Historic Buildings

With nearly 375000 Listed Buildings in England, our architectural heritage is something to be treasured as an intrinsic part of our culture. With this comes the need to protect these historic buildings and ensure that development and change is managed to be beneficial to our heritage.

Solstice offer extensive historic building services to architects, developers and the public sector, including advice and assistance in gaining Listed Building and Conservation Area consent, and innovative applications of practical historic building recording and survey.

Please use the tabs below right to explore the Historic Building Services offered by Solstice:

  • Heritage Statements
  • Historic Building Appraisal
  • Setting Assessments
  • Historic Building Recording and Survey

In order to satisfy the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework, a development ought to include a statement which addresses the potential impact of the development on any archaeology or historic buildings. A Heritage Statement provides the simplest form for such an assessment and is often required where there are to be only minor alterations to a known heritage site, such as a Listed Building, which nevertheless requires professional input. 

Heritage Statements can also be commissioned as a form of feasibility study at project inception. Whether to accompany a formal scoping request for a larger development, or as a stand-alone initial assessment of cultural heritage risk, a Heritage Statement will provide essential baseline data for the strategic planning of a project.

Historic Building Appraisal comprises a rapid assessment of what is significant about a given historic building and therefore how a proposed devleopment or alteration may impact upon that significance. As with Heritage Statements, Building Appraisals are normal reasonably small and rapid pieces of work which are based upon existing information and architects plans and elevations in order to satisfy the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework. Despite their often brief nature, Building Appraisals can form the initial evidential cornerstone for any further work, and as such, it is always worth commissioning a high quality assessment at the earliest possible stage in the development.

A preliminary assessment of the impact of a development on the setting of surrounding archaeological sites and historic buildings will often form part of a desk-based assessment. However with setting being such a key issue, particularly with developments such as wind renewables, Solstice offer a sliding scale of setting study which can be tailored to the specific needs of a development. This ranges from rapid desk-based assessment of likely impacts, through site-based survey of viewsheds to rigorous GIS-led visual impact assessment to EIA standards.  It is also common for setting assessment to be undertaken to assess the potential impact of a development on a single site such as particularly significant historic building, though again there are a range of different methods which can be employed to provide the best fit.

Historic Building recording and survey is a fieldwork-based service which allows for the recording and measuring of historic building as a precursor to development. This can be undertaken either pre- or post-planning permission and forms an effective record of the historic fabric prior to alterations. There are various grades of historic building recording, and it is common for the level of survey required to be aligned to one of the English Heritage standards (Levels 1-3 or photographic recording). 

As with many aspects of heritage consultancy and fieldwork, there is an extensive menu of potential options which can be included within historic building recording and early engagement with both your chosen historic building consultant and the local conservation officer is key to ensuring that the correct work is undertaken.