Planning & Advice

Benefit from our planning advisory service

New developments and infrastructures impact on the historic environment, and our role is to provide formal advice through the planning process. This process is currently managed through the National Planning Policy Framework, along with local planning policies, and anyone can contact us for information and advice.

Our expert staff can provide advice on the planning process, including Information for Agents and Applicants – Historic Environment and Planning, Standards and Guidance for Archaeological Projects, and the National Planning Policy Framework – Historic Environment Policy Conserving and enhancing the historic environment.

General information on the environmental planning policies guiding historic environment protection can be found on the planning portal and general information on listed buildings, conservation areas, and scheduled monuments can be found on the Historic England website.

If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact the Historic Environment Planning Advisor here:

Worcester City Council and Wychavon and Malvern Hills District Councils have their own archaeological planning advisors who can be contacted direct for information and advice. Lists of Archaeological Contractors can be found at

Photo © Historic England

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Neighbourhood Development Plans are part of the neighbourhood planning system. The plan enables your community to promote what is special and distinctive about your neighbourhood. They are powerful tools to ensure the delivery of sustainable development that respects local character and fits your community.

We can help parish councils, town councils and neighbourhood forums to develop robust Neighbourhood Development Plans. We help to identify where and how sustainable development can most effectively:

  • Protect, restore and enhance biodiversity
  • Protect and enhance the setting of historic environment assets
  • Protect against the impact of flooding

Evidence gathering can be difficult, but we can help to make the best use of limited time and resources ensuring that your community plan is not challenged at the examination stage. For a competitive fee, we provide you with the information, evidence and advice you need to formulate your policies. Get in touch for more information.

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Learn how to inspire and guide future change with our free toolkit for community groups, non-heritage professionals and researchers. Developed in partnership with Historic England, ‘Your Place Matters’ covers community planning for the future of rural buildings in their setting, helping to shape the scale, style, form and location of new development, as well as identify opportunities presented by the natural and historic environment.

Download our Toolkit

We support proactive management and conservation of the rural historic environment and can offer advice and support to landowners, farmers and foresters wishing to:

  • Better understand and interpret archaeological and historic features – from archaeological earthworks preserved under grassland, to below-ground archaeological remains, designed landscapes, historic boundaries, hedgerows, and traditional farm buildings – as part of their wider environment, including the intangible links between the historic environment, built environment, geology, biodiversity and flooding.
  • Better manage and conserve archaeological and historic features, in-particular through the mechanism of Countryside Stewardship.

Countryside Stewardship is a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) grant scheme which provides incentives for farmers, woodland owners, foresters and other land managers to look after the environment, including the historic environment. The scheme is jointly run by Natural England, Forestry Commission England and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on behalf of Defra. All supporting scheme guidance material can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Historic Farmsteads and Landscapes

Historic farmsteads and their buildings contribute to local distinctiveness and the varied character of our countryside by reflecting local geology, building traditions and farming practices. The future of the majority of historic farm buildings is increasingly dependent on a new role outside mainstream agricultural use. Since 2009 Worcestershire County Council has been involved with a series of Historic England funded projects aimed at enhancing understanding of farmstead character and survival within Worcestershire, and the wider West Midlands region, and developing conservation guidance that can be used to inform the sustainable development or re-development of historic farmsteads and their landscapes. The work undertaken will also be of significance to those with an interest in the history and char­acter of the county’s landscape, settlements and historic buildings.

The following guidance aims to inform the sustainable development of historic farmsteads and landscapes, as set out in both national and local planning policy.


Worcestershire Farmsteads Assessment Framework a step-by-step approach to considering the reuse of traditional farm buildings and the sustainable development of farmsteads, through identifying their historic character, significance and potential for change.

The guidance will help to identify the need and potential for change and then prepare a scheme based on considering: The landscape context, the whole site, the extent of historic change to the whole site and its landscape context and architectural patterning.

The Worcestershire Farmsteads Character Statement – fully-illustrated guidance on the county’s farmsteads.

Guidance on Recording and Research guidance to help applicants and local authorities to consider the most appropriate level for the recording of a site, either in support of an application or, once permission has been secured, to make a record during the implementation of a scheme.

Farmstead Character Area Summaries the areas, into which the county subdivides, based on analysis of its farmsteads in their landscape context.

Local Authority Summaries a summary for planners and applicants in each of the county’s local planning authorities.

For further information, advice and support please contact us

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