Planning and the Historic Environment

The planning system plays a significant role in the protection and conservation of the historic environment while helping it to accommodate and remain responsive to present-day needs.

Historic Environment Policy

Historic Environment Policy

Planning Policy Wales

Planning Policy Wales sets out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Government. Chapter 6 deals with the historic environment and its contribution to the Welsh Government's seven well-being goals for a sustainable Wales. Planning Policy Wales emphasises that the positive management of change in the historic environment is based on a full understanding of the nature and significance of historic assets and the recognition of the benefits that they can deliver in a vibrant culture and economy.

Technical Advice Notes

Planning Policy Wales is supplemented by a series of technical advice notes, circulars and policy clarification letters. Technical Advice Note 24: The Historic Environment contains detailed guidance on how the planning system considers the historic environment during development plan preparation and decision making on planning and listed building consent applications. It replaces Welsh Office Circulars:

60/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology

61/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas

1/98 Planning and the Historic Environment: Directions by the Secretary of State for Wales.

The replacement of Welsh Office Circular 1/98 has required the making of three new directions that can be downloaded below.

Letters to chief planning officers

Information on the provisions of the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and its implementation has been sent to the chief planning officers in Wales. The letters are available here.

Local Development Plans

Every local planning authority in Wales must prepare a Local Development Plan, which should reflect national policies for the conservation and enhancement of the historic environment. Locally specific policies may identify opportunities for the conservation and enhancement of historic assets in the consideration of development proposals. Such policies may be material to decisions on individual planning applications and will be taken into account by the Welsh Ministers and Planning Inspectors in the determination of called-in applications and appeals.

Conservation Principles

Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment in Wales provides the basis on which the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service (Cadw) discharges its duties on behalf of the Welsh Ministers. It explains how Cadw assesses the potential impacts of development proposals on historic assets. Its use is recommended to local planning authorities and others to inform decision making where the historic environment is affected by the planning process.