Statements of Significance for Heritage Assets

Updated: 24th February 2011

Last year the government published new guidance on how developments affecting listed buildings, conservation areas and other heritage assets should be considered.

The guidance is entitled PPS5: Planning for the Historic Environment.

This guidance states that all applications affecting a heritage asset should provide sufficient information to understand the extent to which the proposal will impact on the significance of the heritage asset affected. This should take the form of a “Statement of Significance”.

These statements will be important in ensuring that the applicants have properly considered the impact that their proposed works will have and that this is detailed in their submission so that it can be fully assessed. Although this requirement is stated in government guidance it does not form part of the nationally adopted validation checklist but it is currently being proposed to include this within several Local Authority's planning processes so that they can insist on information being submitted before an application is considered. 

PPS5: Planning for the Historic Environment introduced a requirement for applications affecting ‘Heritage Assets’ such as Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas etc to be accompanied by a Statement of Significance. These statements will form part of the justification for the proposal and should demonstrate that consideration has been given to the protection of the heritage asset and/or its setting. The purpose of the Statement is to identify the important characteristics/significance of the existing heritage asset and to explain how the proposals would affect these and justify why this is necessary or desirable. If appropriate the Statement can be incorporated as part of a Design and Access Statement as long as it is clearly identified within the overall document. A complete Statement must include:

  Statement of significance of the heritage asset

  Details of the proposal

  Analysis of the impact of the proposal on the significance


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