The historic environment
The historic environment contributes to the enjoyment of life in the City and provides a unique sense of place as well as supporting wider economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits. However the historic environment is a non-renewable resource and once harmed, buildings, places, structures, parks and open spaces can lose their character and their significance.
Historic environment of Preston
The importance of the historic environment is set out in the Framework and will be a material consideration to all applications affecting the historic environment.
In addition to the objectives set out at national level the Council would consider the following objectives to be important in respect to the historic environment of Preston:
- It is potential to be a catalyst for regeneration in an area, in particular through leisure, tourism and economic development
- That it can provide the stimulus for imaginative and high quality design that responds positively to its context
Historic England prepares policy and practice guidance on the historic environment and the Institute for Archaeologists also provides guidance and sets quality standards for the heritage sector. The Council will treat this as a material consideration when assessing proposals against national and local policy objectives.
The Council will take proactive steps for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment. This will include:
- Making Article 4 directions to protect parts of the historic environment that, if lost, would harm the significance, appearance, character and setting of a heritage asset or the surrounding historic environment
- The maintenance of up to date Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Strategies including the designation of new conservation areas where justified
- Identifying those heritage assets most at risk through neglect and where necessary using its statutory powers to secure their repair and reuse
- Identifying non-designated heritage assets of local historical importance to Preston and make this publicly available through the Council's website and the Historic Environment Record.
Preston has a significant number of designated heritage assets that have statutory protection through the planning system.
This includes nearly 500 listed buildings and structures, 11 Conservation Areas, 3 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 8 Registered Parks and Gardens. Details of all designated assets can be found under the conservation and heritage section.
Not all of Preston's heritage is designated - some 1,500 undesignated sites are currently included on the Historic Environment Record - and the Council recognise the value of this 'local' historic environment in planning for the future of the City.
The Council will work with the County Archaeology Service local communities to identify heritage assets that have local value. The identification of any locally important heritage assets will be done in line with Historic England's good practice guidance on local listings.
The Council will publish and maintain a list of local heritage assets on its website and as part of the Historic Environment Record.
Heritage Assets and Climate Change
The council will endeavour to help applicants identify feasible climate mitigation solutions through pre-application discussions which minimise the impact on heritage assets.
To support this, the Council will prepare and adopt a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on the adaptation of historic buildings to meet the effects of climate change in order to provide clear guidance and best practice advice to property owners.
Where conflict between climate change objectives and the conservation of heritage assets does occur, the public benefit of mitigating the effects of climate change will be weighed against any harm to the significance of heritage assets in accordance with the relevant policies.
Heritage Statements and Outline Applications
Applicants are required to submit a heritage statement in support of any application that directly or indirectly impacts on a designated or local heritage asset.
Whilst the information provided should be proportionate to the significance of the asset and nature of the works proposed the statement should as a minimum:
- Explain and justify how the proposal has taken into account the historical significance of the asset
- Demonstrate that the relevant Historic Environment Record (HER) for the site has been consulted
Where the HER identifies the potential for the site to include heritage assets of archaeological interest the statement should include a desk based archaeological assessment of the site, and, where necessary, the results of field evaluation.
Where a heritage statement fails to adequately explain and justify the proposal and its impact on the significance of the heritage asset this may be used by the Council as grounds to justify refusal of the scheme.
The Council will not normally accept outline applications that directly impact on heritage assets.
Principally this will relate to new development in Conservation Areas, Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, Listed Buildings and Scheduled Monuments.
In certain circumstances it may also apply to proposals that impact on the setting of heritage assets if it felt the impact would be significant. This is to ensure the full impact of the proposal can be properly assessed.
Early pre-application engagement with the Council's Conservation Officer is encouraged.
There are three Scheduled Monument within Preston as shown on the Policies Map, which can be downloaded from the documents section on this page. These are sites of national archaeological importance and the Council will seek their on-going conservation and protection:
- Cromwell's Mound
- Penwortham Old Bridge
- Chingle Hall
Historic Parks and Gardens
Historic Parks and Gardens are designated under the National Heritage Act 1983.
These areas are shown on the Policies Map and have historic layouts and features which make them of special historic interest. Development should aim to conserve and enhance the character and appearance of historic parks and gardens.
The following are designated Historic Parks and Gardens:
- Avenham Park
- Avenham Walk
- Harris Knowledge Park
- Haslam Park
- Miller Park
- Moor Park
- Preston Cemetery
- The Willows, Pedders Lane, Ashton
There are a total of twelve Conservation Areas within Preston, as shown on the Policies Map. The following are designated Conservation Areas:
- Avenham *
- Deepdale Enclosure
- Fishergate Hill*
- Harris Children's Home
- Moor Park
- St Augustine's
- St Ignatius Square*
* An Article 4 Direction applies to these areas.
Conversation Areas that lie within the boundary of the City Centre will be identified on the City Centre Plan Policies Map. The two Conservation Areas within the City Centre boundary are Market Place and Winckley Square.