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As the son of two historians, who was taken to see all sorts of castles, cathedrals, abbeys and caves throughout his childhood, John was either going to love heritage or hate it. Fortunately he became a huge fan, which made him well-suited to being Heritage Minister from 2010 to 2012. The role included responsibility for protecting and boosting awareness of heritage sites across Britain, listing important buildings and monuments to preserve them for future generations, and modern architecture too.

John was widely praised by the heritage world for his work, with The Council for British Archaeology describing him as "a champion for heritage" and English Heritage complimenting him for having done ‘a good job' as Minister. He delivered a series of important changes for the sector, including:

  • Announced long-awaited funding and road layout changes for Stonehenge, to upgrade visitor facilities at one of our most-visited tourist attractions which is also a World Heritage site.

  • Ensured that legal protections for listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and other important heritage sites weren’t lost or diluted when the new (and far shorter and simpler) National Planning guidelines were launched in 2011.

  • Cut red tape for owners of heritage buildings applying for Listed Building Consent to upgrade and improve their properties. The new, streamlined approach delivers the same levels of heritage protection as before, but in a faster, clearer, more certain and cheaper process instead.

  • Announced plans to allow properly-qualified ‘heritage architects’ to assess whether changes to listed buildings and scheduled monuments are being done properly. This will create a broader and deeper pool of highly-qualified heritage experts, particularly in areas where local Councils can’t afford specialist conservation officers anymore, increasing the speed and quality of Council decisions on Listed Building Consent in future.

  • Gave grade 1 ‘listed building’ status to the Lloyds of London building (architect: Lord Rogers); 2-star status to the Apollo Pavilion in County Durham (architect: Pasmore); and grade 2 status to the Milton Keynes shopping centre (architect: Walker, Mosscrop, and Woodward), St John’s Wood tube station (architect: Heaps) and Weston-super-Mare Library (architect: Hans Price) to preserve them as examples of the nation’s future heritage.

  • Delivered significant increases in money available from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and expanded the Listed Places of Worship scheme to help local communities maintain listed churches in need of repair.


Bristol Evening Post: MP's Calls Result In Movement On Birnbeck

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The Bristol Post reports on the news that John Penrose MP's calls for movement on Birnbeck Pier have resulted in a number of positive developments. Not only has Mr Samady said he will stand aside should a more viable alternative be put forward, but he has also hired a team of advisers to review his own business plans.


Bristol Evening Post: MP's call for Weston's derelict Birnbeck Pier to be revamped

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John Penrose has called on developer Wahid Samady to stand aside from derelict Birnbeck Pier which has stood neglected for years.


ITV News: MP asks Developer to stand down "for the good of the Pier"

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Weston’s MP, John Penrose, has called on developer Wahid Samady to stand aside as the developer of Birnbeck Pier.


Penrose urges Samady to stand aside, ‘for the good of Birnbeck Pier’

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Weston’s MP, John Penrose, has called on developer Wahid Samady to stand aside as the developer of Birnbeck Pier after reports this week that Mr. Samady’s project to redevelop the Royal Pier Hotel has stalled...


John Penrose MP to attend First World War Commemoration Dinner and Parish Festival

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John Penrose MP is speaking at an event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, on Friday the 4th of July as part of the Winscombe and Sandford Festival.

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