Another tool available to community groups to enhance your local conservation area as part of our Big Conservation Conversation is through our "Local Heritage List" campaign.
Local heritage listing is a means for a community and a local authority to jointly identify heritage assets that are valued as distinctive elements of the local historic environment. The Local Heritage List identifies those heritage assets that are not protected by statutory national designations but are of local heritage interest, contributing to the sense of place and history of the local area. Preparing a local heritage list means that the significance of heritage assets on the list is given due consideration by the Local Planning Authority, when change is being proposed.
Why is this relevant to the Big Conservation Conversation?
Whilst local listing provides no additional planning controls, the fact that a building or site is on a local list means that national planning policy (National Planning Policy Framework) requires its conservation as a heritage asset to be taken into account as a material consideration when determining the outcome of a planning application, giving it greater protection.
Local heritage assets can be identified within conservation areas and there is some evidence of planning appeals indicating that local heritage assets within conservation areas are more strongly protected from demolition than those which are not.
One aspect of the conservation area appraisal process with particular relevance to local heritage listing is the identification of unlisted buildings that make a ‘positive contribution’ to the character of a conservation area. Undertaking a conservation area appraisal can be a useful exercise for communities to get involved and help identify potential buildings within the conservation area that could be added to the local heritage list. The local interest of a building could be related to the social and economic history of the area, individuals of local importance, settlement patterns or the age, design and style of buildings.
Local Lists have been around for many years and nearly half of the Local Planning Authorities in England already have one. What is new is that Local Lists are being promoted in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Historic England is encouraging all local authorities to compile one. We would be pleased to come and give a talk to any society who wants to learn more about local heritage listing.
A Local Heritage Listing: Historic England Advice Note has been produced by Historic England and there is a strong emphasis on working in partnership with community groups such as civic societies.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved in this campaign.