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Seeing the History in the View

Front cover for Seeing the history in the view

This document presents a method for understanding and assessing heritage significance within views. The method can be applied to any view that is significant in terms of its heritage values. Such views may be selected by a developer or planning authority (perhaps in consultation with Historic England) as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of a specific development proposal.

The method has been designed to provide a consistent and positive approach to managing change. This approach has been tested and refined through a number of worked examples. 

The guidance is designed to be used as part of the suite of other assessment and characterisation tools whose function is to help understand the contribution made by setting to the significance of a heritage asset.

We are in the process of revising this publication:

  • to reflect changes resulting from the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and other Government initiatives
  • to incorporate new information and advice based on recent case law and Inquiry decisions


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • The Need for Guidance
  • Assessing Heritage Significance within Views
  • Phase A: Baseline Analysis
  • Phase B: Assessment of Impact
  • Appendix A: Glossary
  • Appendix B: Defining Viewing Place, Assessment Points and Viewing Points
  • Appendix C: Notes on Mapping and Photography
  • Appendix D: Worked example for Phase A
  • References

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Legacy Document
  • Product Code: 51676
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