Conservation of historic buildings and sites is concerned with managing change. It is a truism that change can only be effectively managed when the site is understood in a wide-ranging set of contexts. The purpose of a Conservation Plan (or Conservation Statement) is therefore to use building analysis, as well as historical and archaeological research, to identify what is significant about a building or site and then use that information to consult with stakeholders to develop a policy to retain it.
A typical Plan might therefore include as its core elements, an understanding of the site, an assessment of significance, evaluation of issues and vulnerability, development of a conservation philosophy and methods for implementation. With these elements in place, long-term planning of the development, operation or alteration of historically sensitive sites can be underpinned by sound knowledge and research. Such plans are also commonly required by grant-aid bodies, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, and often require input from relevant specialist consultants.
The Conservation Plan is a sound basis for a Conservation Management Plan (though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably), which carries the report forward to a more detailed and wide-ranging methodology for integrating the needs of the site with, for example, maintenance/repair requirements, new works/alterations, access, interpretation and engagement.
We are able to act as lead consultant to prepare the documents and, where required, liaise with specialist consultants, incorporating and editing information to ensure a continuous and holistic living document. As part of our service, we are able to provide the relevant building surveys, along with repair and maintenance schedules, as well as architectural analysis and documentary research.
We do not believe in unnecessary padding-out of these documents and will ensure that all stages are presented in a comprehensive, yet succinct, fashion so that the Plans will continue to be used and updated by those managing the site.