Guide covers planning for historic landscapes

The Gardens Trust has published an important new guidance leaflet. The Planning System in England & the Protection of Historic Parks & Gardens marks one year since the trust was created and explains the place of historic designed landscapes in the planning system.

There are around 1,600 listed parks and gardens in England, all of which are "heritage assets" for planning purposes and have the same weight under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as scheduled monuments and listed buildings. Many other local parks and gardens may be listed as "non-designated heritage assets" by the local planning authority, meaning they are also subject to NPPF policy.

The leaflet explains the importance of assessing their significance, the statutory consultation obligations and the role of the Gardens Trust and the County Gardens Trusts.

It is freely available but is intended primarily to help local planning authorities. The leaflet can be downloaded from or print copies can be ordered from

The Gardens Trust was formed in July 2015 following a merger of The Garden History Society and the Association of Gardens Trusts, representing the County Gardens Trusts of England & Wales. The Garden History Society had been granted statutory consultee status in 1995 and the Gardens Trust has been confirmed in this role by Government.

Local planning authorities must therefore consult the Gardens Trust on planning applications that may affect historic designed landscapes of any grade in England and Wales that are on the Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest, which is held by Historic England.

The Gardens Trust raises awareness of historic designed landscapes and works to ensure that the protection afforded to them under the NPPF is implemented, effective and sustainable.

Planning consultations are dealt with by the Gardens Trust's conservation team, working closely with volunteers in the County Gardens Trusts. This collaborative approach has been fostered for several years now, and there are now more than 30 such trusts commenting on planning applications being submitted right across the country.

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