What is a Local Heritage List?

A Local Heritage List is a collection of non-designated, locally-identified buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes that are recognised as having a degree of heritage significance and importance in the local community. Local Heritage Lists can also play a key part in promoting the cultural identity of a place for various purposes, for example, as a focus for investment and tourism. Locally listing a heritage asset in itself does not bring about additional planning requirements, over and above those already in place, but can be used as a tool to help inform planning decisions in a way that conserves and enhances local character and identity. This means that where planning permission is required, the planning authority will need to consider the value or significance of the heritage asset in the decision making process. Whilst the planning protections for non-designated heritage assets are not as strong as those for designated heritage assets, they are still important.

The Historic England Advice Note 7: Local Heritage Listing provides advice and guidance on local heritage listing. It also provides a framework for local communities and a local planning authorities to work together to identify heritage assets that are locally significant and assess their desirability for conservation.

What is the purpose of a Local Heritage List?

  • To raise awareness of an area’s local heritage assets.

  • To better inform all local people, including heritage asset owners, groups, developers, Council Officers, Local Members, who wish to have a greater understanding of heritage assets within the local area.

  • To provide guidance and specialist advice to owners to help protect the character of their buildings, structures, sites and landscapes.

  • To help the Council in its decision making when discussing proposals and determining planning applications.

  • To record the nature and extent of the local historic environment more accurately.

Some Local Authorities and groups may already have some kind of formally compiled list. However, it may not necessarily be referred to as a Local List; for example, they may be known as Register of Buildings of Local Historic or Architectural Importance, or a List of Locally Important Buildings. You may have also heard them referred to as Locally Listed Buildings, Local list of Heritage Assets or a list of Non-Designated Heritage Assets. They are all terms referring to the same thing.