The historic environment is a valuable, finite and irreplaceable resource which is central to the character and identity of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils. It has a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life of existing and future generations of people living in and visiting the area.

 In addition to designated heritage assets (listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered parks and gardens, registered battlefields, conservation areas), the Malvern Hills and Wychavon districts possess a wealth of heritage assets from various periods and of a variety of building styles and materials that are locally significant for their historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest. These are described as non-designated heritage assets.

 A Local List is a means for the community and local planning authority to formally identify non-designated heritage assets. It provides clarity on their location and what about them is significant, helping to ensure that development proposals properly take the desirability of their conservation into account.  This is reinforced through national and local planning policy.

This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provides guidance on how the Local List is compiled, the criteria for inclusion and the effects of inclusion. This document has been written in line with Historic England Local Heritage Listing, Advice Note 7.

Local context

The historic and architectural character of the Malvern Hills and Wychavon Districts Councils has been shaped over many hundred of years. Prehistoric and Romano-British settlement and ceremonial remains are widely distributed and often extensive in the Severn, Avon and Teme valleys, which also contain important palaeoenvironmental deposits. These are juxtaposed with prehistoric hill forts on the higher ground of the Malvern Hills and Bredon Hill. Some early settlements continued to develop through the medieval and post-medieval periods which saw the development of the main market towns, followed by Malvern during the 19th century. Varying influences and uses include market functions, monastic and Church ownership and the later development of spas.

The villages and hamlets are mostly of medieval or earlier origin. Many of them have surviving medieval assets, such as the parish church, moats, ponds and extensive earthworks. All are set within a landscape that is characterised by diverse and important historic field systems, punctuated by ancient and semi-natural woodlands, commons and historic parklands. Dispersed settlements and farmsteads dominate the west of the area, with nucleated villages and clustered farmsteads characteristic of the south-east. The rivers formed important transportation networks, linking with roads and tracks, 18th and 19th century canals and latterly the railways.  Designed landscapes include public parks (e.g. Priory Park in Malvern, or Lido Park in Droitwich Spa) and private parks (e.g. Croome Park). As well as landscape interest, these heritage assets have significant architectural and archaeological interest and often contain other monuments and memorials.

For further information about designated and non-designated heritage assets in the Malvern Hills and Wychavon districts, the following sources may be of interest:

  • Worcestershire Historic Environment Record
  • Conservation Area Appraisals
  • Historic Landscape Characterisation Studies
  • My Local Area/ SWDP policy maps

The policy context

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Annex 2 defines a heritage asset as: 

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.  Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

In paragraph 185 the NPPF states that ‘plans should set out a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment’. This strategy includes heritage assets at risk due to neglect, decay or other threats. It states that the strategy should take into account the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets, the wider social cultural economic and environmental benefits that conserving the historic environment.

 Paragraph 197 states that ‘the effect of an application on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset should be taken into account in determining the application. In weighing applications that directly or indirectly affect non-designated heritage assets, a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.

The Government’s Planning Practice Guidance states at paragraph 040 that all non-designated heritage assets are clearly identified as such and that a Local List held by the LPA is a means of fulfilling this requirement.

Local policy

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) has two policies relating to the historic environment; SWDP 6 ‘Historic Environment’ and SWDP 24 ‘Management of the Historic Environment’. These policies pertain to the protection and enhancement of the historic environment.

 SWPD 6 states that ‘South Worcestershire’s historic environment is a valuable, finite and irreplaceable resource, which is central to the character and identity of the area’ (SWDP, p92).  It goes on to state that ‘Worcestershire possesses a wealth of heritage assets from various periods that are locally significant for their historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest and a variety of building styles and materials. The informed management of this resource will benefit current and future generations, with its importance being recognised in legislation and policy.’ (SWDP, p92)

SWDP 24 states that the conservation of heritage assets must reflect a sufficient understanding of their significance, including both their setting and their wider context in the landscape/ townscape.

Criteria and assessment procedures for inclusion on the Local List

What information do we need?

Anyone can nominate an asset for inclusion using the nomination form, which can be downloaded from the Council’s website. The following details are required:

  • Location – parish, street address, Ordnance Survey grid reference,
  • A site location plan
  • Photographs taken from public viewpoints
  • A description of the significance of the asset





The age of an asset may be an important consideration, and the age range can be adjusted to take into account distinctive local characteristics or building traditions.



Appropriate for all assets, as judged against local characteristics


Aesthetic Interest

The intrinsic design value of an asset relating to local styles, materials or any other distinctive local characteristics.


Group Value

Groupings of assets with a clear visual design or historic relationship.


Archaeological Interest

The local heritage asset may provide evidence about past human activity in the locality, which may be archaeological – that is in the form of buried remains – but may also be revealed in the structure of buildings or in a manmade landscape.


Archival Interest

The significance of a local heritage asset of any kind may be enhanced by a significant contemporary or historic written record.


Historical Association

The significance of a local heritage asset of any kind may be enhanced by a significant historical association of local or national note, including links to important local figures. Blue Plaque and other similar schemes may be relevant.


