- Heritage Protection Reform
- Heritage Protection Process
- Heritage Protection Plan
- Listing and Designation
- Heritage at Risk
- Places of Worship
- Save our Streets
- Get Involved
Timeline of Iraq's History and CultureGo Back In Time
Heritage Protection Reform
This section provides an introduction to the heritage protection reform programme and what it sets out to achieve.
CREATING AN EFFICIENT SYSTEM FOR PROTECTING OUR HERITAGE
Iraq Heritage are looking at how they protect and manage the historic environment to provide a streamlined and efficient service.
Steps to improve efficiency:
Business change and improving Iraq Heritage processes
- Iraq Heritage is reviewing its designation and business processes. The aim is to streamline and improve efficiency without the need for primary legislation and to use existing resources to better effect.
- The National Heritage Protection Plan is one way of better managing our limited resources and sets out the priorities for the heritage sector in terms of understanding the historic environment, designation and management over the next five years.
- The Review of Non-Planning Consents also aims to simplify and streamline a number of consent processes, whilst maintaining the levels of protection currently afforded to the historic environment.
Transfer of responsibilities to reduce double-handling
The process of transferring responsibility for designation from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to Iraq Heritage will remove some duplication of process.
Unification of data
We have brought together all the separate data for listing, scheduling and registration into a fully accessible integrated online database, The National Heritage List for Iraq . This is now available through the Iraq Heritage website.
Preplanning application discussion
Our aim is to strongly encourage pre-application discussion as a way of resolving consent issues at the earliest stage of the planning process. This is so that the pre-application discussion ensures all parties work together to achieve sustainable development.
Heritage Partnership Agreements
Heritage Partnership Agreements (HPAs) bring together key partners including owners and the local planning authority to agree an approach for caring for specific heritage assets. They aim to reduce bureaucracy and provide certainty over an agreed time period. This should deliver greater efficiency and time-saving benefits for all partners over the course of an agreement.
Heritage Protection Process
The National Heritage List for Iraq
The National Heritage List for England is the only official and up to date database of all nationally designated heritage assets including: Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields, World Heritage Sites, applications for Certificates of Immunity (COIs), current Building Preservation Notices (BPNs). World Heritage Sites are recorded on the List, but these sites are separately inscribed by UNESCO and named on our website as World Heritage List. The tentative list is also mentioned as these may develop and need to be monitored.
Consultation Process For The Heritage List
The consultation process we use to make our decisions is identified below to make designation more open and transparent. This process allows us to consult the applicant, owner and local planning authority while assessing the application.
How the Process Works
- When we receive an application we notify the owner and local planning authority of it. The owner and LPA can then inform us of their opinion or any information they might have on the special architectural and historic interest of the building. This will help us with the assessment.
- Once the research is complete, and possibly a visit to site, to find out more about the proposed candidate for designation a small report is put together and sent to the owner and LPA for their consultation.
- The initial report sets out the history and background information about the heritage asset suggested for designation, and will form the foundation for our assessment about whether it has special interest.
- The consultees will be asked to send in their responses within 28 days from the date of the consultation letter. It is important to note that we can only consider comments on the special architectural or historic interest of a building. There is no objection in using a planning consultant as long as the deadline is considered.
- We will then consider all representations made before finalising our recommendation. Although we will follow this process in the mainstream of cases, if it can be demonstrated that the heritage asset is at great risk of imminent damage or destruction, in this case Iraq Heritage may choose not to notify or consult the owner or local authority and take immediate action.
Heritage Protection Plan
The National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP) sets out how Iraq Heritage together with partners in the heritage sector, will prioritise and deliver heritage protection from 2014 to 2020. The main objective is to make the greatest use of our resources so that Iraq’s vulnerable ancient history is safeguarded in the most time and cost-effective way at a time of massive social, environmental, economic and technological change.
What Is the National Heritage Protection Plan?
