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Registered parks & gardens

What are registered parks & gardens?

Registered parks & gardens are designated heritage assets.

Under section 8C of the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953, Historic England compiles a register of gardens and other land situated in England and appearing to them to be of special historic interest.

Registered parks & gardens are graded I, II* or II, along the same lines as listed buildings:

  • Grade I – of exceptional interest; nationally only 9% of all registered parks & gardens are in this category
  • Grade II* – of more than special interest; 27% of all registered parks & gardens are in this category
  • Grade II – of special interest; 62% of all registered parks & gardens are in this category

Further information

Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953 [external link]

How do I find a registered park & garden?

There are currently 3 registered parks & gardens in Darlington Borough:

  • Landscape at Cummins Engine Factory
  • South Park 
  • West Cemetery

To find out whether you own or occupy (part of) a registered park & garden, please visit Historic England’s National Heritage List for England (NHLE) website. It is advisable to use the map-search function. The information provided on the NHLE includes the designation boundary, designation details and a basic description. More recent designations have a more comprehensive record and include an assessment of significance. 

The fact that a park or garden is on the Register does not imply that it is open to the public.

Further information

The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) [external link]

How are parks & gardens registered?

The decision as to whether a park or garden merits designation is based on an assessment by Historic England as to whether it can be said to be of special historic interest.

Anyone can nominate a park or garden to be registered. If you wish to do so, use Historic England's 'Apply for Listing' website.

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 registering and ask for comments.
  2. They will assess whether the proposal meets their Register of Parks and Gardens Selection Guides.
  3. The Council and other stakeholder including yourself will be notified about the decision outcome.

Before you apply for registering, it is advisable that you familiarise yourself with Historic England’s Register of Parks and Gardens Selection Guides.

What effect does designation have?

A registered park or garden is not protected by a separate consent regime. However, in planning applications made to the Council great weight will be given to their conservation (National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 199). 

The Council is required to consult Historic England when considering an application which affects a Grade I or II* registered park or garden, and the Gardens Trust on all applications affecting any grade.

Further information

National Planning Policy Framework [external link]

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 website. Or seek professional advice from a third party.

Further information

Planning Portal website [external link]

Parks & gardens at risk

Parks and gardens that are deemed to be 'at risk' are typically affected by development and neglect. They have frequently been altered or face with major change. The original function of these landscapes has often changed and divided ownership can lead to the loss of their intended cohesive design.

Any parks or gardens 'at risk' would be listed on Historic England's Heritage at Risk register. There are currently none in Darlington borough.

Further information

Heritage at Risk. North East & Yorkshire Register 2022 [external link, pdf document]

This page was last updated in January 2024.

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