Berwick-upon-Tweed. View of the Royal Border Bridge which crosses to Tweedmouth. Engineered by Robert Stephenson. © Historic England (DP092643). Explore our images

Heritage Protection Guide

Welcome to the most comprehensive online guide to heritage protection in England.  This is a guide to the law, policy and guidance that protects the heritage of our listed buildings, conservation areas, scheduled monuments, registered parks, gardens and battlefields, ship and other protected wreck sites, World Heritage Sites, non-designated archaeological sites, local listed buildings and other heritage assets.

Heritage Planning Case Database

Search for appeal and call-in decisions relating to planning permission (that affects a heritage asset) and listed building consent.

General Introduction

This is a guide to the law, policy and guidance that exist to protect our historic areas, sites, buildings and monuments in England.

Information on Heritage Assets

Understanding the significance of heritage assets is fundamental to their care and protection

Designation of Heritage Assets

Examines the different processes involved in identifying and designating heritage assets.

Planning for the Historic Environment

The objective of the planning system is sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations meeting theirs.

Consent & Planning Permission

Consents and permissions are key aspects towards protecting England’s heritage, aiding an informed approach to managing change in historic places.

Decision-Making Principles for Listed Building and Other Consents

When considering permissions and consents for work that affect heritage assets relevant authorities must adhere to certain principles and obligations.

The Terms of a Heritage Consent

It is very important to understand precisely what a permission or consent for development or works actually gives permission for.

Assistance for Owners

The vast majority of our historic buildings and sites are in private ownership and maintained at personal cost.

Heritage at Risk

Heritage assets at risk obviously deserve priority attention as they are irreplaceable.

Unauthorised Works and Heritage Crime

Where works have taken place without the required consent authorities have options to have the heritage asset restored to its original state.

Works to Comply with the Law

All land, buildings and building works are subject to various legal compliance requirements to protect health and safety and equality of access.

Public and Heritage Bodies - their roles and details

There are hundreds of organisations and hundreds of thousands of people who each year give their time for free to protect the nation’s heritage.

International Heritage Conventions, Treaties and Charters

The UK is a signatory to a number of international treaties that touch upon or concern culture and heritage. They are not law and have no direct force

Recent Changes to Heritage Protection

Changes in the mainstream planning system as well as in the specialised heritage protection system are regularly being considered and progressed.

Heritage Definitions

Definitions of terms used within heritage protection legislation and documents.