CIfA statement on Historic England Advice Note: Statements of Heritage Significance

Historic England published its advice note (HEAN) on Statements of Heritage Significance earlier this week. The HEAN advises on how to comply with policy in the NPPF and ‘explores the assessment of significance of heritage assets as part of a staged approach to decision-making’ and ‘the relationship with archaeological desk-based assessments and field evaluations’. The HEAN is not intended to describe good practice.

CIfA professionals are advised to read the new Historic England Advice Note (HEAN) with caution. The HEAN does not describe good practice and as such accredited CIfA professionals should be aware of additional duties necessary to comply with the Code of conduct by meeting the CIfA Standards, and by having regard to their accompanying guidance.

CIfA would like to highlight the following points:

  • CIfA professionals should note that work in addition to the minimum described by Historic England will almost always be required to meet their professional obligations and to deliver appropriate public benefit, in this context by giving good advice to clients and ensuring that planning authorities are provided with the information they need to determine an application
  • They are reminded in particular that the guidance in the Standard and guidance for historic environment desk-based assessment advises that a DBA should set out the impact of the proposed development on the significance of the asset, and options for mitigating or offsetting that impact
  • They are warned that they may put themselves at risk of professional conduct allegations if they depart from CIfA guidance in a way that jeopardises achievement of the standard

If you have further questions, please contact