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Modernising heritage management

The government wants to modernise three aspects of heritage management.

New uses for old buildings

The government wants disused historic buildings to be reused, in order to prevent them from becoming derelict, and to preserve them for the future. It encourages redevelopment with

  • a grant scheme
  • the National Redevelopment Programme, for the sharing of knowledge

Former iron foundry DRU in Ulft

Simpler rules for owners of historic buildings

The government wants to make it easier for owners to maintain their historic buildings. Grant application procedures will be simplified and the licensing procedure speeded up.

Cultural heritage part of spatial plans

The government wants to ensure that heritage management not only takes account of the monument itself, but also its setting and the area around it. This is known as ‘area-based heritage policy’. Local authority zoning plans must reflect the cultural heritage present in the area.

  • Character in Focus: Vision for Heritage in Spatial Planning

Five priorities of area-based heritage policy

The government has identified five priorities within area-based heritage policy where heritage management plays a role in spatial planning.

  • World heritage. The economic significance of world heritage in the Netherlands can be enhanced by promoting tourism.
  • Flood defences and characteristic properties of the sea, coast and rivers
  • Redevelopment as an urban challenge: focus on population growth and depopulation. Historic buildings play an important role in maintaining the attractiveness of areas subject to depopulation.
  • Living landscape. The government wants to link development of the cultural heritage to challenges like biodiversity and the energy transition.
  • Reconstruction era. The period 1940-1965 must remain a visible feature of the Netherlands. Many innovations came about in that period – large-scale housing developments, standardisation of the construction process, separation of functions – all of which now require care and protection.