The historic environment is an asset of enormous cultural, social, economic and environmental value, contributing to our sense of history, place and quality of life.
A heritage asset may comprise a building, structure, local character area, archaeological site, landscape or landscape feature, and includes those identified by the local planning authority such as local interest buildings (‘non-designated heritage assets’). Importantly, non-designated heritage assets are those identified by the local planning authority as having a degree of significance because of its heritage interest but otherwise not protected by formal designation.
Criteria for identifying non-designated heritage assets
We have set out local criteria for non-designated heritage assets in a draft document available on the consultation section.
This criteria is consistent with advice contained within Historic England Advice Note 7: Local Heritage Listing’ (Historic England, 2016) and the definition set out within annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that 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’.
In order to identify the many different types of asset found within Newark and Sherwood District’s historic environment, we have brought together guidance contained in various heritage-related publications, including Historic England listed building selection guides and local listing best practice guidance.
Common themes include:
- Cultural landscapes: heritage assets associated with a significant period in an area’s history
- Social history: assets associated with the social history of an area, including intangible aspects of heritage such as traditions and practices, or literary associations
- Patterns of settlement: notable examples of planned or incidental planning including: street plans; characteristic clusters of assets; interrelationship between buildings and open spaces; major infrastructure;
- Local Figures: assets associated with individuals of local importance.
Historic England’s Conservation Principles (2008) provides further detail on assessing the significance of a heritage asset, based around an understanding of an asset’s evidential, historical, aesthetic or communal value.
The language which has evolved through these heritage guidance documents and other relevant research includes the inter-connected themes of ‘interest’ and ‘significance’, which are found repeatedly. Both terms are fundamental to explaining what makes a heritage asset special.
The different types of ‘interest’ which have been identified as being relevant for Newark and Sherwood District are: archaeological, architectural, artistic and historic. This type of interest must have at least one element of significance to meet the criteria, including for example a level of aesthetic appeal, association, integrity, rarity, or representativeness.
Local planning authorities may identify non-designated heritage assets at any time. A substantial majority of buildings have little or no heritage significance, however, and thus do not constitute heritage assets. Only a minority have enough heritage interest for their significance to be a material consideration in the planning process.
In cases where planning permission is required for the redevelopment of a site, the loss of a non-designated heritage asset is a material consideration. In accordance with paragraph 197 of the National Planning Policy Framework, a balanced judgement is required in determining the impact on the heritage asset and the scale of the harm to it.
Evidence which might assist in determining whether there is a clear and convincing justification for demolition might include structural engineer’s reports, historic building assessments and viability reports. In addition, paragraph 199 of the National Planning Policy Framework advises that the LPA should require developers to record and advance understanding of the significance of any heritage assets to be lost (wholly or in part) in a manner proportionate to their importance and the impact, and to make this evidence (and any archive generated) publicly accessible. However, the ability to record evidence of our past should not be a factor in deciding whether such loss should be permitted.
Areas of special local character
Many settlements within Newark and Sherwood have a historic core that can easily be identified, usually due to the presence of early structures such as medieval churches, manor houses or industrial sites (mills for example).
Often these settlements contain tightly bound road patterns around the centre that survive to this date. Whilst there are many examples of local character areas with medieval origins, there might also be other local character areas with significance as post-medieval planned settlements such as estate or colliery villages.
The legibility and integrity of these areas is an important factor in determining whether these areas have special local character.
Commemorative structures including memorials, statues, funerary monuments, gravestones, tombs and plaques are of considerable importance both in terms of their contribution to local identity and in their aesthetic qualities.
Such structures are present in most settlements and are constructed in a variety of different designs and materials for a variety of purposes. Other than those given statutory protection (either listed or within the setting of listed buildings), a large number of non-designated commemorative structures contribute significantly to the character and history of an area.
Initially, these structures can be viewed as representations of the artistic styles and social values of the time. In addition to this however, they can provide a physical link to the past and often provide a valuable insight as to the importance or status of the person/people commemorated.
We have produced a gazetteer for outdoor war memorials.