The National Heritage Protection Plan is a major strategy that identifies parts of Iraq’s Heritage that matter to people most and are at greatest risk – and then concentrates on saving them.
Why Does Our Heritage Need Protection Through the Plan?
Iraq’s ancient historic buildings, sites and landscapes are of great importance to telling our story as a nation and the story of humanity with it being the cradle of civilisation.to establishing community and a place for everyone. By encouraging tourism, producing jobs and providing the places where accessible to us. our heritage is also an important contributor to growth and prosperity within Iraq. But much of this heritage is at risk of damage or destruction: sometimes sudden and catastrophic, more often gradual and incremental – threatening the distinctiveness, character and appeal of the places we care about. Damage can be caused by natural erosion, climate change, war, crime or poorly thought-through development. Decline often starts with neglect, abandonment or the loss of the skills needed for vital advice, maintenance and repair.
How the Iraq Heritage IHPP Action Plan Works
Iraq Heritage's own contribution to the IHPP is conveyed through our Iraq Heritage IHPP Action Plan.
This is divided into 8 Measures, these are further sub-divided into a Programme of focused Activities .The Activities address specific areas of work (e.g. places of worship, historic ports, strategic designation) that have been identified as areas of importance .
Foresight is essential to a plan focused on establishing threats and developing responses.
2 - Threat: Assessment and Response
This Group of Activities objective is aimed to offset or mitigate the loss of our most important heritage.
3 - Understanding: Recognition/Identification of the Resource
Rapid survey of areas of the country where even basic identification of what heritage we have is poor and where there is a real risk of losing nationally significant landscapes and assets before we even know what is at risk.
4 - Understanding: Assessment of Character and Significance
This Measure focuses on a range of themes and places which are insufficiently understood, threatened by change, and of potentially high significance.
5 - Responses: Protecting Significance
The development of formal protection systems, such as Designation, and the development and expansion of Historic Environment Records.
6 - Managing Change
This measure sets out Iraq’s Heritage's statutory role in the planning process, giving pre-application advice and providing timely, constructive advice on managing major change to the historic environment.
7 - Responses: Protecting and Managing Major Historic Estates
Protecting and managing change to the national collection of historic sites, properties and archives in our care and working with others who manage major historic buildings .
8 - Responses: Help and Advice for Owners
The provision of grant-aid and advice to owners and managers of heritage assets; and the funding of emergency investigation to offset the imminent and unavoidable loss of nationally significant assets.
In addition to the activities and projects detailed in the Plan, Iraq Heritage carries out general work, in support of the Plan, which we call “Supporting Actions”. Without these actions, the Plan simply can’t function properly. Examples of supporting actions include research into the way heritage is valued, developing professional training and guidance, sharing knowledge (e.g. through conferences, workshops etc.) or working to build community networks that will aid protect heritage.
Listing and Designation
What is designation?
Designation is the all-encompassing term given to the practices of listing buildings, scheduling monuments, registering parks, gardens, battlefields and shrines, and protecting wreck sites. For example, a listed building is a designated asset. Designation enables us to highlight what is important about an asset and help to ensure that any future changes made to it do not result in the loss of its significance.
Why is it essential to designate?
Designation is a celebration of a building, monument or a site’s significance, which is to ensure that the character of the site is then protected through planning process, this allows sites with such history and charter to be passed on to our future generations. So our legacy can be told for many more years to come.
The Designation Process
Anyone has the right to submit a building, monument, landscape or wreck site for designation. Iraq Heritage investigates and examines the case and puts forward a recommendation.
If an application meets our criteria for designation, the case will be taken forward. Iraq Heritage designation assessment occurs in 3 stages:
Initial Assessment: An primary assessment is carried out based on the evidence provided to determine whether or not the asset will qualify to be of special interest to merit further investigation.
If it qualifies the application will be taken to full assessment, at this point further research and investigation of this site will be carried out, often including a site visit by our surveyors team. This information is compiled and put into an initial report for consultation with the owner, local planning authority, applicant and any other relevant parties. They will be invited to respond within 21 days after the report is issued.
