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Related frequently asked questions
In the context of the historic environment, conservation is the process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and, where appropriate, enhances its significance.
Heritage has been defined by English Heritage as ‘All inherited resources which people value for reasons beyond mere utility’ (Conservation principles, policies and guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment, 2008).
The historic environment forms part of the heritage of Leeds. It is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as ‘All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible, buried or submerged, and landscaped and planted or managed flora’.
A heritage asset is a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. The term ‘heritage asset’ includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority.
Designated heritage assets include world heritage sites, scheduled monuments, listed buildings, protected wreck sites, registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields and conservation areas.
Non-designated heritage assets include heritage assets that do not fall within the designations outlined above, including non-scheduled archaeological remains and buildings of local importance.
Sustainable development was defined in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development report as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ (Brundtland Report 1987).
The policies of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) taken as a whole constitute the Government’s view of what Sustainable Development in England means in practice for the planning system.
The heritage of Leeds is a hugely valuable asset and is a non-renewal, finite resource that should be looked after to ensure that its benefits can be enjoyed by people today and in the future.
As well as the very real contribution to the quality of our places and quality of life, the historic environment can be a powerful driver for economic growth attracting investment and drawing people in to visit the area. It has played a focus for successful regeneration securing heritage funding and transforming areas. It is a cultural asset telling the story of how the area has evolved and developed and featuring places and buildings of great beauty showcasing ingenuity and skill. It can be a strong focus for local communities, creating distinctive, enjoyable and successful places in which to live and work. It can also contribute to the challenge of climate change through sustainable development including the reuse of buildings and the embodied energy they contain and through an understanding of the inherently sustainable character of traditional buildings.