Heritage Guidance

This page contains details of various guidance notes and organisations that provide advice on the conservation of heritage assets and how to identify, respect, preserve and enhance local character and distinctiveness in our cities, towns, villages and countryside.

The design of new buildings, extensions and alterations can have a significant impact on the character and appearance of areas and buildings alike. Although not all specifically related to heritage assets the council has published a number of design guides aimed at helping owners, developers, architects and agents which can be found on our pre application advice page.

Heritage Assets and Climate Change

Climate change affects us all, at Mendip, we understand that without action to mitigate and respond to its impacts, climate change will cause severe disruption to society and inflict serious impacts on the whole environment, including the historic environment.

Opportunities to mitigate or adapt to climate change and secure sustainable development through the re-use or adaption of heritage assets to minimise the consumption of building materials and energy should be identified. However, we also recognise that some forms of adaption and mitigation may harm the significance of historic buildings, sites and landscapes.

The sensitive character of historic features and the potential for their damage and loss should, therefore, always be taken into account when adaptation and mitigation measures are being planned and executed. Also, when considering improvements for energy efficiency it is important to remember that many historic buildings perform very differently from modern buildings.

Village Design Statements

A Village Design Statement (VDS) is a practical tool to help influence decisions for the design of new development in a village, based on its character. It is an advisory document developed, researched, written and edited by local people, not by the local planning authority. It is not about whether development should take place, but about how development should be undertaken so as to respect the local identity.

VDSs are intended to influence the operation of the statutory planning system, so that any new development is in harmony with its setting and makes a positive contribution to the immediate environment. It is a useful tool for community development; helping communities to understand the history of a village and gain a greater appreciation of landscape and architectural aesthetics.

A number of local communities have completed or are in the process of producing their VDSs. Once endorsed by the local planning authority these documents will be a material planning consideration when assessing future development.

All existing VDSs can be downloaded free of charge from this page.

Conservation Area Appraisals

The purpose of an appraisal is to define the qualities of an area that make it worthy of conservation area status. They also provide a sound basis for development control decisions.

Copies of all current appraisals can be found here.

Installation of Broadband Equipment on Listed Buildings

In response to current community projects to install superfast rural broadband using fixed wireless technology within a number of villages within the district, guidance has been produced for listed properties which are proposing to install receiving/transmitting equipment.

A copy of the guidance and associated checklist can be found at the bottom of this page.

Useful Organisations

There are a number of national and local organisations who provide further guidance on the historic environment and its management. Links to their websites can be found at the bottom of this page.