This page introduces the different legal consents and permissions that may affect historic buildings and places, including those which are protected through the designation system. Use the list of links below to find out more about the main consents which may affect heritage.
Decisions are normally made by the local planning authority - unless otherwise shown. The decision-maker will have to decide whether or not an application for consent is required in particular circumstances, as well as whether or not to grant consent for any application.
Local planning authorities need to consult Historic England on certain types of application, including some applications for listed building consent and planning permission.
The Historic England Charter for Advisory Services explains where this is needed.
It is important to gain insight and awareness of trends in heritage consent applications in order to inform Historic England's support and guidance.
Planning practice-related research
Historic England has recently undertaken and commissioned research looking at how heritage is considered in planning practice, with particular reference to the application of the National Planning Policy Framework. The results suggest that the policy itself is effective, but that there is some cause for concern regarding its implementation.
i) The Heritage Dimension of Planning Applications
This Historic England research reviewed just under a thousand planning and listed building consent applications across the country, to explore the ‘heritage dimension’ of planning activity. Specifically, the research looked at:
- The frequency with which heritage assets feature in such applications
- How they feature
- What impact the inclusion of heritage assets within a proposal has on the processing and determination of these applications
ii) Heritage in Planning Decisions: The NPPF and Designated Heritage Assets
Historic England commissioned Green Balance to review decisions on planning applications relating to designated heritage assets, and to determine whether or not:
- The heritage policies of the National Planning Policy Framework are being implemented
- The decisions are having the desired effect of protecting and enhancing the historic environment
Listed building consents: a review of data (2015)
In 2015 Green Balance were commissioned to collect and analyse nearly 1,000 listed building consent applications. The sample was distributed between regions, between urban and rural areas, between authorities which do and do not charge for pre-application discussions, and between periods before and after legislation came into effect to reintroduce VAT at 20% on approved works to listed buildings.
Amongst the variables analysed, the data showed who was applying for listed building consent, the nature of the works for which they were applying, and the way applicants managed the process.
A review of data on listed building consents was commissioned to give a statistically robust insight on trends in listed building consents over a three year period, March 2011 - March 2014.Learn more