The third annual Historic England report which surveys commercial occupiers of listed buildings was released at the end of November 2018. Click here to read more and access the report
More than 500 businesses were surveyed and the majority of respondents advised they believed their heritage asset enhanced their business offer. The survey included a range of occupancy type: owners and renters alike.
The good news is Historic England report, ‘Owners and operators said their listed buildings provide an attractive exterior that gives a positive first impression to their clients and customers.’
In tandem to a positive overall opinion business also voiced concerns around challenges they face – in particular disabled access was highlighted as a ‘major issue’.
It may be possible such businesses haven’t known where to turn to find heritage-sensitive advice when it comes to the intersecting spheres of building control, planning and sensitive adjustments to heritage fabric to facilitate equal access to the services they offer to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act. Indeed solutions can be ‘managed’, rather than physical changes to a building.
Architectural and interior design solutions offered specifically for listed building and heritage setting are the best place to start to look for advice. Heritage Revival offers creative solutions to such problems to the local Berkshire/Oxfordshire area. Key to beginning to solve these problems is understanding the ‘significance’ of the existing fabric and features. For any listed building application a report to identify the particular significance of a building is required – the Heritage Statement. The earlier in the redevelopment process this is commissioned, the greater the chance pro-active and sensitive solutions can be found.
If you are a business, or a potential purchaser of a building for a range of uses, do consider contacting your local heritage architect for their initial thoughts regarding statutory regulations on a property you may be consideri