the planning authorities must consult iraq heritage on planning applications, which affect certain aspects of the historic environment where they are minded to grant consent. this gives iraq heritage the opportunity to comment on and give advice on applications at an early stage.iraq heritage should be consulted on any major project also any project in the designated conservation area.
planning applications iraq heritage must be notified by the planning authority when a planning application affects:
- The setting of a listed building
- the character or appearance of a conservation area (developments over a certain size or height)
- a registered park or garden
- the site of a scheduled ancient monument
- development within the vicinity of any of the holy shrines
Applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects that affect the historic environment
- The planning procedure is to deal with planning applications for large scale projects. These projects, known as nationally significant infrastructure projects - for example power stations, railways, ports, bridges and factories.
- Before any application is submitted, the applicant must have undertaken pre-application work. This involved consultation with statutory consultees as to the possible impact of the development, including consideration of the impact on the historic environment.
- Iraq heritage aim to offer guidance and advice to applicants on who they must consult before an application was submitted. once submitted, the planning department are to determine whether the application is to be processed.
Advice for Developers
Iraq heritage aim to offer advice to property developers prior to planning application to ensure that the affect to the historical environment is kept minimal. also the fact that the preplanning advice is compulsory for all major developments.
Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance
'Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance' has been put in place to guide Iraq Heritage staff on best practice. We hope that like all of our guidance, the principles will also be read and used by local authorities, property owners, developers and professional advisers.
Iraq Heritage has set out the following six main principles.
- The historic environment is a shared resource for everyone.
- Everyone has the right to participate in sustaining the historic environment.
- Understanding the significance of places is vital.
- Areas of significant interest should be managed to sustain their values
- Decisions about change must be reasonable, transparent and consistent.
- Documenting and learning from decisions is vital.The idea of 'significance' lies at the heart of these principles. Significance is a collective term for total of all the heritage values attached to a place, be it a building an archaeological site or a larger historic area such as a whole city or landscape.
'Conservation Principles' set out a method for thinking methodically and consistently about the heritage values that can be attributed to a place. People value historic places in very many different ways; 'Conservation Principles' reveal how heritage sites can be grouped into the following categories:
Evidential value: the potential of a place to yield evidence about past human activity.
Historical value: the ways in which past people, events and aspects of life can be connected through a place to the present - it tends to be illustrative or associative.
Aesthetic value: the ways in which people draw sensory and intellectual stimulation from a place.
Communal value: the meanings of a place for the people who relate to it, or for whom it figures in their collective experience or memory.
Iraq heritage also offers advice on how to apply the principles and policies in practice and detailed interpretation of policies on repair, on intervention for research, on restoration, on new work and alteration and on enabling development.
Iraq’s protected landscapes are amongst its finest and most treasured landscapes in the world. The landscapes we see today are cultural landscapes – the result of thousands of years of human influence and the effect of people’s interactions with nature. They continue to be living and working landscapes and the people who manage the land today help safeguard their special qualities. Iraq heritage aim to officially designate all natural designations and help to safeguard them.
National Parks and AONB
Iraq’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) cover nearly a quarter of the land, which, together form some of our finest protected landscapes. As well as being landscapes of great aesthetic quality, these protected areas provide a major repository for some of our most important historic sites.
Our Natural Designations
In addition to National Parks and AONBs there are further national and international statutory environmental designations, which contribute to Iraq's natural environment and make a major contribution to national and regional character. These include the following:
- Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
- Special Protection Areas (SPA)
- National Nature Reserves (NNR)
- Local Nature Reserves (LNR)
- Marine Protected Areas (MPA)
Iraq Heritage leads the sector in a positive, well-informed and collaborative approach to conservation that we call 'Constructive Conservation'. The aim is to recognise and reinforce the historic significance of places, while accommodating the changes necessary to make sure that people can continue to use and enjoy them.
The conservation movement has evolved from a reactive process, focusing on preventing change, into a flexible process of helping people to understand their historic environment and through that understanding, to manage change to it in the most appropriate way.
The best way to save a building is to find a new use for it. Even recently restored buildings that are vacant will soon start to degenerate again. An unreasonable, inflexible approach will prevent action that could have given a building new life.
Modern conservation involves having a more thorough understanding of what makes a site important and working collaboratively with owners and developers to find that new use. As part of our constructive approach we work collaboratively with architects, quantity surveyors and developers at early pre-application stages to help them to make decisions based on a full understanding of their site. We use 'Conservation Principles' to make sure that our advice is reasonable, knowledgeable and consistent.
