Recession: what recession?
Jonathan Lovie writes:
While it is clear that the country is undergoing a serious economic downturn, recession or even depression, with the construction industry apparently suffering a particularly sharp decline, it is interesting to note that the number of statutory and other consultations received by the Society has remained broadly consistent over the past twelve months.
Analysis of the GHS Casework Log shows that in the period 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2008 we received 806 consultations, of which 537 related to sites included on the English Heritage Register. During the same period this year, we received 767 consultations (a reduction of 69), but the number of cases relating to registered sites was 529, only 8 fewer than the previous year.
Interestingly, and rather worryingly, the casework data reveals that there has been an increase in cases affecting Grade I registered sites (those considered to be of international significance) from 84 in 2008 to 98 in 2009.
While it is difficult to predict future trends, it is clear that there has not been the anticipated dramatic decline in development proposals affecting registered sites. Historic designed landscapes remain under serious threat from development, perhaps in part due to spending within the public sector intended to stimulate economic recovery.