Civic Voice call for stronger protection on non-designated heritage assets in Planning Policy

Call comes as Civic Voice celebrates its 8th birthday publishing the first national register listing all local authorities with a “Local Heritage List”.

New research by Civic Voice, funded by Historic England’s Heritage Protection Commissions programme, shows that at least 168 local authorities across the country now have a Local Heritage List in place, giving greater protection to non-designated heritage assets. These authorities are active in listening to communities about what buildings, structures, sites and landscapes make the local area special.

The first national register of Local Heritage Lists is being published by Civic Voice today to inspire other communities to knock on the door of their local council and to campaign for more Local Heritage Lists to be created. The register is published alongside a new Civic Voice guide highlighting examples of local communities who have helped prepare Local Heritage Lists.

Griff Rhys Jones, Civic Voice President said: “We know that many local authorities have lost conservation officers, but we are calling on councils to work with the community to get the extra protection Local Heritage Assets deserve. We want councils and communities to work together and learn from the likes of Blackpool Civic Trust, The Norwich Society and other Civic Voice members who have been campaigning for many years to see such Local Heritage Lists adopted in their areas.

Sarah James, Civic Voice expert on Local Heritage Lists said: “Local planning authorities are encouraged to consider making clear and up-to-date information on their identified non-designated heritage assets, both in terms of the criteria used to identify assets and information about the location of existing assets, accessible to the public. We don’t think this goes far enough. By publishing this first national register we want to highlight that we have a long way to go to protect our local heritage. In our response to the draft National Planning Policy Framework we will be asking the Government to make it mandatory for local authorities to prepare a Local Heritage List.”

The Local Heritage List National Register and Local Heritage List Guide is available at

1 Civic Voice is the national charity for the civic movement. We work to make the places where everyone lives more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive and to promote civic pride. We speak up for civic societies and local communities across England. We believe everyone should live somewhere they can be proud of and we know how people feel about places because we feel the same way. Civic societies are the most numerous participants in the planning system. Since its launch in April 2010 Civic Voice has been joined by over 290 civic societies with 75,000 members. Further information is available at including how to join Civic Voice (£10 individuals) and contact details for local civic societies.

2 A Local Heritage List identifies heritage assets (principally buildings) that are valued locally for their architecture and/or historic value, but which are not of sufficient importance to warrant national statutory listing (i.e. grade I, II* and II.)

3 The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) describes a heritage asset as ‘a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest.’ The term ‘heritage asset’ includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing). The NPPF advises local authorities that in assessing proposals which only have local heritage status (“non-designated heritage assets”) ‘a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.’ (NPPF paragraph 135).

Further information
Ian Harvey .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T / 07877096968
T @civic_voice