Historic Environment Division advice and guidance in the planning process

The planning system has a key role in the conservation of our archaeological and built heritage. Appropriate development planning, development management and enforcement, can help to sustain vibrant communities, a strong economy, and realise the ongoing value of our historic environment.

Our responsibility to record, protect and provide advice on Northern Ireland’s historic environment requires that we provide advice to District Councils and Departmental planning authorities when they are:

  • preparing Local Development Plans
  • determining  planning applications with potential impacts on the  heritage assets we record and protect
  • investigating potential planning enforcement cases, with impacts on the heritage assets we record and protect

The detail of our planning role and the services standards we aim to provide, is set out in Our Planning Services and Standards Framework.

The circumstances in which HED are consulted upon applications affecting the historic environment, are set out in legislation  and are further explained in the document Consultation Guide:  A guide to consulting HED on development management applications.

We have published guidance on how we develop advice on planning applications and land-use change that may have an impact upon the settings of heritage assets in HED Guidance on Setting and the Historic Environment.

HED advice to planning authorities may require various forms of archaeological works to be undertaken as part of planning applications or in advance of development. Development and Archaeology: Guidance on Archaeological Works in the Planning Process provides guidance on undertaking such works.

HED have recently published the document ‘Guidance on making changes to Listed Buildings: Making a better application for listed building consent’, to help applicants and agents understand the type of information required for a Listed Building Consent application, and to help avoid common omissions which may result in a request for further information.

Guidance for applicants and consultants who are applying for planning permission within the protected area of a scheduled monument is available in HED document Advice for planning officers and applicants seeking planning permission within the scheduled area of a monument.

We have also published HED Guidance on Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Historic Environment. This document is aimed at supporting those involved in undertaking these assessments of the effects of plans and programmes on Northern Ireland’s historic environment.

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