Heritage assets are defined by the National Planning Policy Framework as a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions because of its heritage assets. The most common of these are Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas.
When an application is submitted for proposals which affect a heritage asset, paragraph 189 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that “in determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting.” This is so that the local planning authority can properly assess the proposals. Heritage assets are protected by law under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and so the local planning authority will look to ensure that no significant harmful impacts or loss occurs.
Do I need a Heritage Statement?
Heritage Statements usually accompanies or is incorporated into the Planning Statement with the submission of a planning application. The most common situation when a Heritage Statement is required is for when development relating to a Listed Building or a building in a Conservation Area is proposed. A Heritage Statement may also be required if your building is not Listed but lies adjacent to one. This is because your building forms the curtilage of an asset. Any changes to your building may affect its significance.
The amount of information provided within the heritage statement should be proportionate to the significance of the heritage asset. For instance, assets of the highest significance include scheduled monuments, protected wreck sites, registered battlefields, grade I and II* listed buildings, grade I and II* registered parks and gardens, and World Heritage Sites.
For more information, please read the National Planning Policy Framework from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
Usually, Heritage Statements will explore the history of the asset, using historical records, photographs or OS Maps. The significance of a heritage asset is the sum of its architectural, historic, aesthetic or archaeological interest. The Heritage Statement will explore what makes the heritage asset special and will examine how the proposals may or may not affect its important qualities. Any changes or modifications to the heritage asset will need to be justified and any minor impacts weighed against the benefits to the scheme.
Achieving Listed Building Consent
Listed buildings are complex due to their history and previous changes made over the years. We will work with you and your architect to ensure that your proposals preserve or enhance what is important about the Heritage Asset and this will usually make the difference in gaining a consent.
Our team has extensive experience dealing with Heritage Assets, regularly gaining consents for conversions of and works to Listed Buildings and development within Conservation Areas.