Last edited 15 Aug 2022


In its broadest sense, the word setting refers to the degree to which something is important or worthy of attention.

In relation to heritage assets, Conservation Principles, Guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment in Northern Ireland, published by the Historic Environment Division in July 2021, defines significance as: ‘The value of a heritage asset to past, present and future generations because of the sum of its embodied heritage interests. Those interests may be archaeological, architectural, historic or others. Significance also derives from its setting.’

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in 2021, defines significance (for heritage policy): The value of a heritage asset to this and future generations because of its heritage interest. The interest may be archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic. Significance derives not only from a heritage asset’s physical presence, but also from its setting. For World Heritage Sites, the cultural value described within each site’s Statement of Outstanding Universal Value forms part of its significance.’

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