Open Heritage provides consultancy and support for planning applications affecting listed properties and buildings within conservation areas, in line with current planning policy (National Planning Policy Framework) and published English Heritage guidance. We supply effective research to assess, record and manage historic sites. We can assist at all stages of development.


The significance of historic buildings must be identified and assessed in order for planning applications to be fully validated. The statement summarises the historic interest and significance of the building, and considers the impact of the proposal. This statement may be integrated with the Design and Access Statement or be a stand-alone document. Research conducted is primarily collated from desk based survey, site plans and visit, photographs and historic records. A well-prepared Heritage Statement and supporting  documentation will ensure best prospects of approval. A supporting Design and Access Statement, the report accompanying and supporting a planning application or application for listed building consent, illustrates the process that has led to the development proposal, and explains and justifies the proposal in a structured way. The statement addresses the design and access issues regarding the use, layout, scale and appearance of the proposal, and refers to consultations carried out with occupants of neighbouring properties and/or the wider community.


Understanding and documenting why historic buildings are important is key to successful restoration and re-use. It is particularly valuable where a buildings are  to undergo a change of use. A Conservation Statement identifies why the heritage is important and to whom. A more detailed Conservation Management Plan informs the future maintenance and management of the asset, and also decisions which may affect the design, setting or use of the building. It is often a requirement of external funding bodies such as the HLF and English Heritage that a Conservation Management Plan is produced alongside grant applications.


Support is also provided to adapt older buildings to be more energy efficient. This includes advice on the installation of photovoltaic arrays, rainwater harvesting systems, and upgrading existing services and insulation.


As well as providing specialist advice for planning applications, building conservation and maintenance, OPEN HERITAGE provides grant research and application support to secure the future for historic buildings and community projects.