Historic Building Guidance

Historic buildings, either listed or unlisted, often need slightly different techniques when maintaining them or constructing extensions, compared to modern buildings. Lots of traditional techniques are no longer as prevalent as they once were as the way buildings are built has changed over the years, but there is still lots of advice available.

Speak with a Conservation Officer

In the first instance it is advisable to have discussions with the Local Planning Authority, be that New Forest District Council or New Forest National Park Authority, depending where you are in the parish. Details of how to seek advice from them, along with some useful guidance for traditional methods of building can be found here for New Forest District Council and here for New Forest National Park Authority.

Find an Expert

As a Society we naturally promote the highest standards of work to historic buildings and for more complicated projects we always promote the use of qualified professionals. Several professional bodies have registers of suitably qualified conservation professionals who might be able to assist you with your building. These are:

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Conservation Register

Register of Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC)

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Building Conservation Accreditation

Conservation Accreditation Register of Enginers (CARE)

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) Database of Accredited Practitioners

Get Advice from National Bodies

Lots of organisations publish further detailed guidance for historic building owners. The main provider of information is Historic England who publish all their guidance online here, and they are responsible for keeping the list of listed buildings up to date and assessing whether buildings are worthy of listed status and act as statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on relevant planning and listed building applications. The list of listed buildings in England is available online here.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) are a membership organisation who promote the careful conservation of historic buildings using traditonal techniques. SPAB’s advice is also available online here.

Finally, anyone who owns a listed building might be interested in the Listed Property Owners Club who provide guidance to their members.