Desk-Based Assessment/Appraisals are carried out for historic structures recorded as non-designated heritage assets on county lists, although they are sometimes requested for listed buildings. The results of investigative work into documentary sources and from a walkover survey are combined into an illustrated report. This sets out the evidence for the origins, phasing and history of a structure and describes the setting.
The desk-based assessment usually provides sufficient information about a structure to allow an informed judgement to be made about the proposed change. In some cases, the findings result in recommendations for historic building recording in relation to development proposals.