Assessing significance if heritage assets

Requirements for Application Submissions

Applications relating to heritage assets (such as listed buildings, conservation areas) are now required to be accompanied by a description and assessment of significance of the proposed development or works. The assessment should be proportionate to the scale of the work proposed and the significance of the heritage asset itself. As a minimum, the relevant Historic Environment Record should have been consulted and the heritage assets themselves should have been assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary, given the application’s impact.

We recommend that the information is included within the Design and Access Statement as part of the explanation and justification for the design approach, although it can be presented as a separate document if preferred. Further detail about the information required is available in our Design and Access Statement Guidance [pdf document].

What does this apply to?

A description and assessment of the significance of the heritage asset to, or in the setting of, which works or development are proposed is required with the following applications:

  • Listed Building Consent
  • Conservation Area Consent
  • Planning permission (for development within a Conservation Area and for development or works to a Listed Building, a curtilage Listed Building or in the setting of a Listed Building or Scheduled Monument (although please note that Scheduled Monument applications are dealt with by English Heritage rather than the Local Authority).


Online guidance is available to help applicants assess the significance of heritage assets, as follows:

English Heritage has produced a Planning Practice Guide [pdf document, external link] to accompany PPS5 (Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment).