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Transcript of Heritage Assets
The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. That interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic.
What is a heritage asset?
HERITAGE ASSET (definition from NPPF)
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. Heritage assets include designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).
Significance (for heritage policy): The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. That interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic. Significance derives not only from a heritage asset’s physical presence, but also from its setting.
The Government believes that the historic environment is an asset of enormous cultural, social, economic and environmental value.
(The Government’s Statement on the Historic Environment for England 2010)
When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation. The more important the asset, the greater the weight should be. Significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification. Substantial harm to or loss of a grade II listed building, park or garden should be exceptional. Substantial harm to or loss of designated heritage assets of the highest significance, notably scheduled monuments, protected wreck sites, battlefields, grade I and II* listed buildings, grade I and II* registered parks and gardens, and World Heritage Sites, should be wholly exceptional.
Where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm to or total loss of significance of a designated heritage asset, local planning authorities should refuse consent, unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss, or all of the following apply:
the nature of the heritage asset prevents all reasonable uses of the site; and
no viable use of the heritage asset itself can be found in the medium term through appropriate marketing that will enable its conservation; and
conservation by grant-funding or some form of charitable or public ownership is demonstrably not possible; and
the harm or loss is outweighed by the benefit of bringing the site back into use.
NPPF "definition of setting": The surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve. Elements of a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral.
The key principles are:
All heritage assets have a setting;
The extent and importance of a setting is often expressed by reference to visual considerations;
Setting is not curtilage and is normally more extensive;
Settings that contribute to significance can be accidental as well as designed;
The contribution a setting can make does not depend on public accessibility;
Setting can be almost anything and we are still 'testing' the guidance!
Archaeological interest: There will be archaeological interest in a heritage asset if it holds, or potentially may hold, evidence of past human activity worthy of expert investigation at some point. Heritage assets with archaeological interest are the primary source of evidence about the substance and evolution of places, and of the people and cultures that made them.