heritage site Burnley

A short guide to Heritage Statements


What is a Heritage Statement?

A Heritage Statement is an assessment of the significance of heritage assets, and/or their settings, and of the impact of any development upon them.

The need to produce a Heritage Statement is a requirement of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England.

Regarding Heritage Statements specifically, paragraph 128 of the NPPF states that

“Local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected including any contribution made by their setting”

Who can produce a Heritage Statement?

Small works, of small impact, require only simple heritage statements that can easily be produced without the need for special expertise.

However, for some proposed developments, such as Listed buildings, the heritage statement should ideally be prepared by an appropriate professional with the necessary expertise to properly assess the heritage asset and its significance.

Growth Lancashire has the expertise required to produce robust Heritage Statements. A case study for a recent project completed by Growth Lancashire can be viewed here.

Contact us to discuss your requirements.

When is a Heritage Statement required?

Heritage statements are most commonly associated with applications affecting listed buildings (designated heritage assets), development within conservation areas, or locally listed buildings (non-designated heritage assets). A heritage statement is also required for applications which may affect the setting of such buildings/areas.

Rather than solely demonstrating compliance with the NPPF, the Heritage Statement should be viewed as an important practical tool to guide an applicant in developing their proposals. As good practice, it should therefore be one of the first things that an applicant considers when beginning to formulate their development proposals.

What should a Heritage Statement include?

The NPPF states that the level of detail in a heritage statement should be proportionate to the heritage asset’s importance, and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on its significance.

Several Local Authorities within Lancashire have published guidance regarding their local expectations of what Heritage Statements should include, including Blackpool, Burnley, Fylde, Lancaster, South Ribble and West Lancashire Councils.

However, all of Lancashire’s Local Authorities have an online planning area. Regarding heritage matters, this will often include information covering Conservation areas, or more generally, the Authority’s approach to validating planning applications, and how Heritage Statements are an important aspect. Click on the links for access to Blackburn with Darwen, Chorley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale and Wyre.

If you are unsure as to which Local Authority area your application falls under, use the online “Find your local Council” tool.