Assessing Significance of Heritage Assets

Requirements for Application Submissions

Applications considered to affect heritage assets (such as Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) are required to be accompanied by a description of the significance of the heritage asset affected and an assessment of the potential impact the proposal will have on that significance. The assessment should be proportionate to the scale of the work proposed and the significance of the heritage asset itself.

Paragraph 128 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires the following:

"In determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance. As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary. Where a site on which development is proposed includes or has the potential to include heritage assets with archaeological interest, local planning authorities should require developers to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation."

  • For those applications requiring a Design and Access Statement, we advise that this assessment is included within the Design and Access Statement.
  • For minor development where a Design and Access Statement is not required, we advise this assessment is provided in a letter.
  • For major development a Heritage Statement with more detail may be appropriate.

We have produced Preparing Heritage and Design & Access Statements [pdf document] guidance to help with this.

A Design and Access Statement is required with planning applications for major development (both full and outline); applications where the property is a Listed Building; and applications in Conservation Areas for the provision of new dwellings, or a building where the floor space created is 100 m2 or more.

What Does this Apply To?

This assessment is required to be submitted with the following applications:

  • Listed Building Consent
  • Conservation Area Consent
  • Planning permission for development within a Conservation Area, for development in the curtilage or the setting of a Listed Building and for development in the setting of a Scheduled Monument.

Please note that applications for Scheduled Monument Consent (for works to a Scheduled Monument) are dealt with by Historic England rather than by the Council.


Online guidance is available to help applicants meet this requirement, as follows: