Historic England (HE) has issued guidance on the planning of modern infrastructure in the context of the historic environment which takes into account an understanding of the historic significance of an existing place.
Historic England writes:
Infrastructure has been a key priority for recent governments, and a large number of new infrastructure projects are planned or are under construction in England. These include roads, railways, power stations, water infrastructure, wind farms, solar farms, flood defences and airport expansion. Yet this infrastructure is to be built within a country rich in archaeological remains, historic landscapes and built heritage, both on- and off-shore, and as the first country in the world to industrialize, some of our historic places are themselves older infrastructure sites such as canals and railway stations. Poorly-designed new infrastructure can damage historic places, but conversely, well-designed new infrastructure can dramatically improve them and add to a sense of place.
Place-shaping is the process which Historic England uses to help shape our environment, and it’s often best achieved through a clear understanding of the historic significance of an existing place. New infrastructure which takes account of the historic significance of an area is usually the most successful. Our research demonstrates that historic places are more attractive to businesses and visitors, that investment in historic areas delivers substantial economic and environmental benefits, and that investment in the historic environment significantly improves the way people feel about places.
This introduction to Modern Infrastructure and the Historic Environment demonstrates through a small selection of case studies how well-designed modern infrastructure can add to the success of a locality, allowing people to enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment….