Neighbourhood Planning and the Historic Environment

Historic England Advice Note 11 (Second Edition)

This advice note is written to help neighbourhood planning groups, local planning authorities and other stakeholders to explore the role of historic places and local history in preparing a neighbourhood plan.

It begins with the foundations of why you should consider the historic environment when preparing a plan (section 1), which culminates in a checklist of relevant issues to consider, followed by an overview of what this means in terms of evidence gathering (section 2).

Of course the historic environment is only one of the environmental issues to consider during plan preparation, alongside economic and social considerations. Section 3 of this advice note focuses on translating evidence into policy, mindful of this bigger picture and including links between the different elements of sustainable development. It is complemented by case studies in this advice note and on Historic England’s website.

Section 4 outlines the role and process of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and section 5 describes the role of Historic England in neighbourhood planning.

The second edition of this advice note, which has been reformatted to be more readable, takes account of changes in national planning policy and guidance since the first edition was published in late 2018. In particular, these provide more clarity on non-designated heritage assets and strengthen the emphasis on design in plan-making. These changes are accompanied by other factual updating, clarifications and other minor editorial changes. The advice note is supported by further information on Historic England’s website, including information sheets on policy issues such as site allocations, additional case studies, and links to other resources.


  1. Why you should consider the historic environment in a neighbourhood plan
    1.1 What is the historic environment?
    1.2 Designated and non-designated heritage assets
    1.3 Why is the historic environment important?
    1.4 Addressing heritage in the neighbourhood planning process
    1.5 Help with neighbourhood planning
  2. Understanding the historic environment in a neighbourhood plan area
    2.1 Community engagement
    2.2 Building a proportionate, robust evidence base
    2.3 Using existing sources of information
    2.4 Additional evidence gathering
    2.5 What next?
  3. Translating evidence into policy
    3.1 Why policies are important
    3.2 Policy development
    3.3 Identifying opportunities
  4. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
    4.1 When is SEA needed?
    4.2 The benefits of SEA
    4.3 What is involved?
  5. The role of Historic England

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 42
  • Product Code: HEAG264


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