Local plans and development management

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identifies the historic environment as a core planning principle. It states that Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) should have a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment.

LPAs are tasked with the development and creation of a Local Plan for their administrative area. These Local Plans aid decision making when determining planning applications, including those that relate to historic buildings and places.

Historic England has developed detailed Good Practice Advice for local authorities to help support the plan-making process. The guidance focuses on ensuring that full consideration is given to the historic environment in the development of planning policy and specifically through the site allocation process.

Development management/control

There are eight LPAs in Northamptonshire:

These LPAs seek to retain and enhance historic features through designations such as conservation areas, listed building consent and scheduled monuments, as well as encouraging careful consideration of the impact of proposed developments on such features or areas.

Advice and services

The LPAs can provide the following advice and services:

  • Providing expert advice and support to listed building owners on repair and alteration;
  • Providing advice on applications for listed building consent;
  • Providing advice on planning applications for developments, which affect conservation areas and the setting of listed buildings;
  • Taking enforcement action, where expedient to do so, they can also take enforcement action, including prosecution, against owners who cause harm to designated heritage assets by ignoring the protection that is in place;
  • Helping advise on scheduled monument consent;
  • Providing advice on Village Design Statements, which can describe the distinctive characteristics of the locality and provide design guidance to influence future development;
  • Providing advice on the development of Neighbourhood Plans to ensure the consideration of the historic environment;
  • Serving Article 4 directions to ensure that specific permitted development rights on the land would be removed;
  • Administering grants to protect heritage by assisting with the repair or reinstatement of traditional features on listed buildings and on Article 4 buildings in conservation areas.

Heritage consents and permissions

The law requires planning permission to be obtained for most developments or changes of use of existing buildings. A full list and detailed explanation of each consent and how to apply is available on the Historic England website. Special heritage consents and permissions may also be required for certain purposes and a brief explanation of each is provided below:

Conservation area consent

There are 187 conservation areas in Northamptonshire

This consent has not been required since 2013, when the law changed.

Previously it was required to demolish un-listed buildings in a conservation area. Now, consent for demolition is obtained as part of the planning application process.

Permission must also be sought for "relevant demolition," which includes un-listed buildings in conservation areas.

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Listed building consent

​There are 6669 listed buildings in Northamptonshire.

This consent is required when any alteration or extension of a listed building affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest. This extends to demolition, which must be applied for from the LPA.

For more information, see the Historic England Listed Buildings page.

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Registered parks, gardens, and battlefields consent

There are 33 registered Parks and Gardens and 3 registered Battlefields in Northamptonshire

These are registered by Historic England. Although there is no separate consent system for these sites, their significance is a "material planning consideration" for the LPA, which must be considered in any proposed development affecting one of these sites or their setting.

For more information, see the Historic England Registered Parks and Gardens and Historic England Registered Battlefields pages.

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Planning permission

Article 4 Direction

If permitted development rights have been removed by an LP) by using an Article 4 Direction, certain works would require planning permission. Some applications may include works which affect historic buildings or places. In these circumstances the LPA has to take into account the potential impact on the building or place as a result of the proposed development. ​

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Scheduled monument consent

​There are 200 Scheduled Monuments in Northamptonshire

These monuments are protected against ground disturbance and unlicensed metal detecting. Written consent must be obtained from Historic England before any work on or near to a scheduled monument can begin.

For more information, see the Historic England Scheduled Monuments page.

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Tree consent

Tree Preservation Orders

Trees can be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or if they are located within a conservation area. If trees are protected, then consent is required from the LPA for works to be done to them.

For more information, see the Historic England Tree Conservation page.

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