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The changing framework for conservation of the historic environment

Hudson, J; James, P


J Hudson


Purpose – The paper seeks to examine the background to the UK Government White Paper on the conservation of the built environment, and particularly to identify drivers for legislative change and possible consequences of new legislation for conservation practice.

Design/methodology/approach – A critical review is undertaken of major trends in conservation and management of the historic built environment that may affect future conservation legislation.

Findings – Three major trends are identified: the development of holistic landscape-based approaches to conservation; the widening of heritage values to include those of particular groups and communities as well as those based on academic disciplines; and a shift from control-based approaches to conservation towards those based on dynamic management of change. Each of these trends presents opportunities and challenges in framing of legislation and policy.

Research limitations/implications – This is a wide and fast-developing field. The UK Government's proposals for legislation are not yet in place and the framework for debate may change.

Practical implications – There has been a long period of stability and consolidation in the legal framework for conservation of the historic built environment. It is likely that we are moving towards a period of accelerating change in which accepted values may be challenged and new skills may be required.

Originality/value – The paper draws together a diverse set of themes that are likely to affect the future development of conservation legislation.


Hudson, J., & James, P. (2007). The changing framework for conservation of the historic environment. Structural survey, 25(3/4), 253-264.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jul 17, 2007
Publication Date Jul 17, 2007
Deposit Date Aug 4, 2010
Journal Structural Survey
Print ISSN 0263-080X
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 3/4
Pages 253-264
Publisher URL
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