We are pleased to share some information from Solihull MBC on the Local List of Heritage Assets –
Draft Criteria for Additions to List
A Local List promotes the conservation and appreciation of ‘non-designated heritage assets’, which are ‘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’ . A Local List can include a wide range of heritage asset types but does not include designated heritage assets: these have national significance and include listed buildings and scheduled monuments.
The NPPF defines significance as ‘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 may derive ‘..not only from a heritage asset’s physical presence, but also from its setting’.
More detail is available at the Historic England guidance on Local Listing, at:
Local Heritage Listing: Identifying and Conserving Local Heritage (historicengland.org.uk)
Solihull MBC have maintained a Local List of Heritage Assets since 1982. It has been revised over time with additions and some deletions, the latter occasionally due to the elevation of a heritage asset to the statutory Heritage List instead. The Local List now includes 229 heritage assets (at April 2023). Seven have been demolished but remain recorded for historical purposes.
Heritage assets on the Local List are not necessarily less significant than designated assets, and may have important local significance. Maintaining a Local List allows councils and communities to identify and celebrate historic buildings, archaeological sites and designed landscapes which enrich and enliven their area. These criteria explain how heritage assets across Solihull borough will be considered for inclusion in the Councils Local List. Elected members, the public and national and local interest groups have been consulted on these criteria, which have subsequently been approved by the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change, Planning and Housing.
What does inclusion on the Local List mean?
The addition of a heritage asset to the Local List is intended to highlight assets which have a strong degree of local heritage interest to make sure that they are given due consideration when change is proposed . Inclusion of a building or place does not mean that property owners are subject to any additional legal requirements or responsibilities over and above those already in place for planning permission or building regulation approval. However, it can help to ensure that proposals and planning decisions seek to conserve and enhance local character. Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the conservation of locally listed heritage assets and their contribution to local distinctiveness is a material consideration in planning decisions that directly affect heritage assets or their settings. Paragraph 197 of the NPPF 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’.
Local Listing enables local communities and local authorities to jointly decide what it is in their area that they would like recognised as a ‘local heritage asset’ worthy of some degree of protection in the planning system. They can encourage greater partnership working between local authorities, community representatives and others with an interest in the historic environment. This enables proper protection of the parts of the historic environment that the community values, and provides clarity to developers as to where those heritage assets are located and, critically, what it is about them should be considered. The local list allows the Council to better understand heritage assets in the Borough, their individual heritage significance and their contribution to the character and distinctiveness of the wider area. This ensures that strategic local planning takes proper account of the desirability of conserving these assets and of utilising their contribution to sustainable communities and the existing sense of place of an area. For development proposals, the local list clarifies the constraints and opportunities for each heritage asset.
A link to the Local List is found on the ‘Listed Buildings’ page under Planning and Building Control, on the Solihull Council website. A map showing the Boroughs heritage assets is also available on the website. A hard copy will be available at Council Connect offices at Solihull Library and Chelmsley Wood Bluebell Centre.
Why are the Selection Criteria published?
A fundamental purpose of a Local List is to include locally significant heritage assets; these differ from but strongly compliment those on the national Heritage List. Selection criteria are necessary to demonstrate the scope of the list and allow the inclusion of a range of local assets including the locally distinctive, with a clear requirement to demonstrate a certain degree of significance. It also allows the Council to establish a transparent and consistent process upon which it bases its reviews of local listing applications.
In planning decisions greater weight can be given to the need to conserve the significance of assets on a Local List if the list and its criteria are prepared to comply with Historic England guidance and are subject to public consultation and Cabinet agreement. This will include a clearly defined process for adding further assets to the list.
There is no appeal procedure for an owner to challenge the inclusion of a heritage asset on the Local List, and the statutory listing process has no such appeal process either. In both cases, representations are carefully considered as part of the process. When a heritage asset is added to the list, its significance will be considered by the Council during planning decision making. If relevant, it may also be considered further by a planning Inspector at appeal or examination of a Local Plan. This is the case for any heritage asset, whether it is on the Statutory or Local List, or is an undesignated heritage asset on neither list. Consideration and decision-taking must be proportionate to the significance of the asset.
It should be noted that whilst previous additions have not been assessed using agreed criteria with Cabinet approval, their assessment has still followed a structured process based upon the Historic England methodology and selection criteria for assessing listing requests. The existing entries on the Local List are therefore considered to be fully justified.
Additions to the Local List
Local Listing Nomination Process
Nominations to the Local List can be made using the form available on the Solihull Council website (link to be added here) and submitting that to us. Additional information such as photographs and a site plan should be attached to support and add detail to the request. The Council will regularly review the list and propose additions or revisions. All nominations will be fully considered, and we will consult owners, occupiers, ward members, parish or town councils and any relevant local society to seek views on the heritage value and suitability for inclusion in the List. If no more than three representations are received, a report will be presented to the Head of Planning, Design and Engagement Services whether a Heritage Asset is proposed to be added to the Local List or not. If more than three representations are received, a report with recommendation will be presented to the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing for decision. Applicants and owners will be notified of the decision with an explanation of the reason that it was reached. All nominations, and the decisions made by the Council, will be made available online.
