Managing Significance in Decision-Taking in the Historic Environment

Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning: 2

Buy printed version from bookshop

The purpose of this Good Practice Advice note is to provide information on good practice to assist local authorities, planning and other consultants, owners, applicants and other interested parties in implementing historic environment policy in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the related guidance given in the National Planning Practice Guide (PPG). 

This document contains useful information on assessing the significance of heritage assets, using appropriate expertise, historic environment records, recording and furthering understanding, neglect and unauthorised works, marketing and design and distinctiveness. 

We are currently reviewing our advice in light of the changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, and will amend it, where necessary, in due course.

Please note: On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still correct.


  • Introduction
  • General advice on decision-taking
  • The assessment of significance as part of the application process
  • Conservation Principles and assessment
  • Curtilage structures
  • Archaeological and historic interest
  • Finding appropriate information: Historic Environment Records (HERs)
  • Assessing the proposals
  • Cumulative impact
  • Listed building consent regime
  • Decision-taking for assets with archaeological interest
  • Recording and furthering understanding
  • Written Schemes of Investigation (WSI)
  • Archaeological conditions and obligations for WSIs
  • Reporting, publication and archiving
  • Human remains
  • Mineral extraction
  • Public engagement
  • Unexpected discoveries during work
  • Scheduled monument consent
  • Neglect
  • Unauthorised works, enforcement notices and prosecution
  • Marketing to demonstrate redundancy
  • Public or charitable interest and support for assets under threat
  • Opportunities to enhance assets, their settings and local distinctiveness
  • Design and local distinctiveness

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 20
  • Product Code: HEAG007


If you require an alternative, accessible version of this document (for instance in audio, Braille or large print) please contact us:

Customer Service Department

Telephone: 0370 333 0607
Textphone: 0800 015 0516
Email: [email protected]