The CLA’s c35,000 members manage a quarter to a third of all heritage in England and Wales.  Each year our members spend billions of pounds on repairing historic buildings, welcome millions of visitors, paying and non-paying, and make many thousands of applications for planning permission and listed building consent.  We are by far the biggest 'owner' stakeholder group in the heritage field.  For updated news on heritage, see CLA Heritage news as below.

This page gives a general introduction, with links to useful information. 

For regularly-updated news on heritage relevant to CLA members, see CLA heritage news.

CLA report Averting crisis in heritage (July 2011).  This is updated in Briefing note on heritage reform in England and Briefing note on heritage reform in Wales, available here.

For CLA policy on heritage, see CLA heritage policy and achievements

CLA information page on paying less VAT on work to heritage

Frequently-asked heritage questions (for example whether you need Listed Building Consent, whether you will get it, or whether anyone will give you a grant)

The CLA 2005-06 Member Heritage Survey report "Who pays for Heritage", published in 2006

There are links to relevant further information below.

Making heritage a source of pleasure and income - rather than anxiety and unsupportable cost - is one of the biggest challenges faced by many CLA members.

The CLA takes a great interest in heritage, both in helping members and in lobbying for change, and has a specialist Heritage Adviser, Jonathan Thompson, and a Heritage Working Group of CLA members.

Few organisations are actively working and lobbying for those who own - and pay for - heritage. As a CLA member you can benefit from this lobbying, and from free advice on heritage alongside our other advice services on tax, law, planning, and the rural economy. You do not need own any significant amount of land to join - a high proportion of our members have a house, a few outbuildings, and a small amount of land. Further benefits of membership can be obtained using the links on his website.


Contacts and Feedback

For prompt advice please contact your CLA regional surveyor or adviser in the first instance. » Adviser Contacts

Links to external websites and CLA and other web-published documents

A. CLA Guidance Notes (free, but accessible only to CLA members)

The best starting point may be several detailed CLA Guidance Notes on heritage, dealing with core issues like getting consents and dealing with problems, which can be found on the CLA Heritage Guidance Notes page.


B. Relevant Government departments and bodies

English Heritage (becomes/became Historic England from 1 April 2015)


Department for Culture Media and Sport (England, responsible for designation and English Heritage).

Department for Communities and Local Government (England, responsible for local authorities and planning).

DEFRA (England, responsible for agriculture, environment).

C. Heritage legislation

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (England and Wales).  Note that this not fully updated.

Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (England and Wales).  Note that this not fully updated.

Stopping the Rot (2011, detailed guidance on the numerous statutory powers of local authorities to compel owners of heritage to carry out works - England, but much of it continues to apply in Wales)

D. Planning and heritage policy statements - England

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF, March 2012)  The new 50-page statement on national planning policy which replaced all the pre-existing Planning Policy Statements and Planning Policy Guidance notes.

National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG, March 2014).  This is thematic government guidance which amplifies and explains policies and terms in the NPPF.  The heritage section of this is here.  The NPPG improves on the NPPF in many ways, and it is important to read both together, not just the NPPF by itself.

PPS5 Historic Environment Practice Guidance (March 2010).  This remains valid (except where, rarely, it conflicts with the NPPF), despite the replacement of PPS5 by the NPPF/NPPG, but is likely to be cancelled and partly replaced by new guidance in 2014.

English Heritage website statements on constructive conservation This is a clear - if not very detailed - statement of EH policy on change to heritage, and it is almost essential to quote it in any argument supporting change.  If you cannot find it, put "constructive conservation" into the search box on the EH website or into a search engine.

Guidance on information requirements and validation (March 2010, useful on unreasonable information reguirements, technically cancelled in March 2014 but not yet replaced by new guidance)

Development management policy annex: information requirements and validation for planning applications (March 2010, useful on unreasonable information reguirements, technically cancelled in March 2014 but not yet replaced by new guidance)

Permitted development for householders - technical guidance (September 2010).

Guidance on Article 4 Directions (which restrict permitted development rights, for example in Conservation Areas) (CLG, November 2010).

DCMS guidance Scheduled Monuments and nationally-important but non-scheduled monuments (October 2013)

DCMS guidance How to challenge our decision to schedule or not to schedule a monument (April 2014)

DCMS policy and guidance on Scheduled Monuments (March 2010 - replaced by the above).

