Tall Buildings

Historic England Advice Note 4

In the right place, well-designed tall buildings can make a positive contribution to urban life. Equally, there will be sites where the impacts upon the historic environment cannot be overcome or minimised. Such sites may be inherently unsuitable for tall buildings due to the harm they would cause to the significance of heritage assets.

The Historic England Advice Note Advice Note 4: Tall Buildings, second edition provides advice on planning for tall buildings within the historic environment.

Its purpose is to support local planning authorities (LPAs), developers, communities and other stakeholders in dealing with tall buildings proposals within the legislative and planning framework relevant to the historic environment. Case studies from across England are included to provide insights and experience.

This edition updates Historic England’s advice in light of changes to national planning policy and guidance, and recent experience of planning for tall buildings in the historic environment. This Historic England Advice note supersedes ‘Historic England Advice Note 4: Tall Buildings, first edition (2015)’.

Assessing the Impact of Tall Buildings on the Historic Environment

The Historic England Advice Note 4: Tall Buildings reflects research from Assessing the Impact of Tall Buildings on the Historic Environment report (Node, 2021).

The aim of the project was to improve understanding of how the impacts of tall buildings on the historic environment, as predicted during the planning process, compare with the reality of those buildings post-construction.

The report collates the findings of detailed case study-led analysis and consultation with industry experts, into an evidence-led series of key lessons and recommendations, to inform Historic England’s publication and strategies when responding to tall building development.


  1. Introduction
  2. Policy and guidance background
  3. Tall buildings and their impact
  4. Tall buildings and the development plan
  5. Developing proposal for tall buildings
  6. Assessing proposals
  7. Appendix 1

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 42
  • Product Code: HEAG037


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