Heritage considerations and development

Northamptonshire contains a particularly rich, diverse, and distinctive collection of heritage assets. The county currently has:

  • 6669 listed buildings;
  • 187 conservation areas;
  • 200 scheduled monuments;
  • 3 registered battlefields;
  • 33 registered parks and gardens;
  • Many undesignated heritage assets.

In order to protect and conserve these assets, it is vital that the planning process considers the historic environment at all stages.

Legislative context

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out how Local Plans should be developed and how planning applications should be determined with consideration to conservation and heritage. 

The NPPF and associated Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) can be viewed on the Planning Practice Guidance website. Specific reference to the historic environment is covered in paragraphs 17 and 126-141 and should be considered throughout the entire plan-making process.

The PPG can be used to provide more context to the NPPF, which offers a high-level overview. The PPG website also provides advice on how to apply the key principles of conserving and enhancing the historic environment at a local government level. 

The Heritage Protection Guide, produced by Historic England, provides a high-level explanation of how planning law applies to historic buildings and places. Information on how this is applied locally, is provided on our ‘Local plans and development management’ page.