The Localism agenda is moving apace: the second reading of the Localism Bill took place on 17 January; community, civic, planning and heritage organisations are already working together to ensure that the needs of all will be fairly addressed when the Bill is finally passed. Key areas in the Bill of concern to the heritage sector are Neighbourhood Plans and Development Orders. At HTF in particular there is much concern over Schedule 12 which will effectively abolish S66 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. This will see the loss of statutory considerations around the setting and enhancement of the historic environment. Because of this we are keen to see that the contents of the proposed National Planning Policy Framework, which should ensure that policies on protection that might be omitted from Neighbourhood Plans, are retained. Scrutiny of the Bill has commenced – if you would like to input to a response or respond individually we have until 28 February to comment on content of the NHPP and until 10 March for the Bill. Here at the HTF we recognise the importance of the Bill to our future work and are planning a series of events around this. Understanding Localism, our first event, took place on 4 February. With over 70 delegates from across all sectors, there was a clear need to see this agenda understood and a genuine will to see it implemented successfully. The programme included strong presentations from Michael Bingham MP (DCLG), Steven Bee (Urban Counsel), Tony Burton (Civic Voice), Chris Wade (Action for Market Towns) and representatives from our partner, Bircham Dyson Bell, to provide the legal context. View the conference report and speakers' presentations. We’ve had several requests to make this an ongoing topic – more news on upcoming events as they become available.