Public Consultation on Conservation Principles - Guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment in Northern Ireland

Closes 8 Oct 2021

Opened 13 Aug 2021


Northern Ireland currently has around 52,000 recorded heritage assets, and approximately a quarter of these are protected by formal designation. The Department for Communities also has responsibility for 190 monuments in state care.

The Department’s Historic Environment Division (HED) has drafted a paper entitled ‘Conservation Principles; Guidance for the sustainable management of the historic environment in Northern Ireland’. 

The principles within the document are based on internationally established conservation doctrine, and align with our obligations under Council of Europe Conventions on the protection of heritage, and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) charters laying out good practice and guidance for conservation of the historic environment.

The Conservation Principles guidance sets out a best practice conservation framework for all aspects of decision making affecting our historic environment. It is intended that by setting out these overarching principles, our process and consistency in decision making and advice is transparent; it will clarify the Department’s position on important matters affecting heritage assets across Northern Ireland, including those in relation to its statutory obligations as set out in the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995, Planning Act (NI) 2011 and The Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (NI) 2015.

The six conservation principles set out within this publication are consistent with the approach by our sister heritage organisations to ensure a clear, shared approach across these islands.  This publication is tailored to the processes through which the historic environment is managed in Northern Ireland.

The well-informed change management and care of our heritage assets is essential to supporting outcomes within the Department’s five year strategy (Building Inclusive Communities 2020-2025) and also has parallels in the draft Programme for Government and Regional Development Strategy 2035 (RDS).

The information you provide in completing this survey will be controlled and processed in line with Data Protection Legislation by the DfC and its Communications Unit. To find out more about how we handle your personal information, DfC’s Privacy Notice can be viewed online at DfC Privacy Notice.

In order to facilitate the survey, Citizen Space, which is not operated by DfC, is used as a data processor. Details of Citizen Space's privacy policy can be found online at Citizen Space Privacy Policy

Why your views matter


The purpose of this consultation is to seek the views of all interested parties on the Department’s proposal. The consultation will run for eight weeks. The Department will give due consideration to all responses and a synopsis of responses will be published as soon as practicable following the consultation period.

Anyone with an interest in this area is welcome to respond.  


We welcome your views


  • All stakeholders


  • Historic Environment