Is Scotland Planning to preserve the world's heritage? A case-study in the heart of neolithic Orkney.
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It is the intention of this study to explore the need for planning authorities to produce and adopt bespoke spatial planning polieics in order to preserve the outstanding universal value (OUV) of cultural World Heritage Sites (WHS). Consideration will be given to the production of Scotland's first WHS-specific supplementary guidance document in order to exemplify how land use policies can alter as a result of the public consultation process and the author intends to thereafter suggest how best to resolve any issues identified during the investigation. Ultimately, the study will seek to establish whether the UK Gnvernment is able to effectively fulfil its duties as signatory to the World Heritage Convention following the recent planning reform in Scotland. An overview of the existing legislation. policy and guidance relating to the World Heritage Convention takes place within the initial chapter of this report to ascertain what constitutes a cultural heritage site and how such sites may be inscribed upon the World Heritage List. Particular attention is paid within the first chapter to identifying the responsibilities of signatories to the World Heritage Convention, before the structure of the Scottish planning framework and the place of conservation within planning in Scotland are examined. This examination will focus primarily upon the measures that exist to preserve Scotland's cultural heritage sites and will establish how WHS lie within the present framework. Chapter Two concentrates specifically upon The Heart of Neolithic Orkney WHS and is split into two distinct sections. Part One identifies the characteristics of Orkney's WHS, panicularly with regards to the setting of the monuments, and seeks to demonstrate any effects of inscription upon the World Heritage List. before exploring the need to produce an updated supplementary guidance document seeking to preserve the OUV of the site. Part Two of the second chapter details the public consultation process followed by OIC to accord with the legislative requirements of the reformed Scottish planning system in seeking to adopt the WHS-specific guidance. After which. the representations made in response to the coosultative draft are considered in ordeI to demonstrate how interested parties can influence any planning policy which may ultimately be adopted. Chapter Three considers the issues identified within the case-study at Chapter Two and examines how these relate to the wider Scottish context. This chapter also seeks to establish to what extent elements of the Sconish planning system have the potential to compromise the UK Government's obligations regarding the World Heritage Convention and whether the reformed system and the Convention are compatible. In seeking to establish whether Or not the Tefonned planning system in Scotland enables the UK Government to fulfil its obligations as signatory to the World Heritage Convention, the legislative situations in England, Wales and Scotland were considered. The author acknowledges that at no time was the legislation specific to Northern Ireland, or any other British territory, considered during the investigation.