What a heritage statement is
A heritage statement explains what heritage assets are on a proposed development site, why they are significant and how they are affected by the development proposals. The findings of the heritage statement should be used to inform the development proposals, in order to conserve the heritage assets and avoid or minimise any harmful impact to their significance. Heritage statements are required by paragraph 128 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
The type and amount of information will differ depending on the type of heritage asset, and the type of work proposed. It is recommended that the heritage statement pro-forma including appendix 1 is completed in order to ensure that the relevant matters are covered.
When a heritage statement should be submitted
A heritage statement should be submitted for most applications where a heritage asset or its setting is impacted by a proposal. This includes both physical impacts and visual impacts.
Check the heritage statement information requirements table [280 KB] to find out what information should be submitted for different types of application/heritage asset.
A ‘heritage asset’ includes both ‘designated’ and ‘non-designated’ assets. They include:
Designated heritage assets:
- Scheduled Monument (SM)
- Listed Building (LB)
- Conservation Area (CA)
- Registered Park and Garden (RPG)
Non-designated heritage assets:
- Locally Listed Heritage Assets (LLHA)
- Archaeology - Archaeological Notification Areas (ANAs) are used to indicate areas of recorded heritage assets above and below ground with particular archaeological interest
- other non-designated heritage assets including sites, monuments and buildings identified through the planning process and/or recorded in the Historic Environment Record (HER)
What a heritage statement should include
A heritage statement should answer the following questions:
- What heritage assets are affected by the proposals?
- What is known about the affected heritage assets?
- What is important about the affected heritage assets (the ‘significance’)?
- How will the proposals impact on the significance of the heritage assets?
- How has the proposal been designed to conserve the significance of the asset (‘mitigation’)?
Other information that may be needed as part of a heritage statement
For larger-scale proposals, significant heritage assets or where the heritage importance of the site has not been established, further information may be needed in order to determine the application. This information helps to fully answer the questions posed in the heritage statement. Further types of information include:
- Built heritage assessment – determines, as far as reasonably possible, the nature, extent and significance of buildings, structures and historic landscapes on a development site or affected by development in their setting. It involves a mixture of documentary research, on-site analysis and comparison with similar properties/sites. Applicable for some applications affecting listed buildings, and larger-scale developments within conservation areas, registered parks and gardens, or affecting locally listed heritage assets
- Desk based assessment – determines, as far as reasonably possible from existing records, the nature, extent and significance of the historic environment within a development site. Applicable for larger-scale developments to establish the likelihood and significance of archaeology surviving on site
- Field evaluation – determines, through on site investigation, the likelihood and significance of archaeological remains surviving on a development site. Applicable for larger-scale developments, where this is not clearly established by a desk based assessment