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Assessing significance of heritage assets

When making an application that relates to a heritage asset it must be accompanied by a description and assessment of the significance of the proposed development or works.

Questions that people have asked

What heritage assets are included?

A description and assessment of significance is required for the following applications:

  • Listed Building Consent
  • Planning permission for development relating to -
  • a Conservation Area
  • a Listed Building
  • a curtilage Listed Building
  • the setting of a Listed Building

What is required with application submissions?

The scope of the assessment should be proportionate to the scale of the work proposed and the significance of the heritage asset itself.

Please note that when considering an application for an unlisted building in a Conservation Area the heritage asset is the Conservation Area. Conservation Area Character Appraisals are available to help with this.

In all cases the assessment should show: that the relevant records have been consulted; and, that the effects of the proposal on the heritage asset has been assessed using appropriate expertise.

We recommend that you submit a Heritage Statement or Heritage Impact Assessment for all applications for Listed Building Consent and for major planning applications in Conservation Areas; or, include the information within the Design and Access Statement for all other applications (see below) as part of the explanation and justification for the design approach.

Further details about the information required is available in our guidance on Preparing Heritage Statements and Design and Access Statements [pdf document]


To help in producing your assessment Historic England has prepared guidance: Good Practice Advice notes and Historic England Advice notes [external link]

National Amenity Societies: 


Conservation Officer, Darlington Borough Council: [email protected]

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