The Local Action Plan proposed by Hogeschool Gent in the region of Flanders is the first to be approved by the Joint Secretariat. This plan proposes to improve the Decree of Immovable Heritage (Onroerend Erfgoeddecreet) through 6 actions.

1. Development of an Immovable Heritage Masterplan (OERP) for rural estates. OERP is an instrument introduced by the Decree in 2013 specifically intended to tackle complex heritage challenges in a transverse and future-oriented manner. It is a participative process funded by the Flanders Heritage Agency (AOE) aiming to create cross-sectoral engagements. The action will result in the validation of the proposal (based on all 6 actions of the LAP) by the responsible minister of the AOE resulting in an OERP on rural estates officially recognized by the Flemish government.

This action has been inspired by good practices such as Gelders Arcadia: A spatial approach to regional cooperation amongst landed estates from Gelderland, the Netherlands

2. Implementing a participative approach in relation to rural estates - development of a participation plan describing how all stakeholders will be involved and how the decision-making is influenced. Different stakeholder meetings will be organised.

3. Development of criteria for historical rural estates - in order to create a shared understanding of what a historical rural estate is. The criteria will enable specific policy measures for rural estates in the future.

4. Formalizing cooperation on the topic through an intention agreement - the goal is to realise a more structured and formal cooperation between multiple stakeholders, based on shared objectives.

5. Policy supporting research - small scale research will be executed by UCG to solve knowledge gaps for further policy development. The result will be a research report exploring the value of rural estates in relation to different communities (human and non-human) and how this relationship can be positively influenced through a participative design process.

6. Development of a future-oriented vision for rural estates together with all the stakeholders involved, which will result in actual measures taken by the stakeholders to realise the vision.

Read the full Local Action Plan for Flanders here. 


Innocastle is a two phase project. In the first phase of the project (June 2018 - November 2020), the project partners exchanged experiences through study visits, research and activated local stakeholders in each region to better understand the needs and challenges. The knowledge collected has been compiled into a final publication, the Baseline Survey, which can be read here.

Now that Innocastle has entered phase 2, each regional partners prepared a Local Action Plan for their region, in which they propose policy changes based on the experience thus far. Until November 2022, each partner will monitor the implementation of these proposed actions.