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Heritage Statement

Published: 2020-01-27 Updated: 2023-02-10 Subject: Planning, Planning checklist

Planning application - local requirement

When the requirement applies

When your proposed development will affect a heritage asset or its setting, you must submit a Heritage Statement with your planning application. This includes the following:

  • Listed building consent applications
  • Proposals affecting any of the following, or their setting: a listed building, a conservation area, a scheduled ancient monument, a registered park, a garden or battlefield, or World Heritage Site
  • Non-designated heritage assets (such as those on the Locally Listed Heritage Assets list)

If you have any doubts about the heritage value of a building, site or setting, we recommend using our Pre-Planning Application Advice Service to help assess this. The process of identifying non designated heritage assets is ongoing. They are often identified during the pre-application enquiry process (or if a pre-application enquiry has not been submitted, during the formal planning application process).

You should gain an expert opinion on this issue before you formulate any development proposal. The significance of the heritage asset, and any constraints that this imposes, should then influence the development of the proposals. Heritage Statements will lack credibility, and be less effective, if they are prepared after the proposals have been designed.

What the statement should include

The Heritage Statement is best presented as a standalone document or combined with the Design and Access Statement

The purpose of the Heritage Statement is to objectively assess the nature, extent and importance of the significance of the heritage asset (in archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic terms) and the contribution of the setting to its significance (this impact can be positive, neutral or negative). The statement must be detailed enough that we can easily assess the impact of the proposed work on the significance of the heritage asset and its setting. Depending on the scope and complexity of the development proposal and significance of the heritage asset, it may be appropriate to use a qualified and accredited professional to prepare the statement.

The nature of the heritage asset will determine exactly what your statement should include:

  • For buildings
  • Analysis of the historic fabric, phasing and development of the site alongside documentary research in order to fully understand the significance. Captioned photographs and illustrative material (such as a coloured phasing plan, showing when different parts of the building were constructed) can be useful in supporting the text.
  • For settings
  • Wider evaluation of the character of the area and views. For complex sites, a Landscape/Townscape Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) can be a useful tool for preparing this information. 
  • For archaeological sites
  • An appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.

Historic England, the government's advisor on heritage matters, has published detailed advice which you can consult. For further guidance on heritage assets and the role and preparation of a Heritage Statement, visit the Historic England website.

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