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Minister says Heritage Bill plans will safeguard historic sites

Words: Roger Milne
Pentre Ifan

Measures which will be in the first Wales-only legislation to safeguard the country’s historic environment have been outlined by Ken Skates, deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism. 

The Heritage Bill will be introduced to the Welsh Assembly this spring. The planned measures will give more effective protection to scheduled monuments, including powers for the Welsh Government to halt harmful works and take effective action if a monument has been damaged or destroyed.

The bill will also include proposals to allow owners of listed buildings and scheduled monuments to negotiate partnership agreements with consenting authorities.

In addition, the administration is promising a more stable future for Wales’ historic environment records and the establishment of an independent panel to advise on historic environment policy and strategy at a national level.

The minister said: “The fact there has only been one successful prosecution for unlawful damage to an ancient monument in Wales in the last 25 years, despite a number of significant cases, shows that this is an area that needs to be improved."