Sustainable management of the historic environment

Professor Andrea Ross has recently published an article entitled ‘Sustainable management in policy and practice:  the placing of solar panels on listed buildings in Scotland’ in Environmental Law and Management.  

One of the challenges for sustainable management of the historic environment is to identify its key characteristics and to then establish the boundaries within which change can continue so that it enhances rather than diminishes historic character. This article critically examines how the current system for managing change in listed buildings in Scotland is dealing with the need to move towards low carbon energy and more specifically, micro-renewables. It reports the findings of a case study of eight local authorities and highlights examples of good policy and practice operating under the existing legal and financial framework that could be more widely implemented. The article concludes establishing exactly what the boundaries are on a caseby-case basis can be difficult for authorities and owners of listed buildings under a system that so blatantly favours preservation. However, strong processes and detailed policies can reduce this uncertainty to encourage and deliver creative solutions that sympathetically balance the preservation of the historic environment with modern challenges, such as mitigating climate change.