Valuing places - good practice in conservation areas
Conservation areas are in the frontline of heritage protection. When designation is implemented it reflects the value placed by communities on cherished neighborhoods, villages and town centers, giving them a key role in the regeneration of local areas.
This recognition of local distinctiveness is cherished and is not a device for preventing change or new development. Every conservation area contains places, which have changed and this only adds to their character and history. Often these changes are features of the character, which is dangerous to the historical environment, and need to be protected. Often, too, further changes have to be accommodated if we are to ensure such places have a viable and beneficial future. Well-managed change can bring with it the investment and care necessary to keep places in good condition. However on the other hand poor management can result in neglect and decline, increasing the risk that places of great historic importance will be lost forever.
The important balance between protecting and adapting places So how do we reconcile the desire to protect the character of places we have inherited with the need to adapt them for current and future use?
'Constructive conservation' is the term Iraq Heritage uses to define the protection and adaptation of historic places through active management.
The task requires vision, flair and commitment; a deep understanding of the actual qualities that make a place unique and have distinctive features; an ability to ensure that these are protected, and not weakened, by change.
The adaptation and reuse of historic buildings is an inherently sustainable activity. The energy embedded in them is an investment; a legacy not to be wasted. Through informed, careful adaptation we can not only reduce the amount of energy expended in creating new development, but also achieve greater energy efficiency, sustaining the utility of historic places into the future.
What we do?
Iraq Heritage exists to help people understand, value, care for and enjoy Iraq's unique and ancient heritage. We aim to be best known for looking after the National Heritage Collection of historic sites and monuments and the guardianship of over all the objects and photographs and for them to be secured in our public archive.
We aim to convert some of our heritage sites into national parks so the public and tourist can enjoy the ancient history we have to offer.
We also aim run an extensive events programme throughout the year and provide free educational visits for schools.
But we also:
- Aim to advise government on which parts of our heritage are nationally important so they can be protected by designation (which includes the listing of buildings) and promote the importance of heritage in making places distinctive and valued.
- Advise local authorities on managing changes to the most important parts of our heritage.
- Encourage investment into heritage sites that are at risk.
- Share our knowledge, skills and expertise by offering training and guidance, giving practical conservation advice and access to our resources.
- Provide grants so that the heritage sites can be maintained in the correct manner.
Officially known as the Historic Buildings , religious shrines and Monuments Commission for Iraq, we are an executive Non-Departmental Public Body.
The rules we follow
Code of Practice
The Commissioners have adopted a voluntary Code of Conduct the Code includes the following:
Public Service Values
relationship with government departments
role of the Chairman
corporate and individual responsibilities of Commissioners
personal liabilities and conflicts of interest
delegation and strategic planning/control
openness and accountability for public funds
annual reporting and accounts
the role of the Chief Executive
the Commission as employer
The Standing Orders of the Commission and its committees and panels are a guide which give procedural advice on how formal meetings are arranged and organised.
Scheme of Delegation
The Scheme of Delegations gives guidance from the Commission to staff on matters that should be reported to the Commission, its Advisory Committees and Panels as well. It also sets out what matters Commission must authorise and what decisions and actions are delegated to staff.
Terms of Reference
The Commission has established a series of non-executive advisory panels which offer expert advice to staff and Commission on various aspects of Iraq Heritage's work. The Terms of Reference set out in broad terms what each of these bodies do.
Declarations of Interest
All members of the Commission and Committees are required to provide written declarations of interest. In addition, at each meeting the Chairman invites those present to make a declaration in respect of any issues on the agenda in which they have an interest. The Commission’s Audit Committee reviews all declarations of interest twice a year.
The Register of Commissioners' interests is open to the public and may be consulted by contacting us.
Everybody makes history. We each have our personal heritage. Everyone can have a part in enjoying, understanding and caring for Iraq's shared heritage.
As a nation, we have an ancient tradition of diversity. The heritage of different cultures has been woven into our shared history over hundreds of years, through migration, trade, conquest and alliances. Many of the unique ancient sites in this country can tell fascinating stories of international importance.
These sites tell of the story of thousands of people and there way of living the experiences they faced this is what has created the heritage that surrounds us and enhances our lives. Just as we have built the world that surrounds us, in many ways, it has built us and the historic environment plays a major part in our sense of identity. We believe that as many people as possible should help to hand on the heritage that matters to them.
People care passionately about their own heritage and their neighbourhood landmarks, streets, parks and houses.
You can also read much more about our work by following the links on the right, which will tell you more about our policies, projects and publications.
We want to hear your voice about how to make Iraq Heritage, and the ancient sites and diverse environment more welcoming and appealing to everyone.
Please email your suggestions to email@example.com