Structural surveys

Last Updated: 23 August 2023

A structural survey must demonstrate that the building is structurally sound and is capable of conversion without extensive rebuilding.

When required

A structural survey will be needed where a proposed development involves the conversion of an existing building from one use to another, it is important to establish that the building is capable of conversion.

This requirement is usually only required for developments for the conversion of barns and other rural buildings.

A structural survey will also be required in support of any proposal to demolish or substantially demolish a listed building or a building in a conservation area, where justification for demolition is sought on the basis of its structural condition.


A structural survey should demonstrate that a building has sufficient structural strength to accommodate the proposed change of use, together with any necessary physical alterations. The report should include metric scaled plans that highlight the areas requiring replacement, repair or renewal. It should identify the extent to which works or repairs are necessary and the amount of new structural work needed to carry out the conversion. It must be clear which parts of the building are to remain and which parts are to be new build.

The council must be confident that the building is unlikely to collapse during the conversion.

Where the building is listed or in a conservation area, the survey must demonstrate that the building is structurally unsound and incapable of repair, either due to its structural condition or the financial cost of the work needed.