HC Deb 03 December 1990 vol 182 cc24-5W
Mr. Adley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the buildings on which he has served a section 54 notice concerning the preservation of historic buildings; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Trippier

Under section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, previously section 101 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, a local planning authority may, after service of a notice, execute any works which appear to them to be urgently necessary for the preservation of unoccupied (or unoccupied parts) of a listed building; and section 55 provides for recovery of expenses. In Greater London, these powers are also available to English Heritage.

In addition, the Secretary of State has the power to serve a notice under section 54. Since 1 April 1984 this power has had to be exercised through English Heritage, who serve the notice when authorised to do so by the Secretary of State and carry out the works on his behalf.

The Secretary of State served a notice under section 101 of the 1971 Act in 1981 in respect of the grade I listed Barlaston hall, Staffordshire, and in 1987 he authorised English Heritage to serve a section 101 notice in respect of the grade I listed Revesby abbey, Lincolnshire.

Successive Secretaries of State have made it clear that they would serve or authorise the service of a section 54 notice only where the building concerned is of exceptional interest.

Mr. Mallon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give details of the total Government expenditure on the upkeep, care and protection of historic buildings and monuments in England in each year since 1980.

Mr. Trippier

[holding answer 29 November 1990]: Government funding for the upkeep, care and protection of historic buildings and monuments in England (and for the protection and promotion of the heritage generally) is channelled through a number of non-departmental public bodies, agencies and departmental programmes. The main ones are English Heritage (established in 1984), the National Heritage Memorial Fund (established in 1980), the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, the Historic Royal Palaces Agency (established in 1989), and the royal parks and royal palaces programme.

The total allocation of resources to the full range of agencies and programmes supported by the Department has risen from about £55 million net in 1980–81 to a planned budget of £173.6 million in 1991–92. Not all these resources are spent on historic buildings and monuments, and there have been a number of changes in policy, organisation and responsibilities since 1980 which preclude direct comparisons between Government expenditure on buildings and monuments over the last 10 years. However, the main source of support for this category of the heritage are the repair grant schemes run directly by the Department prior to 1984 and by English Heritage thereafter. Expenditure on these schemes was £12 million in 1979, against English Heritage's planned budget of £35 million in 1991–92 which includes provision for the new grant scheme to assist repairs to historic cathedrals. Additionally, English Heritage owns or manages on behalf of the state over 400 properties and sites, on which about £25 million net expenditure is planned in 1991–92. The Historic Royal Palaces Agency's planned net expenditure in 1991–92 is £9.3 million and planned net expenditure on the occupied royal palaces, other historic buildings and state ceremonial in that year is £30.8 million.