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Opinions Promulgated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development to Regulate the Implementation of Traditional Village Protection Projects
Opinions on the Implementation of Traditional Chinese Village Protection Projects were recently promulgated jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Ministry of Culture, and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. The Opinions stress the need to strictly implement the rural construction planning permission system. All localities should seriously perform the approval proceedings concerning the protective development planning for traditional Chinese villages, which have passed the technical review. All projects for traditional Chinese village protection have to meet the planning requirements of protective development. Construction projects within the scope of protective development planning must strictly abide by the rural construction planning permission according to the statutory procedure. Construction projects either within the protection scope of cultural relics protection units or on the construction control zone are subject to the statutory approval procedure. Licenses should not be issued to rural construction projects threatening traditional patterns, historic character, or their overall supportive environment. All unapproved illegal buildings should be demolished. The Opinions also ask to protect and renovate traditional buildings steadily, and give priority to the protection of endangered cultural heritage such as cultural relics protection units and historic buildings. Within the core protective scope of important cultural heritage, buildings that disrupt the overall style might be demolished, and new buildings have to match the style of existing ones. Buildings beyond this scope can be renovated and large-scale demolition in this case should be avoided. General renovation and transformation of traditional buildings need to be cautiously advanced. Traditional techniques and rustic materials can be used in appearance transformation for traditional residences.

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