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Understanding Setting within the Context of Heritage Assets, 23-24 April 2018

Through a mixture of presentations, site visits and discussion, learn how to define and describe setting and the contribution it makes to the significance of heritage assets. Consider how, in the context of the NPPF, impact on the setting of a heritage asset might harm its significance.

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at those in local planning authorities and private consultancy that are involved in managing development affecting heritage assets and their setting. This course takes an oft-debated topic and applies a range of theory, case studies and practical tools for “setting out clear procedures for what can be a confusing topic” (quoted from a previous delegate).

Why should you join this course?

  • This course will demystify the theory and practice of assessing the setting of a heritage asset.
  • We will provide practical examples, current case law and other information that illustrates how setting can be assessed successfully.
  • We will help delegates practice a step by step process that simplifies assessing the setting of heritage assets.


At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of setting and argue its contribution to the significance of an asset
  • Explore ways to ensure design is sympathetic to setting and takes opportunities to enhance or better reveal significance
  • Understand the impact of large scale developments such as renewable energies (e.g.wind/solar farms) on setting
  • Effectively use the Setting Steps for assessing the impact of planning proposals on setting and significance

Course outline*

  • Day 1 am: Key concepts in setting and significance
  • Day 1 pm: Setting in practice
  • Day 2 am: Case study site visit
  • Day 2 pm: Exercise on assessing setting

*This programme is subject to possible change

Meet the course tutors

Dr. Andy Brown, Planning Director for the South East, Historic England
Andy has worked in the heritage sector since 1989 and has led the South East team of English Heritage/Historic England since 2004. His Doctorate is in prehistoric archaeology, but he has recently published on his current research interest in the origin of the bungalow, reflecting his eclectic interest in the historic environment. Andy co-authored the revisions of both Conservation Principles and The Setting of Heritage Assets and has delivered bespoke training for a wide range of organisations as diverse as Arup’s, The Gardens Trust, Cambridge University and the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Catherine Dewar, Planning Director for the North West, Historic England
Catherine has worked in the heritage sector for 22 years.  She worked for Portsmouth and Birmingham City Councils Planning Departments before moving back home to Newcastle to work for English Heritage.  Here she mainly worked on regeneration schemes and the design of new development in historic areas, leading the Development Management Team in the North East.  Having studied Town Planning with Urban Design she has a strong interest in urbanism and making new development work well in historic places.  At Historic England, Catherine is Planning Director for the North East and North West, leading the teams in providing advice, grants and support for those engaged with constructively managing the historic environment. 

Course venue

St Michael’s House at Coventry Cathedral, 11 Priory Row, CV1 5EX

Course fee

The course fee for two days is £370, to include all tuition, lunch and daily refreshments as well as travel to and from the site visit on day 2.

Please note that payment is by credit or debit card and we will require this payment within one week of receiving your completed form. If this is not received your place will be given away. Once we have received your completed form our payments team will phone you for payment of the course fees which is due in advance of the course; your place will then be confirmed.

If you choose to cancel your place within 28 days of the event we will not refund any costs. If cancelled earlier than this we will provide a full refund of £370.

How to book

To reserve your place on this course please email your completed booking form to: and await a telephone call from our finance department in the week following. Your place will not be confirmed until we have received payment.

Download the course booking form

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