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Historic England updates – ‘Conservation Principles’ out for consultation

24 Nov 2017
On 10th November, Historic England (HE) published a revised draft of ‘Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment’, which sets out HE’s understanding of ‘historic significance’ as applied to heritage protection and planning. Consultation ends 2 February 2018.
The guidance is intended by HE to guide their own staff on best practice, but as a corporate statement by UK government’s statutory advisor and consultee on aspects of the historic environment the document has naturally become a standard reference document for practitioners within the sector, underpinning methodologies followed by Lichfields’ heritage team.
Since the introduction of the NPPF in 2012, a major issue has been the misalignment between language and terminology used in ‘Conservation Principles’ and in the NPPF.  In the 2008 guidance ‘significance’ was defined as heritage values: Evidential, Communal, Aesthetic and Historic. These are now replaced by types of heritage interest: Historic, Archaeological, and Architectural and Artistic.
This change of terminology, structure and content will be welcomed by those in the heritage sector who previously grappled with two sets of distinct but overlapping terminology when writing heritage impact assessments and conservation management plans. HE’s realigned corporate position with the NPPF also clears up any uncertainty around the status of HE’s definitions.
If you would like to discuss the draft ‘Conservation Principles’ in more detail, please contact the Heritage Team at Lichfields.
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