Two new publications offer a place-based approach to local distinctiveness

Congratulations go out to English Heritage and the City of Lincoln Council who have just launched two reports that together outline a local approach to capitalising on the inherited character of places. The documents are aimed at all people involved in place-shaping, including planners, developers, communities and third sector organisations.

Plans in Place: Taking a local approach to character in Lincoln demonstrates how a detailed knowledge of the inherited character can enhance the ways in which they are valued in the future. Using a series of 31 case studies Plans in Place shows how the Lincoln Townscape Assessment, a bespoke characterisation evidence-base for Lincoln, can be used in three key areas: Plan-making, Development Management and Community-led initiatives, including Neighbourhood Plans. Characterisation evidence, such as Conservation Area Appraisals, Townscape Assessments and Historic Landscape Characterisation, are held by the majority of local authorities and this report provides an inspirational insight, including 6 easy to use toolkits, into how their proactive use can be maximised to create and shape sustainable places.

Historic Townscape Characterisation - The Lincoln Townscape Assessment: A Case Study outlines the methodological approach used to document the inherited character of the places that make up Lincoln. It provides practical advice on how to create a detailed evidence-base for local character, building on the historic environment records held by most local authorities, and outlining the benefits such can deliver. The report also introduces the online interface developed to communicate the information identified through the Lincoln Townscape Assessment, which was short-listed for two E-Government Awards in 2010.

The good practice and project work outlined in the reports was recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute in 2011, winning the Regional Award for 'Planning Process', and the 'Overall Winner' Award for the East Midlands. The Localism Act and the National Planning Policy Framework emphasise the need to build on the existing character and distinctiveness of places in planning future change. We hope that these reports will provide a useful insight into the approach being taken by the City of Lincoln Council and Partners to deliver these policy objectives.

The reports are available to view and download at A limited number of hard copy reports may be available from the City of Lincoln Council on request (please contact