The following notes are based on the UK Heritage Lottery Fund Guidance note and are aimed at helping you assess the quality of a conservation plan. They were prepared by heritage planning expert Kate Clark ( in 1999.



General Points

         Adds little to knowledge

         A post hoc justification of a scheme

         Difficult to read

         Partisan only considers one of two aspects of site

         Bitty pieces of information all over the place which have not been drawn together


         Will genuinely help with management of the site

         A review of the significance of the site and how that will be retained in any future use, alteration, repair or development

         Slim, well illustrated, key information in appendices

         Genuinely integrates all aspects of heritage

         Evidence for single authorship (or good editing) and logical train of thought


         No idea who wrote the plan, when and why


         Sets out circumstances of plan clearly

Understanding the Site

         Limited to one aspect of site

         Heavily historical

         Text heavy and no structure

         Poorly illustrated

         No time depth

         Purports to be thorough

         Limited piece of new research

         One off


         Covers all aspects of site

         Ties history to fabric

         Well organized

         Systematic (e.g. gazetteer)

         Makes good use of graphics

         Phasing set out clearly

         Gaps identified

         Makes use of all existing information

         Can be added to as new information arises

Assessment of Significance

         Limited to a few broad values

         Unrelated to fabric

         Rigid and incomprehensible

         Ignored in rest of plan


         Wide ranging and imaginative

         Tied to the fabric

         Relevant and useful

         Arguments inform remainder of plan

Issues / Vulnerability

         This section ignored

         Limited to a few minor points

         Section used to extol the virtue of the scheme or organization

         Omits key points


         Open about issues

         Thorough consideration of vulnerability

         Considers positive and negative issues

         Open to past mistakes

         Linked to arguments about significance


         A few very general policies

         Ignores existing legislative and policy framework



         Tellus nothing new


          No relation to earlier text or arguments


Policies include:

         General policies

         Issue based policies

         Area specific policies


         Will influence future work


         Directly tied into significance / vulnerability

Adoption and Review

No evidence for consultation

No evidence that plan will be used

No proposals for review

No evidence of adoption by key body

No evidence that the process will be continued


Wide consultation

Evidence for the plan influencing other work

Timetable for review

Adoption clearly set out

Makes clear that conservation plan is beginning of process

Strategy / proposals

Integrated into conservation plan

Ignore results of conservation plan

No impact assessment


Separate from plan

Make use of results of conservation plan

Clear impact assessment which measures proposals against plan and suggests mitigation