Are you preparing works to your heritage property?

Below are some FAQs for historic and listed building repairs and renovation to give you a head start.

Medieval Farmhouse, Heritage Statement


Sussex Farmhouse

There is an important duty of care in managing the upkeep of a Listed Building that can require Listed Building Consent.  Consultation with your Local Planning Authority (LPA) or Historic England before starting works is sensible and pre-application advice can often be accessed for free, or only a small fee.

We hope the information below helps to guide your project and prompt new thoughts about your specific property requirements.

Once your plans have progressed to Planning, AB Heritage consultants would be delighted to assist your heritage works application to help achieve the necessary consents.

Where can I find out if my building is Listed?

There are different sources of information on Listed Buildings in the UK. Please see below for the one appropriate for you.

England: Search the List – Map Search | Historic England

Scotland: Site Search | Canmore

Wales: Coflein – The online catalogue of archaeological sites, historic buildings, industrial and maritime heritage in Wales

Is it possible to have my property de-listed?

Historic England maintains the List in England. Please refer above for Scotland and Wales. If a building is considered by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to be of special architectural or historic interest it will be included on a list of such buildings.
Historic England Guidance on De-Listing a property provides an overview of the application process for removing a building from the List, also known as de-listing. It should be noted that an application for de-listing is a separate process from the review of listing decisions, which is a challenge to the validity of a recent listing decision. More details can be found on the DCMS website.

Can I install uPVC windows as replacements for original windows

For Listed properties, authentic windows and doors are key elements of the architectural and historic special interest of the building. They contribute to the character of any property. Proposed works that may affect the special architectural and historic interest of a Listed Building will require Listed Buildings Consent. Where a building is not Listed but is located within a Conservation Area, Planning Permission for upgrading and renovation works may still be needed. These works are covered by Article 4 Directions. We have prepared a blog on the use of uPVC windows in historic buildings. 

I have a Listed Property. What redecoration may be permitted?

If your property is Listed or in a Conservation Area, you should seek early guidance before making any changes either externally or internally as consent may be required. You could make contact with your Local Planning Authority Conservation Officer for advice, or visit the Historic England website Advice pages.

Historic England have produced an easy-to-read guide for owners of Listed Buildings explaining the Listed Building Consent Process, follow this link to a downloadable version.

Can I extend my Historic Property?

Planning Permission may be required. If your building is Listed it will need Listed Building Consent. There is no general rule covering the maximum increase in size of a building with a new extension, if it is permitted. However, an extension should respect the character and dimensions of the original building. Sometimes an extension can be used to correct previous poor additions to historic properties, so thinking about complementary designs could be an important early step. Your Local Planning Conservation Officer can advise at pre-planning stage. Heritage Consultants, like AB Heritage, can assist with active planning applications to help clarify important features of heritage significance that can help shape designs.

Where can I get advice about listed building repair and maintenance for my historic building?

There are many sources of detailed information about how to look after and maintain older properties including from Historic England. Some forms of repair and maintenance may require surveys to be undertaken and replacement of historic fabric and material may require specific planning permission. Conservation specialists can be approached for further advice on the treatments of fabrics and materials. A good source for specialist suppliers is The Listed Property Owners Club.

Do I need to consider the impact to trees when planning redevelopment?

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) deal with all planning matters relating to trees and hedges. Before carrying out works to trees you should always check with the LPA whether consent is required. Individual trees may be protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) or more generally if they are within a Conservation Area. If trees are protected then consent is required for works to be done to them. Information about these consents is given in the Historic England Heritage Protection Guide.istoricHistoric England 

What do I need to consider regarding implementing energy efficiency works and an EPC on my Listed Building?

The advice from Historic England that relates to Energy Performance Certification for older or Listed Buildings can be found here.  Further advice on a particular building can be sought from your Local Authority Conservation Officers and/or an independent EPC Assessor.

It has been suggested to me that I need a Geophsyical Survey as part of Archaeological Works. What is this?

A timely Geophysical Survey can provide a clearer picture of both known and potential archaeology on a site, detailing factors such as the extent, nature and form of various below ground archaeology features. Various forms of geophysical survey can be undertaken, including Magnetometer, Earth Resistance and Ground Penetrating Radar, all of which are non-intrusive.

These works not only provide beneficial design guidance to the client and their development team but allow the projects heritage consultants to get an early appreciation of the potential impact of a development, providing valuable insight into below ground risk. Surveying is quick, effective and inexpensive and, when employed early, can help to limit, better target, or scope out altogether later costly intrusive archaeological investigation works.

My Archaeological Planning Condition mentions the need for Archaeological Investigations. What is the difference between Archaeological Evaluation and Archaeological Excavation?

Archaeological Evaluation (also known as Trial Trenching) provides an on-site assessment to determine the presence or absence of archaeological features, structures, deposits or artefacts within a specified site. The information extracted from such works will include data on the character, extent, quality and state of preservation of any remains identified, along with their anticipated date and significance.

Archaeological evaluations are often commissioned as part of the progression of a planning application, providing invaluable insight to the potential for archaeological risk.

Archaeological Evaluation works are always agreed in advance with the Local Planning Authority based on a Written Scheme of Investigation and undertaken in line with Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Field Evaluation by the Chartered Institute for Archaeology (2014).

An Archaeological Excavation is usually notified as a condition attached to a planning-consent. It is required when the site is known to have some form of potential. This results in a programme of archaeological works (controlled, ground intrusive fieldwork with defined research objectives and tightly governed processes in relation to the investigation, recording and interpretation of below ground archaeological remains within a site). You may like to visit this page for information on Written Scheme of Investigation.