Removal from the Local List
If the significance of a heritage asset is substantially or completely eroded, for example by unsympathetic alterations, additions or removal of historic fabric, it will be removed from the list after an assessment using these criteria. The owner and neighbouring properties will be consulted about the recommendation, and the decision will be through a report to Head of Service.
Proposed Selection Criteria
1. The heritage asset must meet the following criteria:
• It must be a heritage asset within the government’s definition in the NPPF Annex 2 Glossary: 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. It includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing).
The NPPF explains at paragraph 189 that: ‘Heritage assets range from sites and buildings of local historic value to those of the highest significance, such as World Heritage Sites which are internationally recognised to be of Outstanding Universal Value. These assets are an irreplaceable resource, and should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of existing and future generations.’
The National Planning Practice Guidance accompanying the NPPF gives the following definition at Historic environment – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) .
‘Non-designated heritage assets are buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified by plan-making bodies as having a degree of heritage significance meriting consideration in planning decisions but which do not meet the criteria for designated heritage assets. A substantial majority of buildings have little or no heritage significance and thus do not constitute heritage assets. Only a minority have enough heritage significance to merit identification as non-designated heritage assets.’
2. The heritage asset must be valued locally for some, or all, of the following reasons:
• It must have heritage interest that can be conserved and enjoyed
• It must have value as heritage for the character and identity of the area for its heritage interest beyond personal or family connections
• Its significance must be greater than the general positive value of its surroundings
Significance can be:
• Historic: It is important to understanding an association with a person, event, episode of history, or local industry. This might be an illustrative interest (it illustrates an aspect of the area’s past that makes an important contribution to its identity or character), or an associative interest (it connects us to people and events that shaped the identity or character of the area).
• Artistic: It makes an important contribution to the positive look of the area, either by design or by chance. This might include artistic interest or architectural interest.
• Communal: It is important to the identity, cohesion, spiritual life or memory of all or part of the community. This might include commemorative or symbolic interest that reflects the meanings of a place for the people who relate to it.
• Evidential: It is an important resource for understanding and learning about the area’s history. This might include archaeological interest.
Interest in a heritage asset can be:
This would include:
• assets that are the work of nationally or locally important architects, designers or builders, and that illustrate a high quality of design or innovation – locally important architects might include C. E. Bateman, J. A. Chatwin, and notable Arts & Crafts architects such as Edmund Butler, Bernard Cox, Joseph Crouch and Holland W. Hobbis; locally important craftsmen could include members of the Birmingham or Bromsgrove Guilds
• assets which illustrate distinctive artistic, craftsmanship, design, construction or landscaping qualities of interest – this might include a distinctive architectural style, or a good example of stained glass or other decorative detailing
• assets which are a good example of a locally important building type (e.g. timber framed cottages).
This would include:
• assets that are associated with a historically important local person, family or group
• assets which illustrate a particular phase or period of local, social, religious, political or economic history (e.g. small timber framed ‘squatter’ cottages or assets associated with the estates of Berkswell, Castle Bromwich, Knowle, Meriden and Temple Balsall), and
• assets which are associated with a locally important historic event.
Their Contribution to Townscape/ Village scene/ Landscape Interest
This would include:
• assets which are locally important building types such as churches, chapels, schools and other distinctive structures in the streetscape
• assets which are landmarks or features that make a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness.
The importance of the asset is then assessed, including a consideration of its specialness. The specialness is what makes the heritage significance of the asset stand out above the surrounding environment. The following would be considered:
• Age: Is it particularly old, or of a date that is significant to the local area?
• Rarity: Is it unusual in the area, or a rare survival of something that was once common?
• Integrity: Is it largely complete, or in close to original condition?
N.B. – A heritage asset proposed for selection under any of these three criteria would need to retain a significant and recognisable amount of the original form and fabric. If there are several examples of a particular asset, the most authentic should be selected for the Local List of Heritage Assets
• Group value: Is it part of a group that have a close historic, aesthetic or communal association?
• Solihull’s identity: Is it important to the identity or character of the borough or a part of it?
The distinctive historic elements of Solihull MBC’s identity that may be considered are:
a) The surviving buildings and street plan of the medieval town and villages;
b) The surviving pre-industrial settlements and landscape features which have been subsumed by the expansion of the town and villages such as cottage groups, greens, or moated house sites;
c) The wider Arden rural environment comprising field-systems, ancient woodlands and commons which developed over centuries, interspersed with a mix of settlements, farmsteads and smallholdings including vernacular cottages (many farm buildings already in residential use);
d) Buildings and structures associated with Borough industry such as car manufacturing, brick making, metalworking, canals and railways;
e) The Victorian and Edwardian historic suburb areas such as those in Solihull, Shirley and Hampton in Arden, including houses designed by notable Arts and Crafts architects building in the commuter suburbs around Birmingham in the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
f) Designed landscapes, including historic parks and gardens, historic cemeteries, churchyards and public parks;
g) The significant elements of Solihull’s mediaeval development as a planned town, its development during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and post-war expansion including elements of the Birmingham City Council development of Chelmsley Wood, Fordbridge, Smithswood and Kingshurst including plans, built form, and public spaces and art;
h) Archaeological remains of all periods from the earliest Prehistoric human habitation to the modern industrial period.
You can also find the ‘Nomination for Solihull Local List of Heritage Assets’ Form here.