The Government's Statement on the Historic Environment for England 2010 (March 2010),  This is a useful over-arching statement of overall policy, but was published by the previous Government so its status can be questioned.

Guidance on minerals and PPS5 (October 2010).

CANCELLED PPS 5 - the key planning policy statement for the historic environment (March 2010, replacing PPG15 and PPG16; see also its Practice Guide). Has been cancelled and replaced by the National Planning Policy Framework as above.

E. Planning and heritage policy statements - Wales

Planning Policy Wales (February 2011;  overall statement of planning policy in Wales;  will probably be replaced after 2014;  heritage policy approach remains outdated)

Welsh Office Circulars 60/96, 61/96, 1/98 (deal with heritage protection in Wales, will probably be replaced in/after 2014)

F. Heritage guidance

CLA guidance is listed above. 

English Heritage publishes an online Guide to Heritage Protection in England which is a 90-page introduction to the mechanics of heritage protection, probably best read alongside the CLA's Guidance Note Getting heritage consents and heritage-relevant planning consents under the NPPF.

There is a large volume of English Heritage guidance available from the HELM website as below, under English Heritage guidance, then put a relevant word into the search box.

For Wales, Cadw guidance is available from the Cadw website as above, under conservation and publications.

G. Finding advisers

A CLA list of specialist firms giving heritage planning advice.

The Institute of Historic Building Conservation's HESPR service lists heritage advisers, heritage planning advisers, project managers, and archaeologists. 

H. Other relevant information

The Planning Portal (gives access to much planning information and guidance, online planning and listed building consent applications, and local authority information including links to local plans)

HELM (England, a useful source of information on managing the historic environment, including links to almost all English Heritage guidance)

Heritage Counts (annual summary of heritage facts and figures for England; the CLA sits on its editorial panel) (England)

Heritage at Risk (English Heritage's annual survey of heritage at risk, with links to individual sites)

Stopping the Rot (detailed guidance on the numerous statutory powers of local authorities to compel owners of heritage to carry out works - England but much of it applies in Wales)

The Heritage Gateway (England, incomplete but developing online database giving access to local historic environment records and other information on individual heritage assets and sites, mostly archaeological; the CLA sits on its Advisory Committee)

National Heritage List for England (shows all listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered parks, etc, with links to official list descriptions and sometimes further information)

The Economic Impact of Maintaining and Repairing Historic Buildings in England (2012) quantifies the cost and value of heritage construction work in England

Valuing the Welsh Historic Environment (2012) quantifies economic impacts of heritage in Wales

A Sixth Report on Local Authority Staff Resources 2014 (important survey showing further declines in local authority conservation staffing)

A Fourth Report on Local Authority Staff Resources 2012 (important survey showing further declines in local authority conservation staffing)

English Heritage/IHBC/ALGAO Conservation Provision Survey 2011 (important survey showing declines in local authority conservation staffing)

English Heritage/IHBC Local Authority Conservation Provision Survey (2003)

Constructive Talk, guidance on pre-application discussions (2014)

I.  Tax

HMRC IHT/CGT guidance Capital taxation and the national heritage

For VAT on works to heritage see the CLA heritage tax page

J. Energy efficiency in traditional buildings

Advice on energy efficiency in traditional buildings includes Warmer Bath;  guidance from the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, including in particular Energy Heritage:  a guide to improving energy efficiency in traditional and historic homes;  the Changeworks website;  and English Heritage's Climate Change Your Home project.  For information on double glazing, see a 2010 research report Double glazing in listed buildings which suggests the use of new slim (and very expensive) double glazing systems.  NB note that most local authorities will demand listed building consent applications for any double glazing and refuse to grant them, that the cost-effectiveness of any double glazing is highly questionable, and especially that refurbishment and draughtproofing is usually a much cheaper and better option than replacement).

Current government guidance on the promotion of "energy efficiency" in buildings is here.

K. Other relevant organisations

Heritage Alliance (the heritage sector lobbying organisation of which the CLA is a member)

Institute for Historic Building Conservation

Historic Houses Association

Lands Trust Association

Listed Property Owners Club

English Stone Forum

This page last changed (but not comprehensively updated) August 2014.

Heritage reform

The Historic Environment Forum (HEF), the key stakeholder group for the heritage sector, has launched a public consultation on 15 reform proposals for better management of the historic environment.