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Historic Environment and Planning

The Historic Environment teams advise on the protection and enhancement of the historic built environment. Although much of their work concentrates on listed buildings and conservation areas they keenly promote high quality design in buildings and play a proactive role in heritage led regeneration.

Listed buildings

Cornwall is fortunate in having a rich heritage of building, important both architecturally and historically.  There are 12,490 Listed Buildings in Cornwall with the greatest concentration in the North East of the County.

You can find more information on these pages:

Conservation areas 

Conservation areas are 'areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance'.  The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 sets this out.

Conservation areas can vary in size and character.  Many contain individual, groups and clusters of buildings that are also listed.  It is the quality and interest of the area as a whole that merits Conservation Area status.

Cornwall Council have produced or commissioned several different surveys and appraisals. These are of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's historic towns and urban areas.

These assessments present a baseline of information. This underpins the development of policy and guidance. They also support the management of conservation areas and heritage led regeneration projects.

You can find this information using this link: Historic Environment - appraisals and surveys


Archaeology is the study of material remains of the human past.  Cornwall's archaeological remains are a finite and non-renewable resource.  They contain unique information about how Cornwall's historic and natural environments developed over time.  This contributes to our local, regional and national identities.

A large proportion of sites are not currently known about. New sites are discovered all the time.  This is most common where there has been little previous archaeological investigation.

You can find more information about archaeology and planning using this link: Planning and Archaeology: Historic England

You can contact us at for advice if you are unsure about the potential interest of a site.

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