Heritage statements

Heritage statements must describe the significance of any historic assets which will be affected by a development. In order to understand the significance of any historic asset, the Government has confirmed that the statement should, as a minimum, set out the findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record.

Where a site on which development is proposed includes, or has the potential to include, heritage assets with archaeological interest, the statement should also include an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.

The level of detail in a Heritage Statement should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance. Consideration of the impact of the proposal upon a heritage asset should normally include any impacts from changing the use of the property or land.

Where there are proposals to replace modern features, the Heritage Statement should describe the significance of the proposed works by explaining what would have been in place before the modern features were installed or constructed, and how the replacement features will enhance its significance.

More detailed advice is given below in relation to specific types of heritage assets.

Within or next to a conservation area

Heritage Statements need to show the impact a proposed development has on the appearance of the conservation area including:

  • any findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record
  • a statement showing the history of a site and its buildings
  • a description (including photographs) of any buildings including:
    • style
    • age
    • type (detached, terraced, two or three storey)
    • common materials
    • architectural features used on nearby buildings that make the area unique
  • any landscaping and streetscape features including details if:
    • a property is set back behind a stone wall or railings
    • there are hedges or important trees in a garden or lining a street
    • special materials are used on the ground (stone paving, cobbles, gravel)
  • a statement showing how a development would fit in the area without causing harm to its character and appearance.

Listed building consent

To apply for consent to make changes to a listed building, your application will need to include the following:

  • any findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record
  • a copy of the listing description found on Historic England’s website
  • analysis of a building’s archaeology, history and character
  • a schedule of all works
  • why works are needed and the impact these works will have on a building and its surroundings
  • a structural survey to show how repairs will be made when there are stability issues
  • an audit of ornamental and decorative features that will be altered or removed (including colour photographs and keyed plans) for:
    • fireplaces
    • skirting boards
    • wood panelling
    • decorative cornices
    • panelled doors, architraves and door surrounds
    • wainscoting
    • dado rails
    • original windows and shutters
    • stained or historic glass
    • special decorative fittings
    • niches
    • historic fitted cupboards and shelving
    • any unusual and unique features
    • flooring materials
    • tiles
    • flagstones
    • chimneys

Impacts on heritage assets

Assessments need to show the impact a proposed development has on a heritage asset and its surroundings. This will include:

  • the findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record
  • scaled plans showing historic features that exist on or next to the site
  • an analysis of any significant archaeology, history and character including:
    • architectural styles
    • characteristics and distinctive features
    • age
    • materials used
    • landscape features
    • surface and boundary care
  • assessing all impacts to show no harm will be caused or explaining how allowing harm is of more benefit to the public.

Demolishing an unlisted building in a conservation area

Please include the following with your application:

  • any findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record
  • an analysis of appearance to show a building’s importance to a conservation area
  • a structural survey to show why a building cannot be kept when there are stability issues
  • an explanation why demolition is of more benefit showing that:
    • the nature of the historic asset prevents all reasonable uses of the site
    • no viable use of the heritage asset can be found
    • conservation through grant funding, charitable ownership or public ownership is not possible
    • the loss outweighs the benefit of bringing the site back into use
  • how the site will be developed and left after demolition.

Archaeological assets

To make changes to or around an archaeological asset, your application will need to include:

  • the findings from consulting the Historic Environment Record
  • an appropriate desk-based assessment and, where necessary, a field evaluation.
  • archaeological checks in line with our policies
  • issues relating to archaeological studies of the site and preservation of items of historic importance.

Advice and support

Policy

Heritage statements are based off the following policy and guidelines: