Historical buildings of the world
Protecting and enhancing the historic environment is an important component of the National Planning Policy Framework’s drive to achieve sustainable development (as defined in paragraphs 6-10. The appropriate conservation of heritage assets forms one of the ‘Core Planning Principles’ (paragraph 17 bullet 10) that underpin the planning system. This is expanded upon principally in paragraphs 126-141 but policies giving effect to this objective appear elsewhere in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Paragraph: 001 Reference ID: 18a-06
What is the main legislative framework for planning and the historic environment?
Any decisions relating to listed buildings and their settings and conservation areas must address the statutory considerations of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (see in particular sections 16, 66 and 72) as well as satisfying the relevant policies within the National Planning Policy Framework and the Local Plan.
Paragraph: 002 Reference ID: 18a-06
What is meant by the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment?
The conservation of heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance is a core planning principle. Heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and effective conservation delivers wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits.
Conservation is an active process of maintenance and managing change. It requires a flexible and thoughtful approach to get the best out of assets as diverse as listed buildings in every day use to as yet undiscovered, undesignated buried remains of archaeological interest.
In the case of buildings, generally the risks of neglect and decay of heritage assets are best addressed through ensuring that they remain in active use that is consistent with their conservation. Ensuring such heritage assets remain used and valued is likely to require sympathetic changes to be made from time to time. In the case of archaeological sites, many have no active use, and so for those kinds of sites, periodic changes may not be necessary.
Where changes are proposed, the National Planning Policy Framework sets out a clear framework for both plan-making and decision-taking to ensure that heritage assets are conserved, and where appropriate enhanced, in a manner that is consistent with their significance and thereby achieving sustainable development.
Part of the public value of heritage assets is the contribution that they can make to understanding and interpreting our past. So where the complete or partial loss of a heritage asset is justified, the aim then is to capture and record the evidence of the asset’s significance which is to be lost, interpret its contribution to the understanding of our past, and make that publicly available.
Paragraph: 003 Reference ID: 18a-06
What is a positive strategy for conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment?
In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, local authorities should set out their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment. Such as a strategy should recognise that conservation is not a passive exercise. In developing their strategy, local planning authorities should identify specific opportunities within their area for the conservation and enhancement of heritage assets. This could include, where appropriate, the delivery of development within their settings that will make a positive contribution to, or better reveal the significance of, the heritage asset.
The delivery of the strategy may require the development of specific policies, for example, in relation to use of buildings and design of new development and infrastructure. Local planning authorities should consider the relationship and impact of other policies on the delivery of the strategy for conservation.
Paragraph: 004 Reference ID: 18a-06
What about the evidence base for Local Plan-making?
Paragraph: 005 Reference ID: 18a-06
Should non-designated heritage assets be identified in the Local Plan?
While there is no requirement to do so, local planning authorities are encouraged to consider making clear and up to date information on their identified non-designated heritage assets, both in terms of the criteria used to identify assets and information about the location of existing assets, accessible to the public.