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Local Plans

This page introduces the Historic England Good Practice Advice to support Local Planning Authorities in drawing up Local Plans that make provision for historic buildings and sites in their area.

Local Plans and the historic environment

Local authorities have to make a Local Plan, setting out planning policies for making planning decisions in their area, including those covering historic buildings and areas.  Local plans have to be consistent with planning law and national policy and guidance.

Historic England's Good Practice Advice Note; The Historic Environment in Local Plans (GPA1) sets out information to help local planning authorities make well informed and effective local plans.

At the same time, those taking decisions need enough information to understand the issues and formulate balanced policies.

The advice in this document, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework, emphasises that all information requirements and assessment work in support of plan-making and heritage protection needs to relate to the significance of the heritage assets affected and the impact on the significance of those heritage assets.

Site allocations in local plans

The identification of potential sites for development within a Local Plan is an important step in establishing where change and growth will happen across local authority areas, as well as the type of development and when it should occur.

Our Advice Note The Historic Environment and Site Allocations in Local Plans is intended to offer advice to all those involved in the process, to help ensure that the historic environment plays a positive role in allocating sites for development. It offers advice on evidence gathering and site allocation policies, as well as setting out in detail a number of steps to make sure that heritage considerations are fully integrated in any site selection methodology.

Neighbourhood planning

Neighbourhood plans may be produced by a willing neighbourhood forum or parish council. Where they are in place, neighbourhood plans form part of the development plan for an area, along with the local planning authority’s local plan.

Neighbourhood plans takes precedence over the local authority's development plan on matters that are not of strategic importance to the local authority's area, and so can have influence over what happens to historic buildings and places.

See our Neighbourhood Planning page for our advice on neighbourhood plans.

Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment

Historic England is one of the designated environmental consultation bodies for Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

Our Advice Note, Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment focuses on SEA/SA process for development plans, including neighbourhood plans, but is equally applicable to the preparation of SEA/SAs for other types of documents such as Local Transport Plans and Water Resource Management Plans.

In it we set out important general principles to follow when analysing the historic environment in the context of the SEA/SA process.

Knowing Your Place

The Knowing Your Place advice note deals with the incorporation of local heritage into plans that rural communities are producing, reviewing or updating and focuses particularly on parish plans and village design statements.

By including their heritage in the plan, communities can really get to know the place in which they live and can ensure it keeps its vitality, sense of identity and individuality.

Historic England will also publish Advice Notes to provide further practical information on the creation of heritage strategies.

Good Practice Advice Notes

Historic England Good Practice Advice notes provide information to help local authorities, planning and other consultants, owners, applicants and other interested parties in following historic environment policy in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the related guidance given in the National Planning Practice Guide (PPG).

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