Heritage assets are buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes that are identified as being significant and valued components of the historic environment.
Heritage assets include:
- listed buildings
- scheduled monuments
- conservation areas
- registered parks and gardens of special historic interest
A heritage statement will be required for the following applications:
- applications for listed building consent
- applications within the curtilage of a listed building
- applications in a conservation area
- applications affecting a scheduled ancient monument
- applications affecting a registered park or garden of special historic interest
- applications affecting an archaeological site
What is required?
The amount of detail required in a heritage statement should be proportionate to the work proposed and the individual heritage asset.
A heritage statement should always have three parts:
- assessment of heritage significance
- assessment of impact
- justification and mitigation strategy
Assessment of heritage significance
An assessment of heritage significance should explain why the heritage asset is important, what gives a conservation area its character or discuss why a building is listed.
A statement of heritage significance should demonstrate an understanding of the historical, archaeological and architectural interest of the heritage asset and its setting, in particular, the significance of those parts of the building or site affected by the proposed works. For example, if the front elevation of a building or the interior is particularly notable, explain how the proposed works affect those features.
Photographs are a useful way to provide information.
Copies of historic documents or maps that provide references to the historic asset and demonstrate any historic changes.
Assessment of impact
An assessment of impact should explain the likely impact of the proposed development on the significance of both the heritage asset and its setting and the wider context. For example, how an extension would to a building would impact upon the surrounding conservation area or how an alteration would affect the character of a listed building.
It should provide:
- an assessment of the scale and nature of any harm that would be caused to the significance of the heritage asset
- an assessment of any benefits, include works that would enhance or conserve the significance (removal of previous inappropriate alterations)
- a structural survey and method statement
Where development includes demolition, significant rebuilding or repair to a listed building, a structural survey and method statement will be needed. These should be prepared by a structural engineer or an architect with experience of working with historic buildings and should include the following:
- the structural stability and condition of the building
- a schedule and method statement of the proposed works and repairs
- a statement explaining how the stability and condition of the building and any adjoining buildings or structures will be safeguarded during the development
- a statement explaining how internal and external finishes, joinery and architectural or archaeological features will be protected during the development
- a demolition statement
Justification and mitigation statement
A justification and mitigation statement should explain:
- why the proposed works are desirable or necessary. It should include any benefits which would outweigh any resulting harm or loss of significance
- the steps to be taken to avoid, minimise or mitigate any harm to the significance of the heritage asset
The following should be considered:
- minimal intervention. Are all the works necessary and is the work designed so it could be removed at a later date, without causing damage to any significant fabric of the building or archaeological remains
- alternative methods of development. Are there alternative options that would meet the applicant’s objectives. Could the proposed works be repositioned, so as to cause less harm to the heritage asset
- sensitive design and choice of materials
- recording – a photographic record of archaeological or architectural features or remains that would be obscured, damaged or destroyed as a result of the proposed works