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Non-designated heritage assets

What are non-designated heritage assets?

The National Planning Policy Framework defines a heritage asset as a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape which has a degree of significance, also see our 'Significance of heritage assets' section.

A non-designated heritage asset is not protected by designation (contrary to designated heritage assets such as conservation areas, listed buildings, scheduled monuments or registered parks & gardens). It is important to keep in mind that all heritage assets inside a conservation area are designated.

The amount of significance of a non-designated heritage asset may be very small but is still of local interest. Other non-designated heritage assets may be equivalent to designated heritage assets, i.e. of national importance.

If you think that a non-designated heritage asset should be listed, scheduled or registered, you can make an application to Historic England. Before you apply, it is advisable that you familiarise yourself with Historic England’s relevant selection guides.

Once you have submitted your application, the following will happen:

  1. Historic England will notify the Council (and other stakeholders like the owners of the property) about the proposed new designation and ask for comments.
  2. They will assess whether the proposal meets the relevant criteria.
  3. The Council and other stakeholder including yourself will be notified about the decision outcome.

Where are non-designated heritage assets?

It is possible that you frequently look at non-designated heritage assets without being aware of them, as there are numerous of them throughout Darlington borough. There is no register which lists them. It would not be feasible to create one that includes all of them, due to their sheer numbers.

For identifying non-designated heritage assets for our Planning purposes the Council uses a criteria-based approach (also see Local Plan):

  • Rarity
  • Representativeness
  • Architectural interest
  • Townscape or landscape value
  • Group value
  • Artistic interest
  • Historic association
  • Archaeological interest 

If a heritage asset meets two or more of the above criteria then it should be considered a non-designated heritage asset.

How do they affect me?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) includes policies regarding any heritage assets (i.e. designated and non-designated ones). Paragraph 203 sets out that the effect of an application on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset should be taken into account in determining the application.

Moreover, the NPPF states that non-designated heritage assets that are of archaeological interest, which are demonstrably of equivalent significance to scheduled monuments, should be considered subject to the policies for designated heritage assets.

Further information

Do I require planning permission?

The Council does not give advice on whether planning permission is required for any development. We also do not provide free heritage advice.

Information on whether planning permission is required and how  to apply can be found in the Planning application and permission sectionof our website. Alternatively, use the Planning Portal. Or seek professional advice from a third party.

Further information

Planning Portal website [external link]

This page was last updated in February 2024.

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