When to Commission a Heritage Statement

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The new meadow barn proposal adjacent a Grade II Tythe Barn at a Buckinghamshire farmstead – in collaboration with Connected Architecture. Visual by Laura Holloway.

If you are looking to do work on your heritage building, whether listed or within a Conservation Area, you are likely to need a Heritage Statement as part of the suite of documents to be submitted to the Local Authority.

Heritage buildings often have a complex history and construction which contribute to their specific ‘significance’. Through research the Heritage Statement will identify the building’s significance which may then influence the design for your works. So when should you establish your building’s significance? To avoid abortive design work and minimise subsequent impact on your programme it is wise to commission the Heritage Statement at the start of a project.

This can be done independently of your design with a conservation specialist, however ideally the architect for the works would also be a Conservation Architect who could seamlessly pull the significance together with the design.

Where your project may involve more than one building, such as a new building and a separate listed building, it is worth considering two architects who complement each other. One should take the lead coordination role to collate the wider site information and judge the design development of the new-build’s impact upon the setting of the listed building.

Heritage Revival has successfully worked in different ways to complement new-build architects, including Connected Architecture, Lynda Carroll Architects and Red + White Design.

The RIBA has released an industry article on this today – for more information on Heritage Statements and the importance of commissioning one early, click here.

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