communities seeking to create a more inclusive public realm, including removal and relocation of monuments.
If you are interested in engaging further with this discussion, the Contemporary Arts Society is holding a webinar on 15th April at 18:00 entitled “Commemoration and Confrontation: Memorials as Political Acts”. Please follow this link to find out more and register.