Designed Landscape Interest

The interest attached to locally important historic designed landscapes, parks and gardens which may relate to their design or social history.


Landmark Status

An asset with strong communal or historical associations, or because it has especially striking aesthetic value, may be singled out as a landmark within the local scene.


Social and Commercial Value

Relating to places perceived as a source of local identity, distinctiveness, social interaction and coherence, sometimes residing in intangible aspects of heritage, contributing to the ‘collective memory’ of a place.


It is important when choosing or nominating assets for inclusion on a Local List that they should be judged against firm selection criteria which define the boundaries of acceptability.  The criteria in the above table have been prepared both as a guide and also to inform the selection process.  It is essential that the list of heritage assets of local importance is not de-valued by the inclusion of those which do not meet the criteria. 

Nominations are assessed against the listing criteria as set out in the above table.  The asset being nominated does not need to meet all of the criteria, but it should be associated with at least one. The criteria are also set out on the nomination form to help guide nominations.

Further details on selection criteria see Historic England’s guidance, Conservation Principles Policies and Guidance (2008).

The assessment process

Step 1 Initial Assessment: The Heritage Team will check your application against Historic England’s listing criteria

Step 2 Further Investigation: If the application meets the selection criteria, further research will be carried out including a site visit.  

Step 3 Public Consultation: A draft report will be prepared for consultation and the owner invited to comment within a 3 week period.  The presumption is in favour of adopting the asset.

Any request for an asset not to be added to the list will need to be based on evidence that it fails to meet the requirements of the selection criteria. The draft report will be added to the website and a site notice will be put up to invite comments.

Step 4 Analysis of consultation responses: Responses from the public, the owner and other organisations will be assessed against the selection criteria and appropriate amendments made to the draft Local List where necessary.

Step 5 Adoption: A report will be sent to Planning Committee giving the Local List recommendations together with a summary of the consultation responses for approval of their addition to/removal from the Local List.

Step 6 Local List Update: Following adoption by the Planning Committee, the Local List will be updated and made available on the council’s website and the Worcestershire Historic Environment Record (HER).

Whilst every effort is made to process local list nominations as soon as possible, priority will be given to applications for sites which are considered ‘at risk’ and sites which are given special mention in Conservation Area Appraisals, Neighbourhood plans and other planning documents.

Effect of inclusion on the Local List

Implications for development management

Heritage assets included on the Local List are not subject to any additional planning controls over alteration or demolition.  Where a planning application is needed for development, or an allocation is proposed, then the heritage asset’s inclusion on the Local List will be a “material consideration” i.e. will be taken into account when deciding on a planning application or planning appeal.

The council will monitor the effect of the Local List and, if necessary and expedient to do so, will introduce an Article 4 Direction to remove certain permitted development rights such as demolition and alterations to elevations.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) may also be introduced where additional controls are thought desirable for example, where trees are part of a heritage asset such as a historic designed landscape.

Statutory designation may be considered where, during the process of assessment, it is considered that nominated heritage assets are of more than local interest.

New conservation areas may be designated or boundaries of existing ones reviewed where there are significant groups of local heritage assets to give them greater protection.

Implications for building control

Locally listed buildings would become buildings where special considerations apply in relation to Approved Documents L1B and L2B of the Building Regulations, which relate to the conservation of fuel and power in existing buildings this effectively means that the special interest of the heritage asset can be better safeguarded through the Building Regulations process.

Glossary of terms

Archaeological interest

There will be archaeological interest in a heritage asset if it holds, or potentially may hold, evidence of past human activity worthy of expert investigation at some point. Heritage assets with archaeological interest are the primary source of evidence about the substance and evolution of places, and of the people and cultures that made them.

Conservation (for heritage policy)

The process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and where appropriate enhances its significance.

Designated heritage asset

A World Heritage Site, Scheduled Monument, Listed Building, Protected Wreck Site, Registered Park and Garden, Registered Battlefield or Conservation Area designated under the relevant legislation.

Heritage asset

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.  Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

Historic environment

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.

Historic environment record (HER)

Information services that seek to provide access to comprehensive and dynamic resources relating to the historic environment of a defined geographic area for public benefit and use.

Local planning authority

The public authority whose duty it is to carry out specific planning functions for a particular area.  All references to local planning authority apply to the district council, London borough council, county council, Broads Authority, National Park Authority and the Greater London Authority, to the extent appropriate to their responsibilities.

Material consideration

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision.

Non-designated heritage asset

Buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified by local planning authorities as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions but which are not formally designated.

Setting of a heritage asset

The surroundings in which a heritage asset is experienced. Its extent is not fixed and may change as the asset and its surroundings evolve.  Elements of setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significance or may be neutral.


The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. The interest may be archaeological, architectural. artistic or historic. Significance derives not only from a heritage asset’s physical presence, but also from its setting.

Appendix 1: Nomination form

document Download an example of the Local Listed Buildings nomination form. (52 KB)