Understanding Historic Buildings: Policy and Guidance for Local Planning Authorities

Understanding Historic Buildings cover This policy statement and guidance sets out the English Heritage policy on the investigation and recording of historic buildings within the English planning framework. Through a combination of written advice and case studies it provides advice on how a specialist understanding of the significance of an historic building can inform a development proposal and assist in the decision-making process.  It also identifies the need to record evidence that may be damaged or lost.

  • Part one sets out the policy
  • Part two describes the use and appropriateness of specialist assessments, rapid appraisals, conservation statements, conservation management plans and recording conditions
  • Part three gives guidance on how to administer and commission the work, the use of specialists and the methods for presenting and disseminating the results
  • A checklist is provided at the end

This document has been produced to promote and encourage greater consistency in the use of historic building assessment, investigation and recording through the planning process where appropriate. The policy statement and guidance compliments the more detailed advice given by English Heritage in Informed Conservation: Understanding Historic Buildings and their Landscapes for Conservation and is a companion document to the English Heritage guidance Understanding Historic Buildings: A Guide to Good Recording Practice.

Aimed at local authority planning and historic environment officers, the policy and guidance has achieved wide support from the sector having been endorsed by:

  • Local Government Association
  • Planning Officers Society
  • Institute of Historic Building Conservation
  • Institute of Field Archaeologists Buildings Archaeology Group
  • Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers
  • Joint Committee of the National Amenity Societies
  • Council for British Archaeology

More detailed versions of the case studies contained within the document will be made available from the case studies library.

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