Apply for listed building consent

Heritage statements

Heritage statements are required for:

  • listed building consent applications
  • applications for planning permission affecting the setting of listed buildings
  • applications in conservation areasand in registered parks and gardens
  • applications affecting non-designated heritage assets, which include locally identified buildings, parks and gardens and archaeological sites

The purpose of the statement is to help you and others involved in the application process to understand what is special about a heritage asset and how a proposal will affect it.

Preparation of a heritage statement should begin prior to preparing an application so that it assists and informs design proposals, rather than at the end of the process as a means of subsequently seeking to justify alterations.

Understanding the site

You will need to describe the property, its age, the materials used in its construction, the style of building, its internal arrangement and any historic fittings.

It will also be important to describe its setting and surroundings (where it is located and what the other buildings around it are like or what the surrounding landscape is like).

The level of information provided in the statement should be proportionate to the value and importance attached to the asset, for example, its significance, and also to the extent of the proposed works.

Simple alterations to a grade II listed building

For a simple alterations to a grade II listed building, such as replacing a window, you can consult the Norfolk Historic Environment Record (HER) for the list description of the building and the reason for listing, and the history of the site.

You can also provide your own description of the building and its current setting, and any alterations which may have taken place since the listing.

You may also wish to look at historic maps to see how the site and its surroundings may have changed over a longer period of time.

Significant buildings or proposals that require a greater level of change

For more significant buildings or proposals that require a greater level of change, a more in-depth assessment will be required, and it may be necessary to employ a suitably qualified heritage consultant. As well as the information above, the following research may be necessary:

  • Local Record Office consulted to check on historic documents relating to the property, such as architect’s plans; building regulation plans; historic inventories or sales particulars
  • local libraries will often contain books relating to the history and heritage of your area
  • previous planning records checked to identify where changes have already taken place
  • an inspection and analysis of the building fabric, particularly in the areas affected by your proposals
  • historic photos (which are often available online)

The impact on the significance of a heritage asset due to changes to its setting must also be considered. Where development proposals involve the setting of single and less significant assets a short statement on the heritage impact may be sufficient. Cases involving large scale development, or that have the potential to impact on multiple assets (for example wind turbines), or which may affect the setting of assets which are appreciated within a wider setting (for example the setting of churches or country houses, which may be a greater distance from the development site), will require a more detailed assessment; see the Historic England advice.

How to present your findings

The form of the heritage statement will vary depending on the level of detail provided but should generally consist of:

  • a written description of the building/site and its immediate and wider setting
  • a summary of the building/sites architectural, archaeological or historical significance
  • an explanation of the proposed works
  • would the proposed works harm the heritage asset through physical change to the structure? Will the proposal change the way in which the building/site is ‘read’ or understood?
  • will the setting of the heritage asset be changed by the proposal and if so how?
  • what would the benefits of the proposed works be?
  • will the proposal cause any harm and if so why?
  • can the amount of harm be limited or mitigated?

It is often very helpful for photographs, plans and maps to be included to illustrate the points that you are making.

The heritage statement will need to be submitted with the planning application and/or listed building consent application and can form part of the design and access statement.