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Heritage Review of Design Proposals

What is meant by a Heritage Review of Design Proposals?

When beginning a new project some of the earliest works undertaken are to sketch out a plan for proposed works, even if this is just a very high-level guide to what might be planned for a site. As works progress, the precise form, scale and ideas behind a development are formalised, eventually progressing towards planning, when designs become detailed and focussed in their output. The amount of work that can go into such design works can be extensive, and it can be at significant risk if  checks have not been undertaken on the Historic Environment, and the potential for such schemes to impact heritage or archaeology.

This is where it becomes key critical to speak to a heritage consultant. An early call to AB Heritage, or sharing an outline idea board with us, can quickly highlight the best route towards planning, identifying possible constraints and allowing for mitigation by design (i.e. proposals for how to avoid or minimise impacts on the historic environment at the outset) prior to progressing through planning and discovering proposals are either unacceptable, or would require significant change (for example, removal of a large percentage of the proposed building stock, or additional storeys to a property).

historic environmentWhat is included in a Heritage Review of Design Proposals?

AB Heritage’s experienced  heritage consultants can review any outline designs or sketches you may have and make some quick checks online, or utilise past knowledge of such situations, to help guide your initial decision-making process.

Where we feel there may be some need to consult or negotiate with the Local Planning Authority or National Heritage Agencies through the life of a project, we will help our clients plan for the likely works they may need, whether this be a Heritage Statement, Archaeology Desk Based Assessment, or any other form of work that will provide the  information needed to guide and inform the Planning Officer during the planning application process.

When would a Review of Design Proposals be useful?

The earlier our clients speak to AB Heritage the better. By proactively considering the historic environment from the outset, the better the opportunity to minimise and manage any risk that may be present in relation to heritage or archaeology.

For example, while it is relatively easy to swap proposed areas of green space and housing on a site during optioneering works, the opportunity to avoid intrusive impacts on locations such as Scheduled Monuments or Areas of Archaeological Priority, is all but lost once detailed design is locked in; given the huge investment already committed from factors such as  traffic modelling, service locations, engineering plans, and ground stability. At this late stage there is a risk of refusal of planning, loss of a significant area of possible development, or the need to undertake expensive and time-consuming mitigation works in the form of Archaeological Excavation, all of which can have very large impacts on the project budget and overall profitability.

By speaking to the heritage consultancy team at AB Heritage, you are building in the best opportunity for success in relation to your project and its interaction with the historic environment.  

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