services for heritage projects
Conservation and Listed Buildings can be a complex business to negotiate, however, MDP can assist you in easing the way by gathering the right team to assess, prepare and guide your proposals through the planning process.
The principles of listed buildings and conservation areas are broadly similar all over the UK. There may be more details relating to what made/makes a heritage asset special or worthy of designation on your Council’s website. For example, some Councils have created Conservation Area Appraisals which are guides to the history and context of the Conservation Area (CA). The same is also true of Listed Building (LB’s). LBs, and those buildings within a CA, are protected by primary legislation and planning policy.
The starting point for understanding the significance of an LB is it’s listing but there may be other information available online too such as on the local Parish Council or Church website. LBs are designated as being of special architectural or historic interest. This may be due to many reasons including age, rarity, architectural merit, method of construction, and whether it has played a significant role in a historical event or in the life of a key figure. For example John Lennon’s unremarkable 1930’s childhood home is Grade II listed.
Properties are graded as below
- Grade I: this refers to buildings of exceptional interest, many of which are major stately homes or other key historic buildings (top 1%)
- Grade II*: these are designated as buildings of more than special interest (top 3%)
- Grade II: these are classed as buildings of special interest, and account for the vast majority of listed buildings
More recently, the NPPF has set out that equal weight is given to the desire to protect the setting of a listed building, not just the building itself. Harm to the setting is (by extension) harm to the LB and something to be generally avoided or robustly justified.
There is no easy definition of the word “setting” but a good starting point is to think of a farm within it’s farmstead, a windmill within it’s field of view, a Church within it’s graveyard or village setting. Settings are a product of the function of the listed asset and how it is experienced.