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Understanding Heritage Statements and Listed Building Consent: A Guide to Historic Preservation

Updated: Mar 9

In the realm of preserving the architectural and historical integrity of listed buildings, understanding the intricate dance between heritage statements and the necessity for listed building consent is crucial. This blog post delves into the heart of this relationship, underscored by the guidance provided by Historic England and anchored in the legalities of The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, along with the insights from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2023.

Heritage Statement - Historic Building - Heritage Surveyor

The Pillars of Preservation: Heritage Statements and Listed Building Consent

At the core of preserving Britain's historical edifices is the requirement for a heritage statement—a comprehensive document that outlines the significance of a listed building or conservation area and the impact of any proposed changes. This statement is not just a formality; it's a crucial piece of the puzzle in the planning application process, especially when seeking listed building consent.

Listed building consent is a legal requirement for any alterations, however minor, to a listed structure's fabric or appearance. This process ensures that changes do not detract from the building's character or historical value, safeguarding our heritage for future generations.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 serves as the bedrock of legislation protecting England's architectural and historic treasures. It outlines the responsibilities of building owners, the process for obtaining consent, and the penalties for unauthorised alterations. Familiarising yourself with this Act is the first step in understanding the legal obligations associated with owning or altering a listed property.

Aligning with Historic England and the NPPF

Listed Building - Historic House

Historic England's policies and guidance play a pivotal role in shaping the preservation landscape. As the public body that looks after England's historic environment, its resources are invaluable for anyone involved in maintaining or altering listed buildings.

Furthermore, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2023, offers a contemporary lens through which the planning system views heritage conservation. Chapter 16 of the NPPF, particularly paragraph 200, underscores the importance of using historic records and expertise in decision-making processes regarding heritage assets. This alignment ensures that every step taken respects and preserves the historical significance of listed buildings, contributing to a sustainable future where our past is not only remembered but integrated into our present.

The Imperative of Expertise

The complexities of navigating listed building consent, understanding heritage statements, and aligning proposed changes with both legal and policy frameworks highlight the necessity of expert guidance. Whether it's consulting with Historic England, engaging with heritage consultants, or collaborating with architects specialising in historical preservation, the expertise brought to the table can make the difference between a project that enhances the historical fabric of our communities and one that detracts from it. Fortunately AMS SURVEYS, can help you we've the specialist in house skills to help you with the design, planning process and project management of the building work to your listed building. Find out more here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a heritage statement and why is it important for listed buildings?

A heritage statement is a detailed report that outlines the significance of a listed building or conservation area and assesses the impact of any proposed changes. It's crucial for the planning application process to ensure that alterations respect the building's character and significance.

Is listed building consent always required for modifications to a listed property?

Yes, listed building consent is required for any alterations that affect the building's fabric or appearance, ensuring the building's character and historic value are preserved. In mosts case of like for like repairs it is usually required to but should be assessed on a case by case basis.

How does Historic England influence decisions on listed building alterations?

Historic England provides policies and guidance that shape preservation efforts, ensuring changes are made with a deep understanding of the building's historical importance.

Can AMS SURVEYS help with the design and planning process for work on listed buildings?

Absolutely. AMS SURVEYS offers specialized in-house skills to assist with the design, planning process, and project management of building work on listed buildings.

Can I write my own heritage statement?

In short yes, but remember this is your opportunity to justify the any work requiring Listed Building Consent. So, if the Heritage Statement is poor quality and does not meet the criteria the consent will either be invalid or refused, wasting time and money. NPPF and Historic England both support the use of specialists to ensure buildings are protected and preserved in the best way possible, therefore the Conservation Officer will be looking for a detailed and professional application.

For more in-depth information and expert guidance on navigating heritage statements and listed building consent contact us below.


Heritage Consultant - Listed Building Consent

Heritage statements and listed building consent are more than just bureaucratic steps; they are the keystones of preserving the architectural and historical integrity of England's listed buildings. By adhering to the guidance set forth by Historic England, complying with The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and aligning with the principles of the NPPF 2023, we ensure that our historical heritage is respected, preserved, and celebrated.

As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of preserving our historical heritage, let us remember the importance of these processes and the roles they play in maintaining the character and identity of our communities.

For further reading and resources, exploring Historic England's policies and diving into the details of The Planning Act and the NPPF is recommended. Together, we can contribute to a future where our past is not only preserved but is a living part of our national identity.

Next Steps....

Are you the custodian of a piece of England's treasured past, or planning changes to a listed building? The responsibility is significant, but you're not alone on this journey. Protecting our heritage requires understanding, care, and the right professional advice.

🏛️ Reach Out for Expert Guidance - If you're navigating the complexities of heritage statements or the listed building consent process, we're here to help. Our team of experts is adept at providing tailored advice, aligning with Historic England's policies, and ensuring your project not only meets legal requirements but also contributes positively to our collective history.

📚 Dive Deeper into Heritage Preservation - For more resources, guidance, or to discuss your specific needs, don't hesitate to contact us. Together, we can preserve the integrity and beauty of England's historic buildings for generations to come.

✉️ Contact Us Now - Ready to ensure your piece of history stands proud? Email us at, call us on 0151 314 6650, or visit our website to learn more about how we can support your heritage project. Let's safeguard the past, together.

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