Work in England

Statutory consultations

Since 1995, The Garden History Society, now known as The Gardens Trust has been a Statutory Consultee* in relation to planning proposals which affect historic designed landscapes identified by English Heritage, now Historic England, as being of national significance, and which are included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.
This means that the Government directs that when a planning authority receives a planning application which affects a site on the Register, or the setting of such a site, the planning authority must consult The Gardens Trust. This applies to registered sites of all grades.
In addition, Historic England must be consulted where a planning proposal affects a site which is included on the Register at Grade I or Grade II*.

Policy consultations

The Gardens Trust responds to Government consultations on national policy issues, such as the recent Draft Heritage Protection Bill and the proposed revision of Planning Policy Guidance Note 15.
The Gardens Trust is also consulted by local authorities when developing their Local Development Frameworks and Regional Spatial Strategies, to ensure that appropriate policies for the protection of historic designed landscapes are included within the planning system.

Consultations relating to non-registered sites

The Gardens Trust receives some consultations relating to sites which are not included on the Historic England Register.  In some cases it will be possible for us to provide appropriate advice. In other cases, however, we do not have sufficient information about the site concerned, and in these cases  work with the relevant County Garden Trust to address the issue.

General Enquiries

During the year The Gardens Trust receives many enquiries of a more general nature. We make every effort to respond to these enquiries, but sometimes, especially at particularly busy periods, this may take some time as statutory consultations and policy consultations must take priority.
If you are sending an enquiry relating to a particular site, please try to provide as much information as possible — especially if the site concerned is not included on the Register.

* Jenifer White, National Planning Adviser, Planning Group, Historic England
writes (August 2015):

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the UK Government department for communities and local government in England, has updated the Planning Portal page on Amenity Societies confirming that ‘… The Gardens Trust (formerly known as The Garden History Society) need to be consulted on applications for planning permission for development likely to affect any park or garden on Historic England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, see Article 18 of and Schedule 4 to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(England) Order 2015.’