The Planning System in England and the Protection of Historic Parks and Gardens

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 and Wales. The Garden History Society had been granted statutory consultee status in the planning system 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 in England and Wales that are on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest that is held by Historic England. These consultations are dealt with by The Gardens Trust’s conservation team, working closely with volunteers in the County Gardens Trusts.

Historic parks and gardens are ‘heritage assets’ for planning purposes. The Gardens Trust is determined to raise awareness of historic designed landscapes and to ensure that the protection afforded to them by the National Planning Policy Framework is implemented and is effective and sustainable. The role of local planning authorities is central to this process. In recognition of the close partnership between the Gardens Trust and local planning authorities, the Gardens Trust has published a guidance leaflet to explain the place of historic designed landscapes in the planning system, the importance of assessing significance, the statutory consultation obligations, and the role of the Gardens Trust and the County Gardens Trusts. This leaflet is intended primarily to help local planning authorities, but is freely available to all.

Download a copy of the new leaflet here.

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith