Daniel Metcalfe
Copyright Daniel Metcalfe 2013

Changes to Historic Building Legislation

December 6, 2013

PPS 5 (Planning for the Historic Environment) was replaced by the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) earlier this year. However, I am often asked what the main changes mean for the historic building owner. Whist the document is an entirely new, simplified text, the principles of how professionals treat buildings has not changed much.

The major change is that there is a drive to balance total preservation of heritage assets with the issues of practicality and sustainability. However, that does not mean all you listed building owners have a free reign to remove Georgian sash windows in favour of UPVC double glazing! A heritage professional must undertake a ‘statement of heritage significance’ to justify any alterations so that the character and historically relevant areas of the building or monument are preserved or enhanced. This is done by understanding and assessing the important features of particular site or structure. If you follow the principle that any development should ‘preserve and enhance’ the building or its setting (the language of PPS5) then you won’t go far wrong.

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