Local Heritage Lists have been around for many years and nearly half of the Local Planning Authorities in England already have one.
What is new is that local lists are being promoted in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Historic England is encouraging all local authorities to compile one.
Preston have created a local Heritage list for the rural areas.
Britain has had a very diverse building history with each region having different styles and materials, many of which altered dramatically over time.
Local lists play an essential role in building and reinforcing a sense of local character and distinctiveness in the historic environment. Currently 38% of local councils in the north west have a local list.
Local lists can be used to identify significant local heritage assets to support the development of Local Plans. Encouraging the use of local lists will strengthen the role of local heritage assets as a material consideration in the planning process.
The main historic elements of the built environment comprise Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Historic Parks and Gardens, historic street patterns, and archaeological remains. It is important to value and protect the historic environment because it adds much to the quality of life; the links it provides with the past contribute greatly to the character of Preston today.
For new development to be "sustainable" it must preserve the historic environment for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
The control of development affecting conservation areas, listed buildings, historic parks and gardens, and archaeological remains is therefore an important issue for the council to address.
New development should not always be seen as being in conflict with the conservation of the historic environment.
New development, or changes of use to existing buildings, is often necessary in and around historic buildings to ensure they remain viable and receive the investment they need.
It is vitally important, however, that development is carefully controlled so that the special character of historic areas and buildings is preserved and enhanced.
Heritage can also be seen as a catalyst for the regeneration of an area. Historic buildings and spaces create a focal point that people can relate to and are familiar with, giving a sense. This can add a distinctive identity to the 'new build' part of a regeneration
scheme - enhancing townscapes and lifting the overall quality of the built environment.
English Heritage have undertaken several studies into the value of the historic environment for the regeneration of towns and cities. They identify a number of key benefits of conservation led regeneration projects. These include:
English Heritage produce a report on heritage issues across England and for each region each year. The latest Heritage Counts Reports for England and the north west region can be accessed via the link on the right.
Lancashire County Council provide information and advice on Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the borough through their Archaeological Service.
There are currently plans for a major overhaul of the legislation relating to the protection of the historic environment.
These reforms are outlined in the Heritage Protection Review which sets out the principles for a new legislative framework for a unified and simpler heritage protection system that will be more open, accountable and transparent.
The new system has been designed to provide more opportunities for public involvement and community engagement in understanding, preserving and managing our heritage.