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Heritage Statements are required as part of the information that is submitted for listed building consent and/or planning applications when works/or development might affect a heritage asset.


The purpose of the document is to inform those who are making decisions regarding the proposed work as to;

  • the significance of the heritage asset and it’s setting 

  • the impact that the work will have upon this significance

  • the measures which are being taken to reduce this impact and

  • the measure being taken to enhance the significance

  • along with the justification for the works


The significance of a heritage asset and it’s setting can be determined by many factors that not only include physical components but also association to events and people (communities) who have lived, worked, designed, built or have otherwise been linked to the asset.


Often significance is linked to heritage values with these being defined by English Heritage within their publication Conservation Principles Policies and Guidance (2008) as; evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal. However, this list is not exhaustive and further publications including the British Standard BS 7913:2013 state many more values and characteristics that combine contribute to significance.


Under policy 128 of the NPPF it is stated that Local Planning Authorities “should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage asset affected, including any contribution made by their setting” and that “the level of detail should be proportionate to the asset’s importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance”.


This requirement is addressed by a ‘Heritage Statement’ and should be prepared for any proposals affecting any heritage asset including:

  • Listed Buildings

  • Structures within the curtilage of Listed Buildings

  • Conservation Areas

  • Scheduled Monuments

  • Archaeological Sites

  • Registered Parks and Gardens

  • Sites or buildings on the Historic Environment Record

  • Locally Listed Buildings

  • And for works affecting the setting of any of the above


When preparing Heritage Statements Heritage First ensure that compliance is met for the recommendations set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and be “proportionate to, the significance of the asset and the degree to which proposed changes enhance or detract from that significance and ability to appreciate it.” At a minimum, the Historic Environment Record (HER) and/or the National Monuments Record (NMR) will be consulted and depending on the degree of significance that the heritage asset attains further research will be undertaken via Local Study Libraries and relevant archives.


In preparation, we will conduct a detailed inspection of the property with a photographic survey to enable a record to be built up that details the stages of the buildings development since the time of initial construction. Research often includes historic map regression to identify not only changes within the subject site but also those in the surrounding areas.


If an architect or designer has been instructed, we will alongside them and in many cases utilise the drawings that have already been produced. In other cases, it is sometimes necessary for us to undertake a measured survey for the production of detailed drawings.


Though sometimes considered an unnecessary additional expense a Heritage Statement can often make the difference in gaining approval for proposed works. More importantly, the information that is gained ensures that the significance of the asset is protected whilst allowing for more informed decisions to be made.


As buildings differ so does the cost of a Heritage Statement with more detail being required for more significant assets and complexed buildings. The level of impact on the asset, the setting and the community will also have bearing on the costs and all will influence the amount of time required for completion. In many cases, it will take approximately 2-3 weeks for us to compile the report and a fully costed quotation will be provided.


Once the report is complete along with any additional requirements our service can be extended to include applications for listed building consent, planning permission and building regulation approval. If required, we will also act has your agent whilst applications are being decided and undertake any required site visits along with liaison with all involved.


We undertake Heritage Statements for various clients including architects, engineers, planners, designers, property agents, private and commercial owners of historic assets etc. For more information regarding Heritage Statements and the other services we provide please contact us.


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