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Charter for Advisory Services

This Charter sets out the services we provide for those involved in changing or influencing change to the historic environment, including its enhancement.

It explains specifically how we handle requests for pre-application and statutory advice; it covers our advice on matters of policy and management issues relevant to the planning process; and it explains our engagement, in partnership with others, in the planning system.

Our commitment

We are committed to continuously improving the quality and timeliness of our advisory service. We currently give more than 98% of planning and listed building consent advice to local authorities within 21 days or against an agreed timetable. We also welcome pre-application engagement.

Our Charter principally covers our service to local planning authorities, owners of designated heritage assets and developers, but if you are considering any work which will affect the historic environment you will find it useful. It may also be relevant where we are invited to engage in Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreements, Consent Orders and Planning Performance Agreements.

We are committed to providing constructive advice at all times and aim to provide clear responses in a timely manner in our role as a statutory consultee. We monitor our turnaround performance and hold regular reviews of cases to ensure consistency in our approach and clarity in our responses.

This Charter forms our Code of Practice and we will periodically update it in response to our evolving role within the planning system.

National expertise, locally delivered

Our advice is based on our experience and expertise in the historic environment and we have a network of staff across England with a wide range of professional skills.

We provide our advice through teams in our nine Local Offices covering Development Management, Heritage at Risk and Historic Places. We prioritise our efforts according to identified needs for the nation’s heritage, but we also respond to changing demands and align our services locally with the growth priorities of local authorities and communities engaged in securing sustainable development.

We publish an annual Improvement Plan for our planning services, identifying the relevant improvements we are making. The plan is reviewed every year with government and other agencies and in response to feedback from our customers.

If you wish to contact us about the advice we have given to a Local Authority or government department, or consider we have not followed our own published procedures, please contact your contact your local Historic England office.

Freedom of information

We are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which provide a general right of access to information we hold or are responsible for.

We may provide the information you have supplied in response to a request made under this legislation, subject to any exemptions which apply. We will consult with external parties as necessary prior to releasing information.

Equality implications

Public bodies are responsible for ensuring that their plans, policies and activities do not unfairly discriminate against a group protected by equalities legislation.

It is the responsibility of the public bodies that we advise to ensure that they have paid due regard to local equality implications when implementing our advice.

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    How We Perform

    Every year we report to government about our performance and our annual Improvement Plan for our planning services.