Historic Building Recording and Archaeological Consultancy

 
 
 

What constitutes a ‘historic building’ is evolving so rapidly it is almost impossible to define: the oldest building we have recorded dates to the 10th century –clearly historic; but the latest is an extension built in 1984 to a building constructed in 1961!
Increasingly, more recent buildings are being seen by local authorities and statutory consultees such as English Heritage as having cultural value even where, traditionally, they would not be considered of great merit. Never has there been a greater need for seeking advice on how your proposals might be affected by building conservation issues and this is likely to become even more crucial as the reform of the planning system continues.
Any development that might affect the a building's historic or architectural interest, or the character of  a conservation area should consider commissioning a suitable assessment.
At Mayfield, we have experience of dealing with all grades of Listed Buildings, Conservation Area characterization and historic landscape assessment.


Building Appraisals, Conservation Statements etc.
There are several types of assessment depending on the circumstances of a proposal. However, all such assessments should identify the chief characteristics which define the special nature of the receptor and thereby characterize the opportunities and constraints for development. The appraisal can therefore inform the initial design of outline proposals, or where these exist appraise their likely impact.
Assessments are routinely requested by local authorities often in response to submitted applications. Frequently, applications will not be validated until the assessment is submitted.
By commissioning an assessment or scoping at the outset, we can set the agenda and ensure any potential areas of disagreement are both minimized and focused. This enables further negotiation to be targeted on key issues facilitating early agreement with a resulting saving in cost and time.
Conversely, where appraisals are requested by the local authority they are often accompanied by negative responses on aspects of the proposals and the development team is on the defensive from the outset. When dealing with historic buildings, where so much is dependant on professional judgment rather than matters of fact, the smart money is spent on specialist advice at the very beginning.

Mitigation recording
Once agreement is reached either in principle or by consents being granted, many projects will require mitigation recording.
The purpose of such works is to record the as-existing building(s) and their settings so that there is a permanent archive of how they looked prior to the new development.
The works are usually undertaken to an agreed specification based on a series of levels of recording published by English Heritage in 2006: level 1 being the simplest and Level 4 the most comprehensive.
We have experience of dealing with all grades of Listed building and of recording up to Level 4. We have recorded early stone, brick, timber-frame and reinforced concrete and steel frame buildings; including ecclesiastical, vernacular, polite, industrial, military and agricultural buildings.
We only use professional grade 35mm, DSLR and medium format photographic equipment with perspective control ensuring that whichever level of recording is required, it is undertaken to the highest standard.

We provide:
-initial consultations
-building appraisals
-conservation statements
-Conservation Area Character appraisals
-Building recording, Levels 1-4 and bespoke

        -document support for Listed Building applications