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Statements of Significance

Historic England have prepared their first advice note [1] regarding ‘Statements of Heritage Significance’ to help address what is required to satisfy paragraph 189 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF3, 2019) [2].

The advice note aims to create a staged approach to decision making which is proportionate to the heritage assets affected. This is an approach which we at Turley follow, starting with an understanding of the asset and identifying where its significance lies.

This informed approach allows for an early identification of any impacts which may arise from a proposed development and allows for us to work with the design team to identify enhancements and works that could better reveal significance, all the while working to reduce and mitigate any adverse impacts to create sensitive and successful buildings and places.

The guidance helpfully provides definitions of heritage interests at Appendix 1, which is something that is lacking in the Glossary of the NPPF (Annex 2) where only archaeological interest is described. However, we question how these definitions will sit against the values identified in Conservation Principles, the most recent version of which was consulted upon in 2017.

We welcome that the guidance note attempts to identify the relationship between statements of significance and Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments and Design and Access Statements, although note that this is at odds with the advice set out in the government’s Planning Policy Guidance.

Overall, we feel that this is a step in the right direction which allows for a fully informed approach to development within the built environment and is one which we champion.

For further information on the Historic England guidance note and the effects this will have, please contact Emma Sharp.

10 May 2019

[1] Statements of Heritage significance: Historic England Advice Note 

[2] National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF3, 2019)