The Setting of Heritage Assets

Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning: 3 (2nd Edition)

This document sets out guidance, against the background of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the related guidance given in the Planning Practice Guide (PPG), on managing change within the settings of heritage assets, including archaeological remains and historic buildings, sites, areas, and landscapes.

It gives general advice on understanding setting, and how it may contribute to the significance of heritage assets and allow that significance to be appreciated, as well as advice on how views contribute to setting. The suggested staged approach to taking decisions on setting can also be used to assess the contribution of views to the significance of heritage assets. The guidance has been written for local planning authorities and those proposing change to heritage assets.

It replaces The Setting of Heritage Assets: Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning Note 3 – 1st edition, (2015) and Seeing the History in the View: A Method for assessing Heritage Significance within Views (English Heritage, 2011).

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.


  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Settings and views
  • Part 2: Setting and views - a staged approach to proportionate decision-taking
    Step 1: Identifying which heritage assets and their settings are affected
    Step 2: Assess the degree to which these settings and views make a contribution to the significance of the heritage asset(s) or allow significance to be appreciated
    Step 3: Assess the effects of the proposed development, whether beneficial or harmful, on the significance or on the ability to appreciate it
    Step 4: Explore ways to maximise enhancement and avoid or minimise harm
    Step 5: Make and document the decision and monitor outcomes

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 21
  • Product Code: HEAG180


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
Email: [email protected]