Heritage Assessments

Understanding impact

A key part of any application for consent is a 'heritage impact assessment', also known as a heritage statement.

This is a report which includes a statement of signficance for the building (detailing what makes it special) as well as how the work you propose to do impacts on this signifance (heritage impact assessment).

You can write one yourself, or employ a professional (see Professional Support Factsheet).

The heritage statement should also explain why the works are desirable or necessary. It should contain the following:

  • A description of the property and its setting
  • An assessment of the significance of property
  • A description of the likely impact of the proposed work on the significance of the property
  • An assessment of the overall heritage impact. This includes balancing any harm to the significance against the benefits of doing the work
  • Identification of any opportunities to reduce or mitigate the harm caused to the significance.

Historic England have published guidance on preparing Statements of Heritage Significance which provides more detail on what should be included and how it fits into the National Planning Policy Framework. 

‘Significance’ has a specific meaning in relation to the historic environment. Take a look at the Glossary for a definition.


Applications should always be clear on why the works are required, include a method statement detailing how the work will be done and include photos with the work areas marked on it.