Historic Building Recording
Historic Building Recording mostly relates to designated heritage assets such as Listed buildings or structures, although non-designated buildings can also fall under the scope of survey and recording.
In most cases, a programme of recording is required as a condition of granting planning permission and/or Listed Building consent prior to any development. However, it is common for a recording programme to be preceded by a Statement of Heritage Significance at the application stage so that an informed decision can be made by the Local Planning Authority (LPA), on the advice of the county Historic Environment Service/Conservation Officer, as to the likely harm to the significance of the asset through development. This is judged using three criteria: ‘no harm’, ‘less than substantial harm’ and ‘harm’. There is a presumption against granting consent where it is considered that ‘harm’ will be caused by the development while applications deemed ‘less than substantial harm’ will be weighed against the public benefit of permitting the application. There is usually no objection where it is considered that a development will lead to ‘no harm’ to the significance of the asset.
Nevertheless, where an application is permitted, and in the interests of heritage, a requirement for a programme of historic building recording routinely forms a condition of granting consent as a means of preservation by record prior to development works. The scope and detail of any historic building recording will be commensurate with the significance of the heritage asset and proposed impact but generally fits with established levels of survey advised by Historic England. The most common of these is a Level 2/3 survey which involves a full photographic survey of a building/structure including architectural details along with observational notes. The site survey is complimented by desk-based research using documentary, cartographic, and pictorial sources. The results of both investigations are combined in an illustrated client report.