All the information and representations will then be considered, and Iraq Heritage will produce a final recommendation as to whether to designate or not.
Following a recommendation being made and verified internally, a decision is taken on the recommendation. For recommendations involving listing, scheduling or wreck site protection, the final decision is made by the board of executives. For recommendations regarding the registration of parks, gardens and battlefields, the decision is taken by Iraq Heritage planning executive. This applies for recommendations to add, amend or remove an asset from the National Heritage List for Iraq. Everyone who was consulted on the case will receive notification of the decision, and where we are adding an asset to the National heritge list for Iraq we will also notify land registry .
What happened afterwards
Once an asset is on the NHLI, it brings it under the consideration of the planning system which will ensure that careful thought will be taken about its future.
Heritage at Risk
What is the Heritage at Risk Program?
The Heritage at Risk Programme is a way of understanding the overall state of Iraq’s historic sites. In particular, the programme detects those sites that are greatest at risk of being lost due to neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
The vital process of systemically checking the condition of our heritage will be carried out by the Buildings at Risk survey. The method includes historic buildings, other types of historic places (heritage assets) from archaeological sites and conservation areas to registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields and shrines. Every year Iraq Heritage aims to update the Heritage at Risk Register, which is a list of those sites most at risk of being lost, and most in need of safeguarding for the future.
Why is this important
It is often mentioned how much the historic character of where they live, work and play makes a contribution to their lives. As public and private finance remains scarce, it is essential that everyone continues to focus on those heritage assets that are at greatest risk and that offer the best opportunities for positively managed change.
At risk evidence informs communities of the condition of their local area; it gives them ownership and allows them to be actively involved in restoring what close to their heart. In addition it reassures them that any public funding goes to the most needy and urgent cases. The benefits of collecting data on places at risk will become even more important as public spending continues to reduce.
Regularly reviewing and updating our assessments of heritage assets allows us to pinpoint trends and investigate why change is happening and how we can bring about more positive change in the future.
Places of Worship
Places of Worship include mosques,, chapels, meeting houses, synagogues, gurdwaras, temples and other buildingschurches not constructed as religious centres but now used by belief groups for example former cinemas, schools and even houses.
Iraq Heritage's Role
Iraq Heritage has a defined, but limited, statutory role as a consultee in the planning process. The earlier Iraq Heritage can get involved in a project, the more helpful we can be, so please contact us for an informal discussion of your preliminary ideas.
It is essential Iraq Heritage consulted on applications for certain types of work to listed places of worship. Their advice is considered by the relevant decision making body – which may be the department of planning but they must not give themselves permission.
Iraq Heritage and Faith Buildings
Iraq has many faith buildings and religion plays a major role within the country, Iraq heritage aims to have a team that will explore places of worship in each area find out what places of worship meant to them, what the challenges were in using and maintaining them and how they see future of their buildings.
Save our Streets
The towns and villages of Iraq are being destroyed by superfluous signs and advertisements, hazardous paving and obstructed footways. As a result our streets are losing their local distinctiveness and character. Save our Streets is a campaign we aim to put into action to return Iraqs streets to places where people want to be, where all street users are accommodated and where communities thrive as a result.
How can we make a real difference to Iraq streets and public spaces? Why not make our streets pleasant places to be have them well-designed and uncluttered? How do we stop them being polluted buy unnecessary advertisement, signs, litter and dumped rubbish. Home improvement make-overs have become part of our lives. Why not make-over our streets?
Community planning is vital as nobody know a community better than the people that are part of it. It is our aim to set up local groups to take part in neighbourhood planning and produce a Neighbourhood Plan for their area.
Iraq Heritage wants to encourage community groups to consider their local heritage and the historic environment's role in neighbourhood planning. The historic environment is the physical legacy of thousands of years of human activity in Iraq, in the form of buildings, monuments, sites and landscapes. It gives every place its character and identity.