Historic England has developed the first comprehensive guide to developing local heritage lists, based on examples of good practice from around the country.
The advice note Local Heritage Listing will be of use to local authorities, community groups and other interested stakeholders in the identification and management of significant local heritage assets using a local heritage list.
Raising the profile of local heritage
Local lists play an essential role in building and reinforcing a sense of local character and distinctiveness in the historic environment. Local lists can be used to identify significant local heritage assets to support the development of Local Plans. Encouraging the use of local lists will strengthen the role of local heritage assets as a material consideration in the planning process.
The advice note will support local authorities and their communities to introduce a local list in their area or make changes to an existing list, through the preparation of selection criteria.
The advice note also encourages a more consistent approach to the identification and management of local heritage assets across England. It signals a move away from the buildings-led approach to local listing to encompass the full range of heritage assets that make up the historic environment and ensure the proper validation and recording of local heritage assets.
Increasing community involvement in managing the historic environment
At its heart, local listing provides an opportunity for communities to have their views on local heritage heard. It recognises that the importance we place on the historic environment extends beyond the confines of the planning system to recognise those community-based values that contribute to our sense of place.
This includes involving communities in drafting the selection criteria used to judge the suitability of an asset for inclusion on the local heritage list, along with a role in nominating assets for addition to the list. By encouraging greater cooperation between local authorities and the community, selection criteria will provide the basis for a transparent, consistent and proportionate system for the identification, validation and recording of local heritage assets.
Access to information on the historic environment at local level
Integral to local listing is a push to improve access to clear, comprehensive and current information about the local historic environment. This will involve ensuring that the information contained on local lists is publicly available, best achieved by migrating information onto the Historic Environment Record for the area.