Glossary of Terms



Article 4 Direction

An Article 4 Direction is made by a local planning authority. It restricts the scope of permitted development rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the authority’s area. Where an Article 4 Direction is in effect, a planning application may be required for development that would otherwise have been permitted development. Article 4 Directions are most commonly used to control minor works and alterations to properties that could threaten the character of an area of acknowledged importance, such as a designated Conservation Area.


The process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset or its setting in a way that sustains and where appropriate enhances its significance.


The part played by a heritage asset in adding special interest and value to an area.

Designated Heritage Asset

A building, place, landscape, etc. identified through legislation such as, A World Heritage Site, Scheduled Monument, Listed Building, Protected Wreck Site, Registered Park and Garden, Registered Battlefield or Conservation Area


To improve a heritage asset or area, especially in value, or attractiveness. The significance of buildings or places, including its setting, can be enhanced by removing objects, buildings and development which impact upon it.

Historic Environment

All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora. Those elements of the historic environment that hold significance are called heritage assets.

Historic Environment Record (HER)

Historic environment records are information services that seek to provide access to comprehensive and dynamic resources relating to the historic environment of a defined geographic area for public benefit and use. Typically, they comprise databases linked to a geographic information system (GIS), and associated reference material, together with a dedicated staffing resource.

Heritage Asset

A heritage asset is 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 includes those which are designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority as non-designated heritage assets which includes locally listed assets.

Local Heritage Asset

An inherited resource which has heritage significance that local people value and which contribute to local distinctiveness and a sense of place.

Local Planning Authority

The local government body, usually the planning department of the district or borough council that is empowered by law to exercise planning functions for a particular area.

Material Consideration

Is a matter that is taken into account in making decisions on planning proposals. The impact of development on the significance of heritage is a material consideration.


National Planning Policy Framework (July 2021)

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights allow property and land owners to perform certain types of development without needing to apply for planning permission.


To maintain a heritage asset in its original or existing state, ensure no harm is caused to its value or significance.


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 value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. That interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic, historic or communal.


To maintain and uphold.


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Viable Use

An alternative use of a heritage asset that is economically feasible and capable of working successfully; that is likely to cause the least harm to the significance of the asset.