The British Conservative governments between 1979 and 1997 are usually

associated with a strident agenda of economic liberalism, combined with a

centralisation of political power, which affected land-use planning along

with other policy spheres. However, not only did the conservation of the

historic environment escape these forces, but its policy significance actually

strengthened during this period. In a time associated with the breakdown of

post-war political consensus, conservation policy goals achieved a virtually

unchallenged consensus for the first time. There are a few exceptions to this

success story of the conservation movement: for example, physical relics of

the coal industry were generally removed with unseemly haste following the

pit closures in the wake of the miners’ strike of 1984-5. However, in the main

the period was characterised by a consolidation and strengthening of

conservation policy at a previously unprecedented level.