Wrecks: Conservation

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th April 2021.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what (a) steps his Department is taking, (b) discussions he has had with (i) Cabinet colleagues and (ii) Historic England on arranging the (A) investigation, (B) protection and (c) management of Galloper wreck site in the UK Marine Area as an international important heritage asset.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to his Department's Guidance on how existing policies and legislation apply to historic military wreck sites, published with the Ministry of Defence in April 2014, whether it remains the Government policy to ensure historic military wrecks are offered appropriate protection and management.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what requirements Historic England sets for developers on funding the (a) reporting and (b) assessment of (i) wrecks discovered at the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm site and (ii) other historically significant wrecks; and what assessment he has made of the potential risks to historical assets on that site from unregulated salvage attempts.

Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason the Government does not provide full funding for the investigation of historically significant shipwrecks in the UK Marine Area; and how much funding has been provided by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands for that purpose in each of the last three years.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

I indicated to my honourable friend in my response to his letter of 8th February that my officials have discussed the Galloper wreck site with their counterparts at the Ministry of Defence and Historic England. Consequently, the Government is monitoring the site and understands that vessel traffic monitoring occurs as part of conventional site security.

I am also content that steps have been taken to facilitate management of the site through the action taken by Galloper Wind Farm Ltd to engage with other maritime authorities - including the Royal Navy, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Marine Management Organisation.

Though Historic England has no remit to impose requirements on future development proposals relating to the Galloper wreck site, the Marine Management Organisation routinely consults it on applications for marine licences. DCMS are not routinely part of such discussions, however Historic England do provide information and advice on request.

Regarding the guidance published by DCMS and the Ministry of Defence in 2014 on how existing policies and legislation apply to historic military wreck sites (‘Protection and Management of Historic Military Wrecks outside UK Territorial Waters’), I can confirm that this remains in place. I can also confirm that DCMS would give due consideration to any proposals by developers or other parties to undertake detailed investigations of the Galloper site. However, Government funding to undertake these investigations would need to be considered alongside other priorities.

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