Some of the legal terms used on this site need me to make a glossary to avoid confusion. I will try to keep the glossary up to date but please contact me if I have missed things.

The following definitions are from Historic England

Definition: 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 idenified by the local planning authority (including local listing).

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department for Communities andLocal Government, 2012

Definition: Heritage Coast

A non-statutory designation agreed between Natural England and the relevant maritime local authority to:

~ conserve, protect and enhance the natural beauty of the coastline, their marine flora and fauna, and their heritage features;

~ encourage the public’s enjoyment, understanding and appreciation;

~ maintain and improve the health of inshore waters affecting heritage coasts and their beaches through appropriate environmental management measures;

~ take account of the needs of agriculture, forestry and fishing, and of the economic and social needs of the small communities on these coasts.

Natural England website, accessed November 2015

Definition: 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.”

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department for Communities and Local Government, 2012

Definition: 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.”

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2012

“A public, map-based data set, primarily intended to inform the management of the historic environment.

p71, Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

Definition: Historic Garden

“A historic garden is an architectural and horticultural composition of interest to the public from the historical or artistic point of view. As such, it is to be considered as a monument… is an architectural composition whose constituents are primarily vegetal and therefore living, which means that they are perishable and renewable. Thus its appearance reflects the perpetual balance between the cycle of the seasons, the growth and decay of nature and the desire of the artist and craftsman to keep it permanently unchanged… The term ‘historic garden’ is equally applicable to small gardens and to large parks, whether formal or ‘landscape’.”

The Charter on Historic Gardens (the Florence Charter), ICOMOS, 1981

Definition: Historic Interest

“To be of special historic interest a building must illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, economic, cultural, or military history and/or have close historical associations with nationally important people. There should normally be some quality of interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify the statutory protection afforded by listing.”

p4 Principles of Selection for Listed Buildings, 2010, DCMS

Definition: Historic(al) Value

“Value deriving from the ways in which past people, events and aspects of life can be connected through a place to the present.”

p72 Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

Definition: Optimum Viable Use

“If there are a range of alternative ways in which an asset could viably be used, the optimum use is the one that causes the least harm to the significance of the asset, not just through necessary initial changes but also as a result of subsequent wear and tear likely future changes”

Planning Practice Guidance

Definition: Restoration

1) “To return a place to a known earlier state, on the basis of compelling evidence, without conjecture.”

p72 Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

2) “Returning a place to a known earlier state by removing accretions or by reassembling existing elements without the introduction of new material.”

The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance 2013

Definition: Setting

1) “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 a setting may make a positive or negative contribution to the significance of an asset, may affect the ability to appreciate that significnace or may be neutral.”

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2012

2) “The surroundings in which a place is experienced, its local context, embracing present and past relationships to the adjacent landscape.”

P 72, Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

3) “The setting of a heritage structure, site or area is defined as the immediate and extended environment that is part of, or contributes to, its significance and distinctive character. Beyond the physical and visual aspects, the setting includes interaction with the natural environment; past or present social or spiritual practices, customs, traditional knowledge, use or activities and other forms of intangible cultural heritage aspects that created and form the space as well as the current and dynamic cultural, social and economic context.”

Xi’an Declaration on the Conservation of the Setting of Heritage Structures, Sites and Areas, ICOMOS, 2005

Definition: Significance

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

Annex 2: Glossary, National Planning Policy Framework, Department of Communities and Local Government, 2012

2) “The sum of the cultural and natural heritage values of a place, often set out in a statement of significance.”

p72 Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

Definition: Significant place

“A place which has heritage value(s).”

p72 Conservation Principles, English Heritage, 2008

Definition: World Heritage Site

A site on a list of properties maintained by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO and called the World Heritage List “forming part of the cultural heritage and natural heritage…which it considers as having outstanding universal value in terms of such criteria as it shall have established”.

UNESCO World Heritage Convention (1972)

From other sources
The following definitions are from My Community
Definition: Asset of Community Value

A building or other land is an asset of community value if its main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future. The Localism Act states that ‘social interests’ include cultural, recreational and sporting interests.

Definition: Community Asset Transfer

Transfer of ownership and/or management of publicly owned assets.
Transfer of management and/or ownership at less than market value.
Voluntary process entered into pro actively by public bodies.

Definition: Community Right to Bid

Listing ( by Local Authority ) of most public and privately owned assets. (which are Assets of Community Value, see above)
Gives a community organisation a window of time to raise the funds to buy the asset on the open market.
Community right that may or may not result in a transfer as the interests of the community need to be balanced against the rights of asset owners.