Heritage Statements /Assessments of Significance Reports

The survey should ideally be carried out at pre app stage, BEFORE you design a scheme, so the changes can be heritage led and therefore evolve around our findings, satisfying conservation policies and LPA conservation teams.

For Retrofit co-ordinators; we can be commissioned following BS7913 for heritage statements, assessments of significance for retrofit projects for protected buildings. As heritage professionals we have greater understanding than most in Retrofit and Energy Efficiency having the Level 3 Award in Energy Efficiency Measures for Old and Traditional Buildings.

Planning Policy says…”Heritage statements/assessments should  be prepared by an appropriate professional with the necessary expertise to properly assess the heritage asset and its significance. For buildings or sites of high significance [e.g. for nationally designated heritage assets/listed buildings] it is recommended that the assessment be prepared by an  accredited qualified heritage consultants.  It is required under legislation National Planning Policy Framework  Updated 2023 [NPPF] in England that an understanding of the history and fabric of a  building, and what makes it special architecturally, historically, its exterior elevations and it’s setting, this includes the interiors, including historic fixtures and fittings, is necessary when making changes. NPPF Updated 2023 policy paragraph 200 states “assets assessed using appropriate expertise”

RDA Initial CALL OUT CHARGE is £130 + Travel depending on location. Call out includes looking at your enquiry/paperwork/basic research time.


After a site visit and basic research  we carry out historical research and an impartial assessment of significance on site via a survey of the building/s, external and internal fabric, to assess the historic fabric and architectural features for their significance. We then can use a traffic light grading system of what is most important to retain, its condition, and also what is having a negative impact to the fabric and building/s.

OUR SURVEYS can aid and inform you in the development of  a scheme for sympathetic redevelopment or conservation repair/adaptation.  We can then at a later stage provide an Heritage Impact Assessment for the homeowner or developer, using data from our initial research and on site survey that may then involve some mitigation to regenerate and reuse an historic site complimenting what exists.

We have found this has the best planning outcomes for all, when involving sensitive listed buildings and non-designated heritage assets and buildings in conservation areas.

We can also give advice, support and can  liaise, negotiate and develop relationships with planning officers, consultees, interested organisations, third parties and fellow professionals.

HISTORIC ENGLAND ADVISES….”In summary, what is needed is an impartial analysis of significance and the contribution of setting. A Statement of Heritage Significance is not an advocacy document, seeking to justify a scheme which has already been designed; it is more an objective analysis of significance, an opportunity to describe what matters and why, in terms of heritage significance.” Ref HE Statements of Heritage Significance:Analysing Significance in Heritage Assets  October 2019

“Where the significance is not obvious, appropriate expertise would  need to be used. Analysis would  generally be undertaken by a suitably qualified specialist, expert in an appropriate branch of conservation, architectural history, garden history and/or archaeology, or, in more complex circumstances, group of specialists, who can describe significance in a way which is acceptable to the local planning authority and which therefore assists a successful application.” Ref HE Statements of Heritage Significance:Analysing Significance in Heritage Assets  October 2019

RDA is an IHBC FULL member

Old maps can tell us a lot about how an area has changed over time and how significant a place is.
The age of the interior roof space can tell us a lot about the age of the building

For Further GUIDANCE See PDF below

RDA What Are Heritage Reports


Understanding Historic Buildings Policy and Guidance for Local Planning Authorities EH 2008

This document is referred to as suggested reference in  “Managing Significance in Decision-Taking in the Historic Environment  Historic Environment Good Practice Advice in Planning: 2” Historic England 2015

Medieval- before the Dissolution and destruction of the Monasteries 1536
Georgian House Styles 1715-1790-Palladian/Neo-Classicism
Elizabethan /Jacobean House Styles 1560-1660 included Renaissance and Dutch Styles
Regency House Styles 1790-1830 Neo-Classicism/Greek Revival/Picturesque/Gothick