CLG: The Government is taking action to protect all 17 English World Heritage Sites, which include the Tower of London, Hadrian's Wall, the Ironbridge Gorge, Maritime Greenwich and Durham Castle. The government wants to put all English World Heritage Sites on the same national footing as its conservation areas, national parks and areas of outstanding beauty by including them in national planning protection rules.
Currently over half of our World Heritage Sites are not in previously protected conservation areas.  The changes which are being consulted on (closes 22 August 2008) are intended to prevent minor development occurring without specific planning permission.  In addition English Heritage is publishing guidance that gives detailed advice on how to give proper consideration and protections to World Heritage Sites.
Press release ~ Planning circular consultation extending Article 1 (5) coverage of World Heritage Sites ~ Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention 2005 ~ English Heritage ~ UK World Heritage Sites ~ UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Defra: A consultation (closes 20 August 2008) to obtain feedback on proposed amendments to the Groundwater Regulations 1998 has been published by Defra. Feedback is sought from anyone who discharges substances which can cause groundwater pollution, or who currently follows the existing groundwater regulations – See ‘EU legislation, initiatives’ section for more details.
DH: The new Department of Health consultation document 'The Future of Tobacco Control' (closes on 8 September 2008), which coincided with World No Tobacco Day (for which the theme is 'Tobacco-Free Youth') aims to start a debate around further measures (including plain cigarette packets with no branding or logos, minimum pack sizes of 20 and a ban on the advertising of cigarette papers) that would stop people smoking and prevent young people starting to smoke.
The take up of smoking in young people is lower than a decade ago, but over 200,000 of all under 16's start smoking each year. However, they are 3 times more likely to die of cancer due to smokingthan someone who starts in their mid-20s.
Press release ~ Consultation on the future of tobacco control ~ World No Tobacco Day ~ DH - Tobacco ~ Smoking cessation services in primary care, pharmacies, local authorities and workplaces, particularly for manual working groups, pregnant women and hard to reach communities ~ Smoking Cessation Public Health Development Group ~ The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation ~ No Smoking Day 2008 ~ Stop smoking start living
CLG: The government claims that park home residents and site owners in England & Wales will have more say on how disputes between them are resolved under a new consultation (closes on 22 August 2008). The majority of disputes will now be heard by Residential Property Tribunals rather than county courts giving greater opportunity for both sides to put their case forward and reducing time & legal costs.
Under the Housing Act 2004 the Residential Property Tribunal Service already deals with cases similar to pitch fee reviews, recognition of residents associations and the sale of park homes which are proposed to be transferred to it. It is hoped that the low cost and the quicker access to justice of the tribunal service will encourage many more residents and site owners to come forward to resolve any differences amicably.
Press release ~ Residential Property Tribunals ~ A new approach for resolving disputes and to proceedings relating to Park Homes under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended): A consultation paper
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