New guidance leaflet on The Planning System in England and the Protection of Historic Parks and Gardens
The Gardens Trust
70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ
Phone: (+44/0) 207 608 2409
Press release, 25th July 2016
Marking a year since its creation, The Gardens Trust has published an important new guidance leaflet on The Planning System in England and the Protection of Historic Parks and Gardens. This is intended to explain the place of historic designed landscapes in the planning system, that historic parks and gardens are ‘heritage assets’ for planning purposes, the importance of assessing significance, the statutory consultation obligations, and the role of the Gardens Trust and the County Gardens Trusts. It is intended primarily to help local planning authorities, but is freely available to all.
The Gardens Trust was formed in July 2015 following a merger of The Garden History Society and the Association of Gardens Trusts, representing the County Gardens Trusts of England and Wales. The Garden History Society had been granted statutory consultee status in 1995, and the Gardens Trust has been confirmed in this role by Government. Local planning authorities must therefore consult the Gardens Trust on planning applications that may affect historic designed landscapes of any grade in England and Wales that are on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest that is held by Historic England. The Gardens Trust is determined to raise awareness of historic designed landscapes and to ensure that the protection afforded to them under the National Planning Policy Framework is implemented and is effective and sustainable.
Planning consultations are dealt with by the Gardens Trust’s conservation team, working closely with volunteers in the County Gardens Trusts. This collaborative approach has been fostered for several years now, and it is a fantastic achievement that there are now over 30 CGTs commenting on planning applications across the country.
County Gardens Trusts
County Gardens Trusts (CGTs) are locally-based charities caring for designed landscapes. They operate independently across England, but are all members of The Gardens Trust (created in 2015 by the merger of The Garden History Society with the Association of Gardens Trusts).
In the 21st century CGTs have a vital role to play in the research, recording, history and conservation of our heritage. Increasingly, CGTs are an important and respected voice offering authoritative advice on historic designed landscapes in the modern world. And of course, they also provide a vibrant social group for those interested in parks and gardens, with a busy schedule of events and garden visits.
In particular, County Gardens Trusts have been key supporters of the Capability Brown Festival – organising and supporting events, developing new Brown publications, and conducting unique research into Brown’s creations.
County Gardens Trusts’ contact details are listed at www.thegardenstrust.org.
The Gardens Trust
The Gardens Trust was created in July 2015 following the merger of The Garden History Society and the Association of Gardens Trusts. The combined membership of the Gardens Trust and the County Gardens Trusts is around 8000.
The GT’s main aims are:
- To speak with a more powerful voice for the protection of parks, gardens and designed landscape;
- To play a key garden conservation role in the planning system as a statutory consultee;
- To provide support to strengthen the local activity of the County and Country Gardens Trusts;
- To be an internationally regarded centre of excellence in the study of garden history;
- To live within the means of the merged organisation and be financially sustainable over the long term.
The Gardens Trust ensures that garden history is 'on the map' as an academic subject, publishing the twice-yearly academic journal Garden History, which remains the leading forum for scholarly work in this area. It additionally takes an active conservation and campaigning role, with a small professional team of conservation officers employed to comment on developments affecting important gardens and designed landscapes. As the statutory consultee for designed landscapes, it is informed of any proposals which may affect places listed on Historic England's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest (graded I, II* and II).