Heritage statement of significance and impact
Last Updated: 27 July 2021
To protect and enhance the valuable historic environment in the district.
We have a special duty to preserve or enhance the special features and setting of a listed building and the character of a conservation area.
This statement should identify the particular significance of the historic asset and especially those parts that would be directly affected. It should explain how that significance would be affected and how any adverse impacts have been minimised or avoided. It should justify the proposal, explaining why such changes are essential or desirable and also identify what public benefits might arise from the proposal.
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 of Significance and Impact will be required for the following:
- applications for listed building consent
- applications within the curtilage of a listed building, and those that affect its setting
- applications in a conservation area and those that affect its setting
- applications affecting a scheduled ancient monument and those that affect its setting
- applications affecting a registered park or garden of special historic interest and those that affect its setting
- applications affecting an archaeological site and those that affect its setting
- applications affecting a non-designated heritage asset, and those that affect its setting. Non-designated heritage assets may include buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes, identified as having a degree of heritage merit worthy of consideration in planning decisions but not formally designated heritage assets
For help in writing your own Heritage Statement, please refer to our Heritage Statement Template (PDF 431KB / 5 pages).
The amount of detail required in a Heritage Statement of Significance and Impact should be proportionate to the work proposed and the individual heritage asset.
A Heritage Statement of Significance and Impact 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 what is important and distinctive about a building or site, or how the building, space or feature contributes to the character of a conservation area or historic place.
A Heritage Statement of Significance and Impact should demonstrate an understanding of the historical, archaeological, artistic 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 the impact of the proposal upon the heritage asset should:
- demonstrate a clear understanding of the heritage asset's significance, including all those parts that would be affected by the proposal, the contribution made by its setting, whether it is a non-designated or designated asset and the amount of any change involved
- explain how the asset and its setting will be affected by the proposed development and demonstrate how any harm would be minimised or avoided
- present a justification for the proposal that explains why any resulting harm is considered to be necessary or desirable
- identify what public benefits might arise from the proposed works
The assessment should include:
- an assessment of the extent and degree of any harm that would be caused to the significance of the heritage asset
- an assessment of any benefits, including works that would enhance or conserve the significance (For example, the removal of a previous inappropriate extension)
- a structural survey and method statement
Where development includes demolition, significant re-building 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 experienced in working with historic buildings and should include the following:
- the structural stability and condition of the building
- an options appraisal that looks at the range of solutions that may be viable and which identifies the one which cause the least impact to the heritage asset
- 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 archaeological or architectural features will be protected during the development
- a demolition statement (if applicable)
Justification and mitigation statement
A justification and mitigation statement should explain:
- why the proposed works are desirable or necessary. It should include any public benefits which would outweigh any resulting harm or loss of significance
- the steps that have been 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 relocated, so as to cause less harm to the heritage asset
- sensitive design and choice of materials
- recording – either a drawn or a photographic record of archaeological or architectural features or remains that would be obscured, damaged or destroyed as a result of the proposed works