Enabling Development in context of the historic environment is development that would be unacceptable in planning terms but for the fact that it would bring heritage benefits sufficient to justify it being carried out, and which could not otherwise be achieved (1).
A typical example would be the construction of houses where planning policy would normally prohibit them, the profits from which would pay for repairs to a heritage asset.
As enabling development is, by definition, undesirable in at least some respects, Historic England has produced very thorough guidance on the sorts of situations in which it may, or may not, be appropriate (1). The guidance contains a useful digest of applications for enabling development that have reached a public inquiry.
(1) Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places, English Heritage 2008 (see 'related publications)
Also of interest...
Online searchable database of designated heritage assets (excluding conservation areas).
The development plan comprises the local planning authority's local development plan and the neighbourhood development plan, if there is one.
Planning Permission in relation to listed buildings, conservation areas and other historic places.
Listed Building Consent
The Statutory Requirements - the law introduces some important and inescapable considerations for certain applications.
This page sets out how the National Planning Policy Framework relates to heritage assets.
The Local Development Framework