Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), local authorities are required to 'conserve heritage assets in a manor appropriate to their significance, so they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations'.
To undertake this, the local authority requires an applicant to describe 'the significance of any heritage assets affected including any contribution made by their setting'.
So, what is a 'heritage asset' and it's 'setting'?
The NPPF give clear indications of what is a heritage asset is -
'A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest.'
This group of assets is divided into two sub sections.
'Designated heritage assets' are those assets that have statutory protection, such as listed buildings, ancient monuments and conservation areas.
However, there is also a 'non-designated heritage asset'. These use to be called 'local lists', those built features that were important to the local community, be it a wall, monument, shop or house. These are recognised by the local authority and included on their list of 'non-designated heritage assets'.
Who decides then what is significant ?
Within the local authority the Conservation Officer can often provide help and guidance. However, for an application for listed building consent or planning permission, an independent 'Heritage Statement' may be required. We can provide guidance and assistance with this process.
What is 'setting of a listed building'?
Your proposed scheme may be located next to or near a listed building, and therefore the local authority may request that you provide details and justification on why your scheme will not 'effect the character of the setting of the listed building'. The setting of the listed building may be part of why the building is important - a hunting lodge set in isolated wood land, is very different or a town centre pub. Janice Gooch Heritage Consultancy can help with this by providing a statement.
Recent planning appeals have highlighted the importance of understanding setting. The setting is not a set distance from a listed building or protected garden, but works with relationships of the sites.
The planners have asked me to provide evidence of 'original or significant fabric'...
We can undertake an assessment and a written statement to confirm what is part of the character and significance of the building, which includes the original fabric, or later developments.