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Aimed at anyone working on heritage projects, this section provides practical guidance on surveying, managing and caring for historic buildings and their settings, as well as specialist techniques for investigating heritage.
Legislation and policy
Proposals regarding the historic environment are governed by national legislation and policy, as well as local policy, plans and guidance.
Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
Proposals concerning listed buildings and conservation areas need to comply with the minimum requirements outlines within this Act.
The most commonly used clause for conservation areas is Section 72 (1), which states:
“In the exercise, with respect to any buildings or other land in a conservation area, of any powers under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (2), special attention shall be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of that area.”
The most commonly used clause for listed buildings is Section 16(2), which states:
“In considering whether to grant listed building consent for any works the local planning authority or the Secretary of State shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.”
However the act governs many areas of listed buildings and conservation areas, including designation, rights of owners, enforcement, preservation and management.
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
Chapter 16: Conserving and enhancing the historic environment is the most commonly used section, with several clauses concerning listed buildings, conservation areas, planning requirements and non-designated heritage assets.
It is the NPPF which highlights that heritage:
“assets are an irreplaceable resource, and should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of existing and future generations” (Para 184, NPPF).
However other chapters such as Chapter 12: Achieving well-designed places are also applicable.
East Riding Local Plan Policy
Policy ENV3: Valuing Our Heritage is the principle local policy regarding the historic environment, highlighting that heritage assets should be used to reinforce local distinctiveness and create strong sense of place.
Other local policies are used, for example Policy S4: Supporting development in villages and countryside.
Additional Policy Guidance
This includes further information on heritage assets such as World Heritage Sites, but also offers advice on public benefits, how the possibility of harm to a heritage asset is assessed and what evidence is needed to demonstrate there is no viable use to a heritage asset.
Historic England has also published specific advice notes which help support owners, developers and authorities when it comes to the historic environment, these can also be found on the above link.
Supporting Planning Documents (SPDs)
The building conservation team are currently working on several supporting planning documents to form guidance and protocol in future planning processes. These shall be made available when prepared.
Building conservation advice
The building conservation team daily handles enquiries regarding conservation areas, listed buildings and the wider historic environment. However each building or proposal is taken on a case by case basis; therefore very specific advice can be difficult to give immediately.
We recommend emailing the team at firstname.lastname@example.org and including as much information/photographs as possible to help us in your enquiry.
Alternatively for larger, more in-depth enquiries, for example regarding possible planning or listed building consent proposals, we recommend using the specialist pre-application advice service. There is a charge for this service, but it allows a conservation officer to visit the site, offer advice on the significance and any future proposals, plus you will receive a report summarising any discussions/conservation opinions.
There are many amenity societies that can also offer advice on the historic environment, including:
You can also consult any local groups, such as Beverley or Goole Civic Society, as they may have more local knowledge on local history or local architects/design.
Historic Environment Record
The East Riding's local Historic Environment Record (HER) (external website) is based in Hull and shared with Hull City Council. The HER maintains records dating from present day through pre-history, with information on archaeology, the historic environment, listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled ancient monuments.
The Humber HER Office has many sources including historic maps, record cards, aerial photographs, and a library of national and local periodicals, monographs, books and other sources. Some sources are documented online on the Heritage Gateway website, however, the online cataloguing is not extensive.
In addition the East Riding Treasure House, located in Beverley hold many local archives, these include property information and copies of Victoria County Histories, Pevsner's Architectural Guides and other local history books.
To find out more information, please see their online catalogue (external website).
Whilst some of the building conservation team have a background in archaeology and may be able to help with minor enquiries, we do have a dedicated archaeology team which we share with Hull City Council.
They are based within the Historic Environment Record office in Hull.
When looking for a heritage expert, whether for technical construction work or a consultant to write a heritage statement, one of the best places we recommend to start is the Conservation service provider directory (external website) on the Institute of Historic Building Conservationists' website.
There is a lot of specialist information and terms used within building conservation, which often means the conservation officers' consults can use such wording.
To understand these better, use Historic England's Glossary for a comprehensive conservation glossary (external website).